How to Create an Approval Process that Works for You

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Freelancers and business owners alike know that workflow organization is critical for being successful. 

By streamlining an approval process, the better your chances are of increasing efficiency, productivity, and overall quality of work. 

Here are a few things to consider when creating an approval process that works for you:

What is an Approval Process? 

An approval process is a system put in place to organize your workflow. It serves as a management center for completing projects on time and to ensure that work meets company standards. This is done by implementing a set process with certain project phases.

Take an assessment of how you already command your workflow. This helps you better understand what sort of process you need. Also, make a note of how many steps you take and who needs to approve what along the way before figuring out how to fix things.

Once you’re ready, make sure you follow these guidelines…

Organization Is A Must

In today’s world, you can streamline just about any aspect of your business online to improve organization. Because of this, you should find resources that provide clarity for your team since many people may not necessarily work in the same room, or even the same state or country! Find a way to create a fluid process that is transparent and available for all parties to keep everyone on point.

You can do this by using a task manager, like AND CO, to document your process and make it accessible to everyone on the project. Here are some of the features that you can take advantage of to keep things moving in the right direction:

  • Document your ongoing projects and approval processes 
  • Keep track of time spent on certain projects and see what may be left outstanding during busy periods
  • Hold all of your vendor and client contracts in one database for easy team access
  • Manage invoices, proposals, and payments with real-time updates and reminders 

Each one of these tools keeps everyone accountable for each phase. Stakeholders have access to a portal where they can find assignments, check work statuses, receive feedback, and notifications of approvals (or rejections) without constantly sending emails and further generating confusion. 

Don’t Bottleneck Your Process

Although AND CO allows you to automate your workflow so you never miss a beat, your success still depends on how well you execute projects as a whole. 

For instance, the last thing you want to do is to bottleneck your process. This means cramming too much work and too many phases into your team’s schedule so that automation becomes difficult. There are often many hands that need to sign off on a particular project, which makes it challenging to meet deadlines when you have to wait on different stages of approval. With that in mind, be sure to only include project phases that are necessary and gauge the efficiency of your team with their current workload before piling on more. 

Say you have the artwork and copy for one project that needs approval, and instead of splitting this phase between two stakeholders, find a team member with the right skills who can knock out both. With better efficiency comes more time to focus on additional work, so as you develop better processing strategies, you can start to scale your workload appropriately. 

Being Methodical Leads to Success

Having a methodical approval process is key to keeping deadlines. You’ll be able to remain productive while waiting for different phases of approval, which is vital to stay efficient. 

You can manage many aspects of your business this way, whether you use tools available online, or create your own. As long as you organize your workflow and maintain consistency, your team thrives. 

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Kate is Fiverr's Senior Brand Copywriter. She has 6+ years experience in managing content and writing copy for beauty, fashion, tech, and wellness brands.