Administration, General, Organization, Technology

How to Create a Workflow Diagram for your School District

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A building is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is built.  Similarly, a school is only as strong as the hundreds of processes upon which the entire district runs.  Sticking with the same analogy, just as buildings need blueprints, school districts must have workflow diagrams in order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of each process.

What is a workflow diagram?

A workflow diagram, or workflow chart, is a step by step visual representation of a specific process. Think of a workflow diagram as a map describing exactly how a process is carried out from point A to point B and every stop along the way.

Benefits of using a workflow diagram

We have worked with many school districts throughout the country, and while every district is unique, the one thing they all have in common is that there are A LOT of processes, many of which running simultaneously and in conjunction with others. Throughout the past couple of years, we have seen more and more districts around the country leverage this important business tool to make improvements to their own processes. Creating an exhaustive list of the benefits workflow charts can bring to a school district would be a daunting task, but there are a few notable benefits that we would like to showcase if you are still on the fence.

Visual Clarity

In the absence of a formal workflow chart mapping out each process it can be easy for school administrators and teachers to become confused. After all, you wouldn’t drive cross-country without a map, right? By building a workflow chart you can effectively map out where each process starts, the steps that it must take upon its journey to completion, and where it will ultimately end, thus reducing district wide confusion and improving line-of-sight.

Improve Communication

It’s likely that many of your district processes involve quite a few different approval steps across various levels of the administration. A formal workflow diagram will map exactly which stakeholders are involved in each step of a process, making it easier for teachers and administrators to ask questions and voice concerns about a process to the right person at the right time.  

Identify Inefficiencies

The greatest benefit of creating a workflow diagram is the ability to identify inefficiencies. Many schools have been operating on the same processes for years or even decades because that is simply the way it has always been done. However, by creating a visual map for each process it becomes easy to identify inefficiencies that you hadn’t even realized were there. For example: a district may have a process that needs approval from multiple people in the same department, but is that really necessary? If not, reducing the approval step to one person from each department may save a significant amount of time.

How to Create a Workflow Diagram

Creating a workflow diagram is as simple as identifying and documenting each step within a specific district process. Follow the steps below to map out some of your school processes in minutes.

  1. Chose a process
  2. Identify the start point
  3. Follow the process step by step as it moves through people and offices, making a clear indication of each “stop” along the way. Be sure in this step to identify specific instructions as to what happens if a process gets halted or denied by an administrator at each step.
  4. Identify the end point and the action to be taken upon the completion of the process.

To take a step back and design your district process from scratch, check out our guide on How to Design a School Process.

Workflow diagram software

If you are in the process of mapping out all of your district processes, doing so on paper can become a bit tedious. Applications such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs include workflow diagram software to help you build flowcharts, saving you lots of time and allowing you to electronically distribute them to your team instantly.

If you want to take your district processes beyond a simple flowchart, Script can help you get there. Our comprehensive solution not only allows you to create detailed workflows for all of your processes, it also gives you the ability to fill these processes with unlimited free electronic forms and e-signatures, all while delivering powerful analytics that allow you to follow each process and continuously improve.

 

Want to learn more about improving your school’s processes? Schedule a demo of Script today.