I’ve been chewing on how to create a workflow tracking system for my group. Right now that group is… me. So my own notes are sufficient. But shortly we’ll be expanding and at least one other person will be responsible for our customer onboarding and technical implementation processes. Being able to know where he or she is relative to any given customer and to see that across all customers is going to be key to our success at scaling. As an intensely visual person some kind of production board is ideal. Besides tracking where customers are in the process I also hope it can help us adjust that process and more quickly onboard new team members with a checklist-based approach. Our challenge is that we’re a distributed team and I very much want us to have a system that’s web-based so we can grow by adding staff where it makes sense geographically to better serve our customers and where we can find the best people. As far as I can tell our company doesn’t really have any systems purchased or used explicitly for this unless Confluence has a Kanban board?
Another organizational benefit of visual systems is the improvement in overall information flow. In most companies, information flow is hampered by sclerotic inboxes and flabby meetings. Valuable information gets trapped in inboxes filled with low-value, status update emails. Valuable time for analysis and decision is squeezed out of meetings in favor of tedious status update presentations that consume up to a third or even half of the meeting hour. (And let’s not even talk about the time spent writing those emails and preparing the PowerPoint slides.)