Today’s workflow software market is filled with confusing myths. In reality, automation has become affordable, easy and fast. Let’s clear up some of the worst misconceptions.
A workflow is an activity that someone in your organization performs on a routine basis to achieve a well-defined goal. Workflows are characterized by (i) a series of repetitive tasks and (ii) flow of data.
Common workflow examples used everyday across every business include purchase order processing, time off request approvals, travel reimbursements, and new hire onboarding.
Today, almost every business understands the benefits of automating these everyday processes. They know that talent is their most valuable resource and they don’t want employees to waste time on paper- or email-based processes.
Every time we think we’ve got a handle on automation, new statistics emerge to challenge our perception. Just this month, McKinsey released a new report about the future of women at work, saying that an estimated 40 to 160 million women around the world will need to transition their skills.
But the report also pointed out that both men and women will be similarly affected by automation, just in different areas. Without a doubt, the effects of automated processes will be felt in every sector across all roles.
To understand the scale and importance of automation in the workplace, take a look at some of these key statistics.
Workflow analysis is the process by which your business examines data about its workflows, determines trends and improves their efficiency. In turn, this improves customer satisfaction and the competitiveness of the business itself.
In most cases, if you ask people why a particular workflow is setup the way it is, they’ll tell you “That’s how we’ve always done it.” The design probably made sense years ago but as the business and its environment have changed, the workflow was probably never updated.
Workflow analysis is the first step towards these necessary updates. Apply it in the following ways:
Change is inevitable. Business speed is accelerating relentlessly. Think about it: Uber and AirBnb didn’t really exist 10 years ago. Today, they’re giants that have caused massive upheaval in major, entrenched industries.
The speed of technology evolution has forced enterprises to reimagine and redesign their business processes. The digital revolution has now moved well past convenient apps that let you order food and hail cabs to a collection of smart technologies that will impact every facet of every single business. This digital transformation isn’t coming — it’s already here. Your task over the next three years is to apply these smart technologies to fundamentally remake your business operations.
Workflow automation is the foundation of digital transformation. But, automating everyday processes isn’t always easy. Dynamic forms, complex routing, e-signatures, mobility and more … it’s a lot to handle and that’s if you can find the necessary programming talent. What if your existing people could do it all using simple visual tools? Watch this brief video to see how easy it is with frevvo’s 100% visual, low-code platform.
To learn more, visit our website, try frevvo absolutely free for 30 days or contact us for more information.
In Part 3 of this series, we described how Anonymous tasks are vastly simplified in V8.0. Another enhancement that customers have requested is the ability to view a form that they had submitted earlier as part of a workflow.
For example, we automate our internal operations with frevvo. Let’s say I submit a Vacation Request or Expense Report for processing. A few days later I want to go back and look at what I submitted. Prior to V8, we setup an action that notifies me at every step along the way and emails me a PDF copy of the form that I submitted. Email is already hard enough to keep track of and this isn’t an ideal solution.
Now, you don’t have to email PDFs around for record-keeping. You can simply use Task Search to find your workflow and then use the Audit trail to view the information you submitted.
In the audit trail for any workflow, you will see a new View icon. The icon will only show up if you have permission to view the workflow at that step. However, you can always
see things that you submitted – by far, the most common scenario. Click the View button and frevvo will render a read-only view of the workflow using the data from that step.
You can expand/collapse Sections, navigate Tabs and view all the data. However, you cannot make changes.
Obviously, the audit trail also shows the progress of the workflow through various approval stages so you can always see where the workflow is currently sitting and the history as it was routed from person to person. Now, you can also see the data.
We hope you’ll like the improvements that we’ve made. Stay tuned for future articles and upcoming webinars on V8.0 – it will be released to frevvo Cloud this Fall. We’re also already working on features for the next release(s) that we’ll describe here as we go along.
In Part 2 of this series, we described the redesigned Flow Step Properties panel which makes it much easier easier to configure individual flow steps. Another oft-requested improvement is to anonymous steps.
What are Anonymous Steps?
Anonymous steps in a workflow are routed to an email address and do not require the recipient to authenticate before performing the step. They’re super common – for example, a purchase order may be started internally by a sales person, get approved by his/her manager and then get routed to the customer for signature. You probably want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to sign the PO and not require an account, remember passwords etc.
Prior to V8, you had to drag in a separate Email (Anonymous) Step and configure it separately in your workflow. It would send an email and advance the workflow to the following step which was the actual form that the recipient would see. Customers found it confusing and we ran into many situations where workflows were incorrectly designed as a result.
More Intuitive Anonymous Steps
V8 simplifies this significantly by simply removing the additional step in the flow. Now, you simply drop in the form you want the recipient to see or link to an existing one and configure its properties. Click on the cog icon to bring up the Flow Step Properties dialog and navigate to the Assignment tab.
On this tab, you can now assign the task to a user, role or email address in one place. At runtime, assignment is made in that priority order. If you want to route to an email address, simply type it in and leave the other two fields blank – the step will be routed via email and can be performed anonymously. There’s also no longer a requirement to make the entire workflow public.
You can also use control templates in the email field so that it’s dynamic. Start typing and a pick list will appear with matching controls. At runtime, the value of the control is evaluated and if it’s a valid email address, the step will be routed via email and can be performed anonymously.
We’re looking forward to this release and hope you’ll like all the improvements. Stay tuned for future articles and upcoming webinars on V8.0 – it will be released to frevvo Cloud this Fall.