5 Signs Your Business Needs a Work Management Platform
Do you find yourself spending more time fighting the tools that you use to get work done than actually getting things done? Is information in your organization siloed and difficult to access? Is it a challenge to coordinate across teams, difficult to collaborate effectively, or hard to meet deadlines? If these sound familiar to you, your organization might need a work management platform.
5 Signs Your Business Needs a Work Management Platform
A Work Management platform is a SaaS service that provides the building blocks to support all of your business processes and data within one unified interface. The platform is designed to be used by virtually everyone in an organization, not just select groups or functions.
Work Management gives you the ability to build robust workflows and custom applications without writing a line of code, all through a visual interface that takes just minutes to learn. The result is higher quality, consistent and inter-connected work processes that make sharing, working with and understanding data easy.
The challenges of managing work in today's digital environment
Businesses are changing the way they conduct business. This change is brought on by new technologies and practices. The ones that have stood the test of time have changed the way they get work done, taking advantage of innovative new tools and methods.
With the diversity of platforms and tools to select from, many organizations end up adopting different solutions for every team, department or function. Agility is hard to come by when there is little consistency across processes, data is siloed, and ownership is fragmented. We end up creating a new problem - how to be productive when you’re constantly switching context, looking for the right bit of data, or struggling to collaborate with your remote teammates.
How Work Management can help
Although the term 'work management' is often associated with IT or finance departments, in reality it is much more versatile. Think about all of the business processes that could be part of your work:
- Creating a staff directory
- Gathering customer information
- Generating sales reports
- Sharing department data
- Handling support tickets or incidents
- Tracking IT assets and assignments
- Tracking logistics information
- Managing HR records
While these are tasks are generally performed by different people, the data that supports them is interconnected. IT managers should have an easy way to connect a laptop asset record to an HR employee record. Sales reports should link to customer information that is used when tech support takes their call.
You need an approach that takes a unified approach, allowing you to build any workflow or process in minutes, share data across the organization and making it easy to get things done. Work management lets you say goodbye to scattered spreadsheets, flurries of emails, and the overhead of juggling several different platforms.
Here are 5 signs that you need a work management platform:
1. There are islands of data in your organization
Do you find it difficult to get certain information about your business? Is there an HR system that has the master list of employees, but you don’t have access? Spreadsheets in finance that contain information that marketing could use to plan, if they had them? Maybe an online project management tool or two - that you don’t have a logins for.
These “islands” of data really slow things down. Now you’re waiting for an emailed copy of a spreadsheet or some data cut and pasted from another system… that you just have to trust is still up to date. Not only does your velocity suffer, you might be making bad business decisions because you don’t have all of the information.
Work management aims to interconnect these bits and pieces, bringing all of the information together that’s necessary to get your job done. Whether that information lives natively in the work management system or is automatically synchronized, you’ll have access to what you need, when you need it.
2. Your processes are in silos
Data isn’t the only thing that might be living in isolation - it may be your processes as well. Many things in an organization are interconnected. Consider a typical customer onboarding flow, where a prospect or customer completes an order and the sale needs to be processed. The sale gets handed off to fulfillment who pack and ship the product, and customer service handles things from there.
Many organizations use completely separate processes and systems to track and manage each phase of this cycle. Sales has their opportunity and prospect tracking process. Fulfillment has their own customer database and shipping workflow. Customer service often has to react to customer requests and concerns without important information generated by these preceding processes.
Work management can unify these separate workflows into a single, cohesive process. By seamlessly transitioning between teams and individual workflows there are fewer chances of details being lost or miscommunicated. Each individual process can access the information and outputs from prior or parallel processes.
With a system like this in place, all stakeholders are aware of what is happening and are able to provide input or collaborate where they feel necessary.
3. You’re worried about being able to adapt quickly
Today’s markets and workplace conditions have never been changing as rapidly as they are today. Economic pressures, increasing regulation and the challenges introduced by the global pandemic have required organizations of all sizes and types to adjust.
Is your business as adaptable as it can be? Can you quickly change a workflow to accommodate for the new curbside pickup option that you just added, or make it a snap to add information that sales needs to collect about their customers?
Traditional, single purpose software tools make these changes difficult, while a true work management platform is purpose-built for them. Quickly capture any type of data, automate a new process without writing a line of code, or adjust your reporting to give you a clear picture of the evolving competitive landscape. Work management is the platform for agility.
4. You need clear, uncluttered communication
A work management platform provides direct access to the information needed to get things done. Individuals contributing to a workflow phase can exchange data, discuss the work at hand, and clearly see the tasks that need to be completed.
Managers can see information at every level, monitoring progress toward individual and organizational goals. They can identify any potential roadblocks, communicate directly with the people getting the work done, and set clear expectations so that projects and programs understand what is needed to succeed.
This access to information is empowering, allowing individuals to locate the data they need, understand the outputs from other areas of the business, and answer their own questions that would otherwise require help from operations, IT, human resources or any other team in the organization.
5. You need to see the big picture
With a Work Management platform in place, you can take full advantage of the easy access to data and status information, using analytics and visualization tools to create actionable insights. You’re now able to identify and resolve challenges before they arise, whether they are real-time, on the go, or late in the pipeline.
Take, for example, completing work tasks. Let's say your company is about to embark on a highly complex software development project, and someone on your team requests a change to a piece of code. You would get a notification that a change request is coming from one of your developers. You could also receive a "Quick Info" alert letting you know what he's trying to do and where you can provide input on the request.
If any of these needs or concerns strike a note with you, why not give SmartSuite a try? SmartSuite is a complete work management platform that unifies your processes and data, supports teams of any size, and makes it easy to get all of your work done. You can communicate and collaborate with your team in the context of the work you’re doing, making things more efficient and your day more productive. The platform’s powerful integrations, automation system and visualization tools support data-driven decision-making to deliver on your organization’s goals.