Here is a definition from Investopedia.

A series of tasks to produce a desired outcome, usually involving multiple participants and several stages in an organization. Workflow describes the sequential steps that comprise a work process in the business environment. In its most comprehensive form, workflow includes the procedures, people and tools involved in each step of a business process. Workflow may either be sequential, with each step contingent upon completion of the previous one, or parallel, with multiple steps occurring simultaneously.

The accuracy or adequacy of this definition--for workflow--may beg for debate or discussion, especially as it applies to new-home and new residential neighborhood design, development, construction, marketing, and selling.

Still in all, it is the single umbrella under which all of the manageable proficiencies and solvable challenges for home builders get cover.

The challenge of all of our organizations--if they are going to survive and thrive as economically sound going-concerns--is do more with less. No, that's only partly true. It's actually do much more with much less.

Workflow--which is ultimately made up of dollar-value resources of people, time, materials, equipment and overheads--becomes a key point of focus if there's a chance in hell of "doing much more with much less."

Economic constraints, and namely, the people with the aim and at least most of the means to become new homeowners, demand it.

Here now is fresh thought on how many of our organizations work from a decision-chain management standpoint. The author, Harvard Business Review contributor Vineet Nayar, is focusing on a change in leadership mindset, and organization, but the implications have everything to do with the way work gets conceptualized, productized, developed, done, and delivered. In other words, workflow. How would this challenge map to what gets managed at home building organizations and operations?

New organizations that produce more for less.
New organizations that produce more for less.

Instead of a hub-and-spoke system, picture a racing track where each driverless team can compete successfully on the basis of four fundamentals:

  1. Overlapping goals. Goals will have significant overlaps; each individual and each team understands that they are pursuing one collective organizational goal.
  2. Role linkages. Each individual, team, and function will play a distinct role in the race while also supporting each other’s roles. Every individual has to be clear about how the individual, team, and organizational roles are linked.
  3. Constant collaboration. At the foundation of this model is the fact that no one individual or team can win the race alone. They will win only if they play their roles to perfection and help others that they’re linked to.
  4. Continuous reinvention. Teams will continuously process new data, creating a landscape of learning and realignment across levels.

Would love to hear your thoughts, especially as many of us believe our workflows belong in "sacred cow" territory, where if you take something away from it, then less gets done. How true is that?