Administration – Process and Collaboration
The process and collaboration area in Administration is where various functions associated with business workflow, processes and activities are managed or created. On first creation of your company solution, instance templates in the solution will automatically create a set of standard processes and dictionaries. These may be readily amended or used as templates to create your own.
Process and Collaboration
TickerThe Ticker is a mechanism by which your business can show a scrolling text based update to all users across your company.
Application Process FlowThe application process flow area allows you to select and apply the workflows that will be applied across various business application areas in the solution
Process Flow BuilderThe process flow builder allows you to create new, edit, copy or delete process flows across the solution. You can also use it to ‘group’ process flows so that if your business has a lot of them that they are easier to manage.
Workflow Process ManagerThe workflow process manager is an administrative tool that will show you a live view of all current OPEN or completed (ARCHIVED) process flows which are active across your business solution. You can also sort all processes that are running or filter them.
Workflow GroupUsed to define new dictionary entries to create your own workflow groups used in the Process Flow Builder (above)
Event TypesUsed to define the types of calendar events and their colour scheme that may be selected by your users when interacting with solution wide calendar functions
Team RoomsUsed to define Team Rooms that bring your internal or external (self-service) users together in focused working groups around projects or departments
Activity StatusesUsed to create and define the various statuses that any of your business activities may be in at any time, e.g. not started, in progress, completed
Activity Templates ManagerUsed to define templates of tasks by process area across the solution. These templates may then be used by your users across various applications in the suite
Task CategoryTask Category is a dictionary where you can define the type of tasks available to your users across the suite
Contact from WebProvides your business with a mechanism to harvest (collect) CRM data directly from your website, e.g. Newsletter Sign Ups. Data entered by users in your website using simple forms is immediately populated into your business solution.
Event from WebThis allows your business to accept bookings and registrations for events of any type that create calendar entries directly from your website.
Process and Collaboration – Detailed Instructions
This area in administration allows you to control, define and create various powerful functions that affect user notifications (ticker) and to create and manage how processes in your business work.
The ticker functions as a text based scrolling newsfeed to all users that are currently logged in to your solution. You may use it to define news updates, critical notices or to act as a useful reminder of important dates and activities that you want all of your users to be aware of.
It is best to restrict the use of tickers to critical information as the routine display of non critical information will only lead to users beginning to ignore it.
Example ticker entries
For each new ticker you define you will need to set a start date and an end date; plus the contents of the ticker itself. Once configured they immediately start scrolling across the top of the page in all applications across the solution. All logged in users will see the updates.
Use the Pencil Icon to the right of each ticker entry to edit an existing entry, or the trash can icon to delete them. You may also use the Enabled selector to the left of each entry to enable/disable entries accordingly. It is good practice to keep good housekeeping of your entries so that they don’t become too cluttered and unmanageable over time. Keep those you wish to reuse and delete those that will never be used again.
Click on the yellow ADD NEW button to add a brand new entry;
Adding a new ticker
As all three fields have a red coloured background shading they are mandatory. By deselecting the Enabled option the new ticker will be saved on pressing the OK button but will not be published to your users. If you want to immediately publish the ticker then leave the Enabled option to ticked (true).
You can cancel the addition of any new entry at any time by clicking on the CANCEL button. You will be asked if you wish to confirm that you want to close the form without saving it.
Application Process Flow
The application process flow acts as a ‘selector’ whereby you can select which Workflow will apply to various sections of the business operations platform. You will normally find that the deployment template that was used to create your company instance has only a single ‘ungrouped’ workflow as an example that contains a workflow called ‘Line Manager Approval’.
Various applications in the suite are able to leverage the workflows you have created or edited. Use the Dropdown list alongside each application type to select the workflow that you wish to apply to each application area.
If you don’t want to use any workflow in a particular application area and you are going to rely on other methods to pass workflow around your business then you may select an empty workflow against each application.
By default on most new solution templates you will have the ‘Line Manager Approval’ as the default workflow for all applications except for Objectives, which is part of the eHuman Resources Application Suite.
In normal ‘good practice’ you will define your workflows first in the process flow builder and then come back to this section to apply those workflows as necessary.
Trivaeo constantly updates the application areas that are capable of using Workflows, so you should check back regularly to see if any applications you are using have been updated in any release to embrace workflows.
Process Flow Builder
The process flow builder allows you to amend, delete or create new Workflows across your business. As indicated in the Application Process Flow (above) a default and simple ‘Line Manager Approval’ is typically included by default on any new ‘instance’ of the solution being created. Use this ‘line manager approval’ workflow to get a feel for how workflows work.
The process flow builder will ask you which GROUP you want any new process to reside within; so consider creating a new Group using the Workflow Group Dictionary before setting out to create a new process flow. Then come back to the process flow builder to crew a new process flow and immediately assign it to its relevant group. Groups are used to keep workflows seperated from each other as you may have a complex set of business practices and policies that will result in a lot of potential workflows. Instead of storing and administering them all under a default group of ‘Without Group’ you can put your workflows into groups that make them easier to manage.
To edit or amend an existing workflow you will need to expand the GROUP on the left side of the screen first using the arrow to the left side of each GROUP;
Click the arrow to expand the GROUP
Once you have expanded a Group you will then see the Pencil icon to edit, the dropdown to select the COPY function and the trashcan to delete each process flow.
Use the existing Line Manager Approval workflow as an example and copy it using the COPY function available under the dropdown on the right of the line manager approval workflow process.
You will then see a new Process has been created with the name Line Manager Approval_Duplicate. The Group dropdown will be blank as this is an ungrouped workflow. Change the description according to taste.
The Builder itself is a step based engine. In this example, the workflow for a line manager approval has only a single step and this step is called ‘approval’ The approvers section is set to [Line Manager]; so for each employee in your business their assigned line manager (by role) will receive a notification that the employee has submitted something. If they approve the data submitted, for example, a holiday booking, then the process will continue. If they deny the submission then the process flow is returned to the originating user; typically with a request/note/task or other input from the line manager asking for something to be changed/updated.
If you have purchased a Trivaeo solution package that does not include eHuman Resource (eHR) then you will be unable to use roles or positions as targets for new process flow approvals or notifications. Instead, you should use named USERS. The advantage of having eHR is of course that your processes are now tied to positions and not to specific people; which means as your workforce grows or changes that your processes will not stop working. Trivaeo’s standard deployment templates include very basic workflows using nomenclature that makes sense both with or without the eHR application enabled in any package.
Adding a new process flow
To add a new process flow click on the yellow ADD NEW button. You will then be presented with the following application builder form;
Process Builder Application
Process Name – your preferred workflow process name. (Mandatory!)
Group – the group within which you wish this process to reside
Description – a description of this process and where you intend it to be used
The builder itself is used by creating single STEPS. In each STEP you decide who needs to approve the workflow, who may be included in the Skip-List so that they are informed but don’t need to conduct an approval and finally for each STEP who is notified of its state change.
Create as many steps as you think are necessary to support the workflow as a whole.
Finally there is a blanket notification option which sits underneath all steps in this workflow where you chose which roles/departments (if you have eHR) or USERS if you have used named persons should be notified each time any step changes its status.
This way, you can have certain entities updated when the status of a step changes and others notified when any step changes at any time. Using this simple Workflow process builder you can actually create fairly complex workflows that support the underlying applications including Asset Management, Expenses Management, Holidays Management and Timesheet Management.
There is an additional workflow process for eHR Objectives. eHR Objectives is actually a detailed 8 step process. This is detailed in the eHR administration guide.
Once you have created a new workflow process you return to the Application Process Flow administration area to select it from the dropdown list against your chosen application area.
Please NOTE that application workflows that are in mid-flight and have existing users using them then they cannot be amended or deleted. To make changes to existing workflows you will need to copy the existing one, make the necessary changes and then publish it. Set it as the new workflow for the relevant application area and the next user calling upon that workflow will receive the new workflow experience. Existing users in mid-flight will continue finishing off their existing workflows using the old originally published workfow. Once no users are left in ‘mid-flight’ then you’ll be able to delete the now redundant workflow process to keep your solution tidy and accurately representing the processes across your business application areas.
The skip list is a really powerful function that allows you to manipulate ONE process so that it works differently for each department or group using it. For example;
If you choose to have the sales Team’s part to be pre-approved by the Sales Manager, but you want the rest of the company NOT to be pre-approved, you can add the Sales manager to the first “Approval” but then add all other departments / positions or even specific names to the “Skip List” . Then you can add the other names to “Step 2” so they can use their own approvals. This use of a Skip list will enable you to create highly complex processes.
Workflow Process ManagerThe workflow process manager provides an administrator with a complete overview of all active processes active throughout the solution. Use the sort by and filter options if necessary. Use the open or archived filters on the right to review current processes or those that have been completed.
Process and Collaboration – Dictionaries – Detailed Instructions
The process and collaboration dictionaries allow the administrator to configure both workflow group names and the event types available in the solution.
Workflow groups allow workflow processes to be organised and grouped according to where they will be used in the processing collaboration area. They are free textbased and you are free to choose whatever workflow groups you prefer.
Over time, your business may collect a large number of workflows and processes. Grouping them according to where they are used will help you to manage them more easily.
The solution supports as many calendars as your business needs to represent the company as a whole, individual departments or even individual users. Any new calendar event may be classified by its event type. This dictionary allows you to pre-configure the event types available to your users.
Opening the event types dictionary will show you a list view of all current types with at least one set as the default. Each type of event has an associated colour that makes it easy for users to become familiar with the content and structure of calendars.
To add a new event type click the yellow coloured and new box. The only mandatory field is the type name. Enter a type name and select any one of the preconfigured colours or even a custom colour of your own choosing for this event type. If you wish to make this the default calendar event then select the is default checkbox.
Click save to apply the new event type or select close to cancel your changes and return to the event types list view.
Process and Collaboration – Team space – Detailed Instructions
The team space area processing collaboration allows you to configure team rooms available to your users in the solution.
By selecting the option for team rooms you are taken to a list view of all active or archived team rooms across your company.
To add a new team room click on the yellow add button and the had team room form will open.
The convenience of your users you may add an image, icon or photograph that represents the team room. Provide a name for the team room in the team room field. This being the only mandatory field on the form. Use the description field to describe the purpose of the team room as this assists users when they are invited to join the team room with its intended purpose.
All further configuration of the team room occurs within the team room itself, including adding new users or inviting self-service users to join the team.
When a team room has completed its useful life they may be archived so that they no longer appear on the list of available team rooms. Of course, the option to delete them would not make sense otherwise you will lose all context, documents, wikis and user interactions contained within the team room for ever. Therefore team rooms which are no longer needed are archived rather than being deleted.
Process and Collaboration – Activity – Detailed Instructions
The activity area of process and collaboration allows you to configure a range of activities and their associated statuses that may then be used by your users to capture the status of completion of various tasks, activities or processes relevant to multiple areas across the solution. Activity statuses are relatively simple; for example, not started or completed. The activity templates manager may be used to describe common activities associated with areas of the solution that you want users to complete routinely when handling a particular area or application in the suite. For example, what things do you want your users to do every time they promote a lead to an opportunity in customer relationship management?
By defining activity statuses and their associated templates you can ensure that all activities associated with how your business works day-to-day are completed accurately and that key actions are not forgotten or undocumented.
Once defined, your users are able to pick from the available templates in the relevant application areas to assist them in completing these set series of tasks. It also provides all users with access to those application areas with an incident and top-down view of how far along the various activities are.
Clicking on activity statuses takes you to a list view of all activity statuses currently stored in your solution. Depending on the nature of the template used to deploy your company instance some may already have been prepared for you or it may be blank.
To add a new activity status click on the yellow coloured add button towards the top right of the screen.
This opens an add activity status form. An activity status is comprised of only two elements. A status name and an activity type. Both of these elements are mandatory.
By default, if this is the first activity status you are adding then it will have a red coloured TODO status as the preselected option. This means this activity status has not yet been started in any form. For example, set the status name to not started and the activity type will default to a red coloured TODO. Click save to save this activity. You will now be returned to the activity statuses list view and you will see a new single entry with the status of not started with the red coloured left side splash.
Let’s add another activity status.Click the yellow add button and a new ad activity status form will open. You will note that a new default activity type has been suggested by the platform, this time with the yellow coloured in progress activity type. Set the status name to in progress. Click on save to add this activity status.
You can see where this is leading. You can add a third and final activity status which will have a green colour code and the status type of completed. Now your business may decide to use this type of simple three step status monitoring or you can be far more granular by adding as many different status types of either of not started in progress or complete that you need to accurately represent the status of various tasks close across the applications you have provided to your users. At a bare minimum you need one each of not started, in progress or complete.
Another typical use case is to have a single not started status and a single completed status with a range of in progress statuses at 10%, 20%, 30% and so on. This type of activity status monitoring is very useful when activities span a range of time and your users would like and at a glance view of how far along certain activities have progressed.Try to set a reasonable range of activity statuses that will encourage your users to use them effectively. If you have too many they actually have an opposing effect and your users will move activities in broad ranges rather than in small steps. It also doesn’t help your business if you only have a single in progress status giving you no idea whether this task will complete in one hour or one week.
Let’s use the example of a cabinet maker. When building a new cabinet it may take up to 5 days to cut and prepare all the wood necessary to assemble the cabinet but then only one day to fabricate it. Try to break down this typical manufacturing process into process indicators that more accurately reflect the details of how far along the process is. This way, not only will the carpenter doing the work be able to select more accurate activity statuses but other users waiting for the cabinet to arrive for painting will know when they can reasonably expect it to arrive.
Activity Templates Manager
The activity templates manager allows you to define new templates of activities that are available to your users in various process areas of the solution. When you first start with this business application suite this is invariably empty with none defined.
Use the process area drop-down list if necessary to filter activity templates by application area or the status drop-down filter to review all, draft, active or retired activity templates across the solution.
To add a new activity template click on the yellow coloured and new button to the top right of the screen.The add template form will open. Fields with a red coloured background are mandatory and these include the template name, the process area, and the template status.
The template name is arbitrary and is your own choice; try to make it readily identifiable as it is easy to cause templates overlap across various process areas and applications.
The process area drop-down sets the application area where this template will be available to users across the solution. These include leads, opportunities, roles, proposals, quotes, work orders, invoices, contacts, companies and supplier due diligence.
Let’s create a new activity template for handling leads in the customer relationship management application. Set the template name field to lead capture and leads from the process area drop-down list. Leave the status to draft as we don’t want to publish this template until we have completed working on it and it’s ready for users to enjoy.
This activity template will only be available to users when they are in the leads section of the customer relationship management application. It will not appear as an available template in opportunities or any other application area.
It is up to you to define the range of tasks that you would require any user to complete when registering a new lead in your CRM application. Let’s use a couple of examples;
The first task may need to qualify the lead in the second task may be to ask the lead how they found out about your business. A third task may be to ask the lead if they want to sign up for your customer newsletter to receive vouchers, discounts or other offers from your business.
By laying out the standard tasks by application area you can ensure that your users are completing all necessary activities and their critical information your business needs for the future is not forgotten. With careful design it is even possible to limit the amount of training you need to give to new users as they will always have templates available to them that tell them what they need to do.
Now, the activity statuses we completed in the previous section of this guide apply wholeheartedly. Any user of your CRM application that attempts to register a new lead will be able to select the new lead template and then indicate quickly with a drag-and-drop interface how far along with each of these three tasks they are and whether they have been completed or not. This gives your sales manager an instant overview for all leads in the system as to their current status and what needs to be done next.
Don’t forget to change the status of this new template from draft to active otherwise it will not appear for your users in their available templates. If you wish to discontinue the use of an existing template then set it status to retired so all current leads that have the template applied are not invalidated by the deletion of the template. Setting a template to retired status allows those in midflight to continue but prevents the same template from being picked for the next new lead added to the system.
You may add as many templates as you need including multiple templates for similar tasks in the same application process areas. Work orders, for example, could have an entire task set for every product that you manufacture which would allow for very granular operational oversight of everything being built in the factory at any given moment in time.
Adding a New Task
The task name is mandatory as is the type field in the due date section. For each task you add you can set the due date is either being today, the document date, the number of days after or a specific date. You could say, for example, that a new lead must be qualified within two days of recording the lead.
You may set the task type and the task category. The priority and task status fields are mandatory and set the defaults when this template is first applied by any user. Complete the rest of the form is necessary and click the save button to apply this task to the template. The task status drop-down field sets the initial status of this task when used within the template and does not fix it to the task status set here. It is only the initial task status which is set by this drop-down.
Activity statuses and their associated templates come into their own as a very powerful feature of your solution that ensure that all critical path tasks are completed professionally and within your business service levels
Activity statuses and the activity templates unify in the user experience so that the status of activities may be changed in real-time with a powerful drag and drop user interface.
Adding templates to the various application areas allows your business to ensure that key steps you want your employees to undertake in each application area are not forgotten and that they can be readily reviewed for status by other team members or supervisors.
Process and Collaboration – Tasks – Detailed Instructions
Process and Collaboration – External Web-forms – Detailed Instructions
External web forms allows your business application solution to interact with your website so that you can capture content and information from your web users that is automatically published inside the solution. For example, you may publish a newsletter signup form on your website so that users on your website can sign up to receive your newsletters. The technology cleverly screens all inbound submissions for validity and publishes the content to the relevant sub applications in the suite.
Contact from Web
Clicking on the contact from web link opens up a list view of all contact submissions forms that you have created. With a brand-new company installation this will be blank. If any have already been created then you will see them listed by source domain and the owner of the form.
To add a new contact from web form click the yellow coloured and new button to the top right of the screen.
Adding a new Contact from Web Form to capture leads from your website (example)
The contact from web form has three navigation fields to its left with the first being the general information about this form. The service request the service request link enables the form to trigger a helpdesk or service desk enquiry to your business.
Example use cases include the simple ability the subscribers to your website to sign up to receive your newsletter or a more advance use case is the ability of a customer using your website to submit a trouble ticket support via via the same methodology.
Under the general information link the two mandatory fields of the domain and the owner of the form. The domain field restricts the submission of new form content to your business application suite from a matching domain only. This prevents the spurious use of your form by others from their own websites. Please enter the full domain name including the main extension with the www.prefix where you intend to publish this form, for example, www.thetidwells.org. Whilst it is possible to allow subdomains on the main parent to be used we typically recommend that you create a new form if the form is going to be published at the specific sub domain name, for example, news.thetidwells.org. This increases the overall security of your web forms and means it’s less likely for your automation to be corrupted by changes in your domain naming conventions.
The notify the owner checkbox instructs the solution to notify the owner of this form whenever a new record is submitted through it and is a useful feature to enable when you have first configured forms for testing purposes. Once you are confident the form is working accurately and correctly you may disable the automatic notifications to the owner.
By default the add contact from web form will add the submitted details to the CRM application as a customer contact record. The groups drop-down checklist selects the relevant CRM group where you would like this newly submitted information to reside. For example, you may create a CRM group (from within CRM admin) called newsletter and all new forms submitted through this contact from web form will be automatically added to your newsletter recipients group. This makes the sorting distribution and filtering of CRM contacts the campaigning and general administration far easier. Remember, that this business applications suite supports the capability of any company or contact to be resident in multiple groups at the same time. It allows your customers to sign up for and then unsubscribe from any number of newsletters or information periodicals that you publish explicitly group by group rather than from all as a default unsubscribe option.
By default the contact from web form collect’s first name, last name, Company name and email address with the first, last and email being mandatory. By selecting the use fields for phone or website you are instructing the solution to also ask for this information as well.
If you wish to capture custom information use description field checkbox; as doing so will enable the custom description link on the left side of the form allowing you to add as many new or additional fields as you need to satisfy this forms purpose.
If you wish to create a service request on successful submission of this form click on the service request link on the left side of the edit contact from web form and take the box marked create service request. Then select the target helpdesk and set the priority accordingly. You can also trigger customised notifications and add additional members (users) that will be able to access information submitted through this form on that helpdesk.
Once forms that include a service request have been received by the solution from your website they continue to be handled in an identical fashion to helpdesk tickets that are raised internally to the solution.
If during testing your new form you receive authentication errors then that is a good sign that the domain upon which the form was published does not match the domain entered in the form itself, or, that the authentication token copied in the script no longer matches the authentication token included in the form original. You should check both of these for accuracy. Once accurately completed the form will submit all contained information either to a new contact record in CRM or to a new helpdesk ticket according to your configuration.
Event from Web
The event from web form functionality behaves identically to the contact from web method described above except it has its focus not on creating CRM records or helpdesk tickets but on accepting calendar bookings as events.
By setting an owner, a relevant event type and an assigned person with a segment length you could even automate the entire bookings process of a barbers or hairdressers salon!
Users on your website would be able to set their own calendar appointments with your business based on their own availability and either receive a confirmation that the slot they picked was available or suggestions for alternative dates and times according to the loading of your calendar and the assigned person at any time.
Additionally, the event from web automation can also remind both the booking party and the booked party of the appointment and can conditionally alert the assigned person that a new booking was created.
You can further customise the booking event from web functionality by adding text or long text fields as additional fields to the booking event; perhaps to capture further instructions from the booking party about their expectations or needs.
Note; the functionality does not show the person making the booking appointment every available slot, as you will appreciate, in some scenarios this may be a security risk. Instead, it shows;
- If the slot requested is available or not, if YES, then it books it
- If the slot is NOT available it offers the closest/nearest available slot as an alternative. The party requesting the booking may accept it