While you would love to have more time, the fact remains that your organization only enjoys 24 hours per day, and employees might barely work half of this time. What’s even worse is that employees and resources are even more limited, which increases the need for efficiency in making the best out of every resource that your organization has. As a result, it makes sense why most employees will have multiple tasks that they need to achieve soon, all with conflicting priorities.
One wrong choice of the task that an employee chooses to start with could easily lead to time wastage and the eventual backlog of workflow as they look to regain the lost time. Which begs the question – what is the perfect way to dispel this dilemma and build a lean workflow system?
Keep reading to learn how to navigate the world of conflicting priorities:
Why WIP Overload Should Matter
70% of the US workforce is not engaged, according to The Muse, and WIP overloads could be among the leading reasons behind this. During periods of overloads, your company and workforce are simply dealing with more than one task at a time. This means that attention is scattered throughout the different tasks which makes a complete commitment to a single task tough.
In most cases, this recipe for errors encourages time wastage as well as delays in the achievement of tasks. With delays, come angry customers and an increased chance of losing loyal customers. Additionally, working in a stressful workforce where employees often have to choose between a couple of related tasks priority-wise can lead to low engagement rates.
Start By Visualizing Your Workflow
The first step to unmasking WIP overloads is to visualize the workflows, and learning how to use kanban board can help. This means that you have to outline the different tasks at hand and describe them according to their priorities and specifications. You should include details such as jobs that are stuck and those jobs that are actually in progress.
Adding information about the cost of achieving a task as well as any other hurdles that you might go through will go a long way towards solving the prioritization dilemma. You should also leave some room for error in the line of unforeseen circumstances and common delays. Such visibility will help in gauging what jobs should be prioritized over the rest.
Order the Jobs and Eliminate Floating Priorities
The only metrics that should be used to measure the priority in which tasks should be held is the objectives of your company. As long as a task takes you a couple of steps further into achieving these goals, it should be prioritized. While it might seem that two jobs should have equal priority, no two tasks will have the same priority levels, at least not after a granular analysis.
As a result, such relative jobs should be thoroughly compared to order them accordingly. On the other hand, you should work to identify jobs that have floating priorities. These are tasks whose role in achieving the company’s objectives is barely or shallowly defined. Such tasks can be done once you are done with the key ones.
Commit All the Necessary Resources
Regardless of how essential it is to fulfill a task, it can never be done if the resources needed to achieve the task are absent. This will mean that you will have to move the task down the prioritization list until you get the necessary resource. Offer all your listed tasks resources one by one according to the order of prioritization.
In case the initial tasks temporarily diminish resources that the next task needs, you can skip to the next one. This approach will ensure that little to no time is wasted while looking to gain access to more resources.
Waste minimization should be the order of the day in the resource-scarce business world. Eventually, the goal is to both make the customer happy and increase the profitability of your business. Consider the tips above to deal with conflicting priorities during WIP overloads efficiently.