With so many different platforms, software programs, technologies, and devices, it’s hard for today’s professionals – especially developers and coders – to maximize productivity and efficiently move through the day. This indicates a larger problem in the modern workforce and clearly demonstrates a need for improved workflow.
Keys to Enhancing Workflow
The key to increasing productivity in the workplace involves readjusting workflow processes for maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. It’s common for developers to develop habits and routines – and change isn’t always the most welcome thing. In many cases, it needs to happen, though.
Let’s briefly analyze some of the top tips for enhancing workflow so that developers, coders, and professionals can see just how effective a few simple tweaks can be.
1. Use the Right Tools
Often, a developer’s success is directly linked to his or her ability to find and use the right collaboration tools. You don’t want to use tools simply for the sake of using them, but the right collaborative toolset can make all the difference.
The keys to successful remote communication for developers are clarity and timeliness. Any collaborative tool you use must promote clear communication between all members of the team. Vague, unclear interactions can lead a project astray.
Secondly, the tool must allow for timely communication. In 2015, this means real-time interactions with multiple avenues for conversation – including email, instant messaging, and video conferencing.
2. Eliminate Isolated Tools
Enhancing workflow and increasing productivity is often as easy as eliminating tools, applications, and resources that don’t work well with others. According to research, 30 percent of today’s information workers search multiple databases, while 75 percent are forced to move outside of the applications they use to forward data and analysis via email. This kills productivity by forcing users to move from application to application.
This is indicative of an even bigger issue. While we have access to so many different tools and technologies, the problem is that many of these resources are incapable of interacting with each other or sharing information between platforms. So, instead of enhancing productivity and collaboration, these tools are actually creating bottlenecks in important processes.
By eliminating technologies that aren’t able to communicate with each other, developers can remove unnecessary delays and become much more productive and focused. This enhanced collaboration allows for more visibility and less confusion – two things that can greatly assist the overall success of a project.
3. Prioritize Tasks and Goals
Goal setting is incredibly important for coders and developers. Without putting tangible goals in writing, it’s difficult to prioritize what must be done now versus what can be finished later.
As a rule of thumb, it’s a smart idea to conquer your most difficult tasks first, while leaving the least challenging assignments for the end of the day. This allows you to expend most of your energy and focus on the difficult projects, while still leaving time for the less critical tasks.
Of course, if you’re going to conquer difficult tasks first and leave easy tasks for last, you must begin by prioritizing these tasks and goals. But what do you do when everything is important?
Well, Tatyana Sussex of LiquidPlanner believes there are six keys for prioritizing work when everything is important. She suggests collecting a list of all tasks, identifying the difference between urgent and important, assessing which tasks add the most value to your organization or job, ordering tasks by the amount of effort and length they’ll take, being flexible and adaptable, and knowing when to eliminate responsibilities and cut tasks.
4. Avoid Overscheduling
As Sussex alludes to in her final key, it’s sometimes necessary to say no. While it’s hard to turn down work when you know it means more money, you also have to think about your limitations. If taking on another project is going to compromise the quality of existing projects, is it really worth it?
By maintaining a manageable schedule, you can ensure your workflow is smooth and productive. You’ll spend less time worrying about ways to free up your schedule and more time crossing things off your list.
It’s Time to Rethink Workflow
Workflow isn’t one of those things you think about constantly. However, it’s something that can either hold you back or set you free. Poor workflow management results in a lack of productivity, while effective workflow management produces consistent results that satisfy clients and garner positive attention. When thinking about workflow, consider the four keys mentioned in this article and think about specific areas where you can improve.