5 Workflow Examples (and How to Optimize Them with Unito) | Unito

5 Workflow Examples (and How to Optimize Them with Unito)

Workflow Examples

You’ve built your workflow, drawn it out, and outlined each step of it. Now you’re looking to make it more efficient and optimize it. You might even be trying to figure out the best tools for your workflow and need a bit of a guiding hand to do so. For that, you need workflow examples.

In this blog post, we’ll break down five of the most common workflows. We’ll help you identify the pain points for each one and reveal how Unito can help you strip them out.

Team coordination workflow examples

A team coordination workflow is about having enough visibility to keep your team aligned. As a manager, you need to know what your team is working on, when they’re swamped or blocked, and whether they’re hitting or missing their deadlines. To get this information, you might rely on regular status update meetings; you might jump from tool to tool, checking in on progress and making sure everyone has the information they need; or you might spend your days on Slack, poking and prodding people for updates. Every step in this process makes up your team coordination workflow. 

A team coordination workflow example

  1. Hold a daily stand-up meeting with your team to find out what they’re working on and what blockers they’re facing
  2. Jump into your project management tool to see what tasks or projects are due today, and what other tasks you need to prioritize
  3. Reach out to project stakeholders via chat or email for progress updates
  4. Jump into multiple work tools to leave feedback or get visibility into how your team’s work is progressing
  5. Take part in multiple project-specific meetings to get updates from your team and other collaborators in the organization. 
  6. Jump into each of your team’s work tools to share those updates so everyone is working with the most up-to-date information and data
  7. Build out a new team initiative in your project management tool and delegate tasks in each of your team member’s preferred tools
  8. Centralize project updates from each tool into a document to create a report for your board or executives

The pain points of this workflow

Because you need to keep your team aligned and stakeholders across the organization updated, you need to be constantly communicating with multiple people daily. When everyone’s spread across multiple tools, that means dealing with a ton of emails and Slack messages.

A team lead isn’t always a trained project manager, and having to juggle multiple projects across tools can be difficult and stressful. You might be spending a full day of your week copying and pasting tasks and information between all of your work tools while your frustrated team works with outdated or incomplete data. 

How Unito addresses these pain points

Working across tools or stops being a pain point with Unito. By setting up a two-way sync, you make sure marketers in one tool have access to the same information as developers working in another. And if you use a different tool to keep everything organized, you can still have eyes on what everyone’s up to without switching tools. You can also prioritize asynchronous communication, since any comment made within a project on one tool will automatically be synced to every other tool connected to that project. By optimizing a team coordination workflow with Unito, everyone has the information they need without the busy work.

A team coordination workflow with Unito

  1. Build out a team project using Unito that syncs all of your team’s work tools together, so you can see their tasks in a single view within your project management tool.
  2. From that team project, check what you and all of your team members have on their schedule today. Comment on tasks that seem to be behind schedule or those you want more information on.
  3. Without leaving that team project, provide feedback or approvals and share project-specific updates. 
  4. Create new tasks or projects, and delegate them directly from your team board using Unito’s sync. 
  5. Build additional syncs to supply senior leaders with key updates directly in their preferred tools.

Keeping cross-functional projects smooth

The most important projects tend to pass through multiple teams before reaching the finish line. From new product features to website redesigns, a project can require the expertise of developers, copywriters, marketers, and stakeholders spanning the whole organization. Here are workflow examples for cross-functional projects.

A cross-functional project workflow example

  1. Hold a project kick-off meeting with all stakeholders to identify action items.
  2. Build out your project in your project management tool of choice. 
  3. Assign tasks to project members using the same tool.
  4. Stakeholders working in different tools building their own project and tasks. 
  5. Hold weekly meetings to check in on project progress, discuss blockers, and get feedback.
  6. Use emails and chat messages for support or feedback needed outside these meetings.
  7. As tasks move forward, the designated project manager gathers information from all stakeholders and distributes it across the project team. This involves jumping into each of their work tools to gather and share up-to-date information.
  8. When significant issues or blockers are encountered, host special meetings to address them as a team.
  9. The project manager regularly compiles project updates into status reports for senior leaders in the organization.

The pain points of this workflow

Any cross-functional project involves processes and communication channels that might vary wildly from team to team. That makes keeping everyone — from stakeholders to individual experts — in the loop a huge undertaking. Someone is going to have to jump from tool to tool and dig through tasks to gather updates, and it’s probably the project manager. That can make their job feel like a full-time fact-finding mission.

Some organizations solve this problem by forcing all their teams into the same tool. That’s a great solution in theory. After all, if everyone’s work is in the same place, you eliminate the need for status update meetings and endless messages, right? Well, not exactly. Barring how long it can take for someone to get used to a tool they have zero experience with, being the one forced to change tools doesn’t feel great. It can be demotivating and frustrating.

How Unito addresses these pain points

With Unito, you get the benefits of using a single tool without forcing anyone into it. Think of it as a collaborative ecosystem; no matter which part of it someone works in, they have access to everything going on across the system. Stakeholders get visibility on project progress, and everyone else can do what they do best, from the tool they know best.

That also means you’re dealing with fewer emails and fewer meetings. And who doesn’t want to see fewer meetings in their calendar?

A cross-functional project workflow with Unito

  1. Hold a project kick-off meeting with all stakeholders to identify action items.
  2. Build a project in a single project management tool,
  3. Create a sync to enable the dispatching of tasks from one project to multiple tools.
  4. Stakeholders review and follow tasks from their tool, knowing everything is up-to-date across tools. Questions and feedback are handled directly from their associated task.
  5. Identify issues or blockers as they happen, and address them as a team directly in your tool.
  6. Build additional syncs to give executives or your board direct visibility into the project’s progress from their preferred tool.

Managing cross-company projects without headaches

All the difficulties and hurdles of a cross-team project are magnified when you’re working across multiple companies. You’ve got your own internal processes, tool suite, and workflow, and they’ve got theirs. Collaborating on a project means needing to find a way to meet in the middle, compromise, and overcome any differences. Because every company exists in their own silos (within silos, within silos…) keeping everyone on the same page is a big challenge.

A cross-company project workflow example

  1. Hold a project kick-off meeting with all stakeholders across every involved company to identify action items.
  2. Try to get agreement on a single tool to manage this project, if possible. If not…
  3. Build out your project in your project management tool of choice. 
  4. Collaborators in the other company build out the project in their tool.
  5. Build a seperate spreadsheet or collaborative document in which to share updates, that all stakeholders then use to update the tasks in their work tools.  
  6. Hold daily or weekly meetings to check in on project progress, discuss blockers, and get feedback.
  7. Rely heavily on emails, phone calls, and chat messages to get more timely support or feedback.
  8. As tasks move forward, the designated project manager will be responsible for gathering information from all stakeholders and distributing it across the project team. This involves jumping into each of their work tools to gather and share up-to-date information.
  9. The project manager will build and distribute reports on project progress, schedules/calendars, and performance-to-date. 
  10. When significant issues or blockers are encountered, host special meetings with all involved companies to address them as a team.

The pain points of this workflow

Someone might have to give up the tool they want to use, and you can bet there will be a complicated process whenever something needs to get shared from one side to the other. It can create a no man’s land of missed opportunities and warped communication. Even if you’re working in the same tool as another company, you might not want to give them access to everything you’re working on.

If you’re dealing with a client who’s adamant about using a specific tool, you might not have the luxury to talk them down if you want to keep their business. That means even if your workflow is optimized for one tool, you have to try and carry it over to the client’s tool of choice. And if you’re dealing with a new acquisition who is stubborn about their tool, they might end up getting siloed from the rest of the company, which isn’t conducive to getting everyone collaborating

How Unito addresses these pain points

Get everyone on Unito, and you might as well be working with internal teams. Integrate their tool —or a whole suite — with yours, so everything gets transferred over no matter the barriers. You can each use the tools you need instead of negotiating a middle ground. Get to the crucial aspects of collaboration without worrying about how the actual work is going to get done.

A cross-company project workflow with Unito

  1. Hold a project kick-off meeting with all stakeholders across every involved company to identify action items.
  2. Build syncs to integrate tools across both companies.
  3. Build a master project containing all action items, deliverables, and deadlines.
  4. Dispatch work from the master project to stakeholders, no matter what tool they use.
  5. Stakeholders share updates and progress reports from their tool, which get synced to all other tools,
  6. Get feedback and support within project management tools without resorting to other communication channels.
  7. Hold meetings as needed to handle significant issues or blockers.

Self-serve project reporting

Whether you’re running an internal project or an important cross-team initiative, there are stakeholders to report to. These people need to know what’s going on, and they might need to check in often. Keeping them all informed is something the dedicated project manager is responsible for — among everything else they’re already doing.

A project reporting workflow example

  1. Hold update meetings daily or weekly to see how the project is progressing, depending on the urgency of the initiative
  2. Take meeting notes and manually build out a report
  3. Jump into collaborator tools several times throughout the day to track new updates and progress as it happens. 
  4. Manually update the report with the most recent information. 
  5. Check-in with the project team for updates, information, or data using chat or email as needed.
  6. Present the report to key stakeholders.
  7. Repeat the process as required.

The pain points of this workflow

Unless your chosen communication channel is on point, someone will have to be drafting endless reports and staging regular meetings just to keep people updated. If you have multiple stakeholders to update, that means navigating multiple calendars to find the one 15-minute window everyone has free. And if that doesn’t work, you might end up in endless email chains so everyone is kept in the loop.

There’s also the issue of accuracy. There’s only so much time in a day, and having to dig through multiple tools to find the information you need is a timesuck. Sometimes you have to draft up a report without knowing that one task hidden deep in a folder has information that contradicts a whole section of your report. But you can bet one of your stakeholders will have seen it.

How Unito addresses these pain points

What if everyone could stay updated in real-time? Better yet, what if stakeholders could approach project reporting with a self-serve mindset? With Unito, you can use something like Trello to build a master board, a place where all the information a stakeholder needs to see can be consolidated. This can eliminate unnecessary status update meetings, presentations, and all the other extraneous things you’d usually have to take care of just to keep a stakeholder updated. With a master board, a stakeholder can just jump in whenever they need an update. And if they have a question or concern, they can add it to the respective card and get an answer directly from the person concerned instead of going through a team lead or department head.

Unito works almost like an executive assistant, passing information around and making sure everyone knows what has to get done. That means fewer reports and faster updates.

A project reporting workflow with Unito

  1. Build a sync to congregate key initiatives from multiple tools into a master project within a single tool.
  2. Give stakeholders access to the master project.
  3. Encourage stakeholders to check progress and ask questions directly in the project.
  4. Hold meetings as needed to handle significant issues or blockers.

Mess-free development backlog workflow examples

Depending on the development team, a backlog can have anything from bugs that need fixing to feature requests. This workflow covers everything from the initial request to deployment.

A development backlog workflow example

  1. Build out development backlog project in your tool of choice
  2. Manually add new issues, projects, or requests from other teams (coming via email, chat, in-person conversations, or other work tools) to your backlog, OR
  3. Allow other teams access to your development tool so they can enter their own requests and projects to the backlog.
  4. Hold development team meetings and cross-team meetings to decide which tasks to prioritize. Remove those from your backlog as you begin working on them.
  5. Handle requests for updates and information sent through email, chat, or other work tools.
  6. Jump into your backlog at regular intervals to organize new tasks and reprioritize.
  7. Run backlog clean-ups at the end of each month, quarter, or major sprint. 

The pain points of this workflow

Backlogs are often messy. Not only that, but a backlog by nature means multiple people will need information throughout your workflow. If someone’s making a feature request, they need to be kept updated as it progresses towards completion, since they’ve probably got someone else waiting on this feature to be completed. So to keep this workflow running smoothly, developers — or their team lead — will need to respond to frequent pings for progress updates. And because requests come from so many places and tools, they have to be consolidated into a messy backlog that no one can make sense of until it’s time to plan the next sprint.

How Unito addresses these pain points

Unito’s a one-two-punch for the development backlog. It nips the problem of messy development backlogs in the bud by automatically consolidating feature requests from multiple tools and projects and automatically labeling them according to their provenance. That means a developer can know exactly where a request came from — and from whom — without anyone having to put in extra work. On top of organizing a backlog for you, Unito’s sync means anyone who needs access to a specific task or issue has it, and they can get their own updates without bothering anyone on your dev team.

A development backlog workflow with Unito

  1. Build a development backlog project in your tool of choice and sync it with the tools used by other teams.
  2. Use filters and labels to categorize requests as they come in.
  3. Hold meetings as needed to prioritize and dispatch requests.
  4. Requesters check progress and ask questions from their tool.
  5. Jump into your backlog at regular intervals to organize new tasks and reprioritize.
  6. Run backlog clean-ups at the end of each month, quarter, or major sprint.

Optimize your workflow with Unito

Workflows need management to be at their most effective. With Unito, workflows that span tools, teams, and processes can be managed without dealing with the no man’s land that exists between tools.

What’s next?

1. Read more of our articles on project management.
2. See the power of Unito in action.
3. Ready to start? Try Unito free for 14 days!