In the world of business, one of the great ironies is that many successful new enterprises fail within the first year or two, because they cannot manage their growth. Just when they should enjoy the most prosperity, the owners lose control of budgets, inventory, staffing, and capital requirements. Those who lead the organization go from being visionary innovators to overburdened, disorganized, ineffective bosses who cannot handle their increasing responsibility. Workflow management descends into chaos, record keepers are swamped with data they cannot effectively manage, and weekly to do lists grow out of hand without the right task management strategies to get things done.
This kind of scenario was described in a Harvard Business Review article about outdated business processes, where it was explained that “processes and pathways that were once simple and easy to negotiate” become just the opposite when a company outgrows its task manager systems and protocols. Then, as the article says, those same processes “become complex, inefficient, and time-consuming.” As experts point out, the systems to control workflow that were ideal in the beginning may not work at all once your company evolves. The intelligent processes of yesterday may be today’s obstacles to success. It’s like having a growing teenager. They seem to outgrow their clothes faster than you can buy them. But rather than seeing that as a problem, shouldn’t you view it as a sign that your teenager is healthy and moving toward adulthood? The trick for the business owner is to redesign and restructure your task management so that it moves forward while it simultaneously progresses toward simplicity and efficiency.
When companies hire a business advisor or coach to observe and consult, one of the first areas of focus is on systems. When it comes to establishing systems that work – by saving you time and labor – the first place they look is technology. Workflow and task management technology not only has the potential to help you get organized, but it can also ease the load on each of your employees – which instantly frees up valuable human resources and precious time. Maybe you’ve heard about apps that are popular with homeowners because they can use them to monitor what is going on at home – the heating and air conditioning, the lighting, and even the appliances – while they are away on business or vacation. A few years ago that kind of thing sounded like sci-fi or a James Bond gadget, but now anyone can use these kinds of advanced applications and do it cheaply. How does that relate to your small or medium-sized business? Business technology – including smartphone apps – is now available to solve virtually any task management, inventory tracking, accounting procedure, scheduling, workflow, or process mapping issue you encounter.
All you have to do is identify the problem and then browse an app store devoted to business management to find the immediate solution. Then, as your company grows and expands, you simply identify the next generation of growing pains and problems and find related workflow software apps and task management digital tech solutions. Does that sound way too simple? It should, because these apps are intentionally designed that way – to simplify business process management and make your life a whole lot easier and more prosperous.