Siliconchips Services Ltd.

Workflow Breakdowns in Larger Firms: Why They Happen, What to Do About Them

Efficiency in business comes down to reaching goals with the highest degree of quality and speed possible.

When workflow breaks down and this efficiency fails, it’s worth questioning why it happened and how to prevent it in the future.

The breakdown of workflow in our clients at larger firms comes down to a failure of two critical elements: communication and accountability. If your client companies are in this category, you’ll likely know what I mean. The question of course is what to do about it.

Ultimately, company goals require systems that define achievable steps, task responsibility, and deadlines. Every project member along the way has to be dedicated and held responsibly, and someone must be responsible for oversight and follow-through.

With workflow software, it becomes easier to remain on task, on time, and accountable since the schedule, assignments, and completion measurements are clear. This project management tool will also streamline projects and make completion far more efficient. For example, in my work with book publishers, the many steps along the way from editorial to the ultimate publication include proofreading, graphic design, interior typeface design, typesetting, double- and triple-checking, choice of paper quality, book jacket design and printing of actual book copies. Without the help of applicable workflow software, each of these steps along the way would be subject to human error and make the process longer, less accurate and fraught with frustration!

To efficiently complete any project, large or small, no matter what your industry, the following steps will allow you to reach a satisfactory end without wasting time, energy, or motivation:

  1. Any project plan should include delineated steps, assigned jobs, deadlines, and clear measurements of completion along the way. Poorly defined, loosey-goosey plans will lead to unclear, half-finished, pass-the-buck, efforts.

2. Every plan should be checked and double-checked for:

–One manager and decider

  1. Strengths and weaknesses of team members and assignments
  2. Relevance
  3. Scheduling

3. Define the project point-by-point so as to eliminate unnecessary steps, erase repetitions within the process, reach the goal faster, and guide the right person toward the right task throughout the process.

Communication is key throughout any project. Consider the body: The brain knows what all parts are doing at one time. If the hands and feet, eyes and ears don’t coordinate, the body can’t move efficiently. Your team is the same. When communication breaks down, steps in the plan get done and redone, or not done at all, and the workflow breaks down.

In my world, the printing industry, proofreaders need to know how much time they have to complete their task, book cover designers need to know what the book is actually about so that the title and front and back cover designs deliver the right message, the publisher’s sales staff needs to know how close ultimate production will come to the pre-ordained book publication day etc. Only via continuous communication among all parties will ensure the entire operation runs smoothly.

Communication is essential and should be required. It’s up to the project manager to verify communication takes place, hold members accountable for this failing, and set the example for appropriate and timely communications.

The project manager should also keep an eye on the schedule, sending updates, checking in, and holding project members’ feet to the fire when tasks fall through.

In larger corporations, it’s easy for team members and project assignments to fall through the cracks. Workflow software helps project managers and team members know who’s doing what and when steps finish, so it’s an invaluable tool for companies seeking methods for protecting against workflow breakdown.

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Umesh Nair

International Executive with focus on Global Growth -20 years working experience in Germany, Singapore, India,Asia, Middle East, Switzerland, Europe across a cultural multi-functional environment.

Specialties: Business Strategy & International partnerships, Global Alliances network in Startup, Technology,Airlines, Aviation, Travel, online travel, E-commerce Business, Luxury Retail, BPO, b2b, ERP Software BusinessDevelopment – Sales, Go to Market, Growth Specialist, Incubation, Entrepreneur in Residence, Senior ClientPartner, Consulting, Market Research – Coleman Research, Lynk Global, Guidepoint, Insight Alpha, GersonLehrman Group.

Mr. Manoj Mehta

Mr. Manoj Mehta, is a Science Graduate and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), practicing as a Chartered Accountant since 1984. He had the great opportunity to complete his article training with M/s. S.V.Ghatalia & Co. (now part of E&Y, one of the big four Consulting Firms in India).

He has got vast experience of 40 years in the profession. His core strength is in the field of Finance, as a Corporate Advisor to public, private and multinational companies in the field of financial planning, raising debt and equity, structuring,  etc. His forte is strategic business and financial planning, compliances, deployment of funds, optimum utilization, budgeting, Preparation and analyzing of qualitative Project feasibility reports, anything and everything related to advising on financial decision making.

He holds trusteeship of a few charitable trust to show his philanthropy side.

He has held leadership roles and has been in the forefront in articulating values and beliefs in a team building approach.

Paul Evans

Dr Paul Evans has a long career in publishing in STM and business sectors since graduating from Oxford University and first working as a computer programmer. He worked for Reed Elsevier in a variety of roles for nearly 25 years (in UK, Netherlands and China) up to, in later years, Senior Vice President at the global headquarters in Amsterdam. He then became Managing Director for SAGE Publishing’s Asia Pacific company at its hub in Singapore for 7 years, doubling its size and performance. Latterly he was for three years Director of Nature Research China with Springer Nature in Shanghai and an adviser to the Chinese government for his industry, and then on return to the UK during Covid he has worked for Maverick Publishing Specialists as a consultant and Charlesworth Publishing Services as Director of Partnerships.

He has also taken a strong interest in education initially as a teacher in Japan, as a lecturer and course leader in Publishing Studies at a Scottish university, and now in working in UK education areas.

Bharath Ramadoss

Head of Production and Operations, has been with Siliconchips since 2015. In his time with us, he has managed a team of dedicated and experienced production team members, both in books, journals development.

A graduate of University of Madras, Bharath has a strong experience in quality, complex workflows in the publishing industry. His skill set includes e-publishing, project and team management, XML and HTML, content development, workflow improvement, and now working closely with technology team and developing various tools and platforms.

He enjoys cricket, and you will find him playing every Saturday.

Becca Mosher

Becca Mosher, US Editorial Project Manager, helped to develop the Siliconchips editorial department in 2015, and her team continues to grow. A graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Missouri – Columbia, Becca has been in the publishing industry since 2007, where she has specialized in e-book project management, editorial management, and editing in a wide variety of styles at all levels, from proofreading to developmental editing. She is proficient in several languages and adept at client relations.

An avid board gamer, Becca teaches different games at a “Learn to Play” night once a week.

Abhijit Pathre

Abhijit Pathre, our Director of Account Management, manages data, accounts, delivery and operations, and maintains client relationships. He is highly experienced in the technology field and possesses excellent communication and problem-resolution skills; prior to joining Siliconchips Services, he was with Hutchison Global Services, working in 3G, and Goldshield Business Solutions, a UK-based Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm.

He leads with a humbleness that compels the team to follow his direction. His firm commitment and his vast fifteen-year experience spanning various industries contribute to his essential role as a member of the Siliconchips Services team in India.

Shahid Chowdhary

Shahid Chowdhary began Siliconchips Services in London in September 2010, with one basic idea: to build an organisation committed to value-based leadership and promoting a culture of trust, transparency, integrity and mutual respect.

Shahid received his graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Srinagar and his post-graduate in Marketing and Finance from NMIMS, Mumbai – both leading engineering and business schools in India and he was certified by Baan in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). He has acquired numerous professional qualifications in innovation, strategy and leadership development throughout his career, including Leadership Management Institute (LMI) in the US and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) in London. Over the years he has worked with various multinational companies in India, the US and the UK, including engineering, software development and publishing companies.

Shahid is the driving force behind Siliconchips Services; he focuses on new markets, business development, human resources development and planning for the continued growth of the company. He unites his teams across borders, and encourages a cohesive working community to give our clients a professional and pleasant experience with Siliconchips Services.

Over the weekends, Shahid spends time with his two daughters, practicing martial arts, and volunteering at the stables for his love of horses.