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The LAB | July 14, 2022

10 Ways Process Street Can Streamline Your Business’s Processes Today

We all know that there is no workflow or process that is perfect. Once you have improved your existing workflow or implemented a new one, you will need to refine it over time. Workflow management solutions enable you to refine your workflow as your business needs change.

 

What Is Process Street?

The Process Street platform allows organisations to streamline workflow processes using cloud-based business process management (BPM). A wide range of business functions can be achieved through the solution, including customer onboarding, employee onboarding, help desk support, recruiting and content promotion.

Process Street’s features include scheduled workflows, web forms, scheduling tools, permission controls, and reporting. Users can manage multiple projects, review ongoing projects, assign tasks, and collaborate with members of their team.

Teams can collaborate using any device, sharing templates privately with customers and guests or publicly with the whole world. The 1,000+ integrations Process Street offers enable users to collect and automate data, pass data among apps, and pass data between apps.

The platform also offers integrations with third-party software including Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and Salesforce. By integrating with Zapier, Process Street is also able to connect with hundreds of third-party applications.

 

Key Benefits of Using Process Street

  • Document business processes and track them.
  • Tasks can be automated with schedules.
  • Collaborate and assign tasks to team members.
  • Collect data using forms.
  • Over 1,000 apps integrate with Process Street.

Any team’s processes need to be done right, done on time, and well documented to facilitate that these processes can be easily improved over time. Process street enables anyone within your organisation to work with these processes with visibility, consistency, and accountability.

If you’re new to Process Street, perhaps you have experimented with some of its pre-made workflows by now. It’s even a possibility that you have created a few yourself. You have already seen what can be made possible when it comes to capturing your core processes and sharing these processes across your company.

Any business aiming to scale and grow must write down its processes so old and new employees can step in and execute the right tasks, at the right time, and the right way. With that out of the way, let’s explore how Process Street can streamline your business processes.

 

What are workflows and workflow runs?

Before we delve deeper, let’s define what workflows and workflow runs are.

A workflow is the main version of any process. It is similar to a template that is used every time you need to do a certain process.

On the other hand, a workflow run is a single instance of that main version. For every instance you use a process, each step that you make within that process is a workflow run. Each step that you make within that process is documented as you complete it.

Running workflows ensures consistency and accuracy, especially when scaling your business. Regardless of whether you are onboarding new employees or clients (or both), having a clear structure you can follow is essential for successful growth.

Now that we know what workflows and workflow runs are, let’s get to the fun stuff.

 

Streamlining your process

1.  Get to know your Process Street Dashboard

The Process Street dashboard has three primary sections: Library, Reports, and Inbox.

Library

The Library is your workflow knowledge database and is the sole source of truth for all of your organisation’s processes. Administrators can also divide folders into hierarchies in order to better organise workflows, and determine who has access to those folders, how they can edit workflows in them, and how to add new workflows.

Apart from folders, it is also possible to assign tags to your workflows so that they can be searched easily. Tags that you assign can be seen at the left-hand panel that makes those workflows even more accessible.

Reports

Reports allow you to view, manage, and create saved views of all your workflow runs in one place. To get you started, the Reports Dashboard is set up automatically with the following default saved views.

  • Active Workflow Runs: This shows all currently in progress workflow runs in your entire organisation.
  • Assigned to Me: This shows all workflow runs that are assigned to you and are currently in progress.
  • Overdue: This shows all the organisation’s workflow runs that are way past their due.
  • Recently Completed: This shows all the completed workflows, with the most recently completed displayed at the top.

While it is possible for you to arrange or organise the data on those views in whatever way you want, a special feature allows you to create your own saved views.

Inbox

Process Street’s Inbox makes it easy to manage time and prioritise tasks. The Inbox is where you’ll find all of your active workflow runs, regardless if you’re in charge of a single task or the entire workflow run.

There will be no doubt what task you need to focus on next. The due dates for each task you need to complete will be clearly displayed. So it’s always good practice to start and end your day by inspecting your inbox.

Doing so will give you an outlook on what to focus on next, thereby maximising productivity and minimising stress. Additionally, using filters, you can inspect your co-workers’ workflows. This will be beneficial, especially if you are working asynchronously. You can do so without waiting for them to log in.

For managers, Inbox will give them a broader scope to see how the teams balance their tasks and workloads. It also brings focus and identifies if someone is lagging.

 

2.  Adding guest users will improve inter-company collaboration

Process street has a useful feature they call “user permissions,” and expect the standard division of admin roles and member roles. Raising the bar a bit more, they put in Guest users.

It’s not uncommon for businesses today to collaborate with people outside their organisation. They could collaborate with their prospective client, an external consultant, a vendor, or perhaps another organisation. Or, it could even be a newly hired individual who hasn’t even been given any credentials yet.

There are no costs involved in having guest users. However, they only have access to the tasks and workflows you invite them into for collaboration. This process means you don’t have to add a consultant on a permanent basis to your Process Street account, However, you can still invite them to complete tasks on your workflow runs when the need arises.

Much more, you can control membership permissions. You get to select which tasks, folders, workflows, and workflow runs they have access to, and limit what they can do with these assets.

 

3.  Team accountability can be checked using Assignments

Two types of assignments are allowed by Process Street. They can be by role or task.

With Role Assignments, you can assign tasks dynamically to specific roles in your team. Using role assignments while working on a specific workflow run can be helpful if there are multiple people doing the same task. They’re all able to see what still needs to be done because everyone assigned to that role is able to track the progress.

With Task Assignments, you can assign specific tasks to users within a workflow run. It can either be built-in to the workflow, or it can be assigned within an active workflow run. Regardless of the task, the user receives a notification that informs them of a task that they need to work on.

If these tasks are paired with user permissions, it becomes a powerful tool that keeps data secure, all processes running, and pain-free collaborations.

Leaving comments on tasks within a workflow run is useful for communicating and documenting information. Additionally, you can also attach files to comments and @mention other users.

And there is still more. It is possible to search comments too. There’s a column filter in Reports that can show you which workflow runs have comments on them.

 

4.  Instant workflow updates keep you flexible

Can you imagine the headache it will cause if you have to on board multiple new employees at once?

Thankfully, you have an employee onboarding workflow that can handle that regardless of the number of employees that need onboarding. Your new hires can go through the process at their own pace, all you have to do to move them along is to send them a run link and approve a task from time to time.

But what if you or one of your hires discovers a mistake somewhere through the workflow? Does this mean you will have to stop all your new hires who are part way through their own workflow runs and go through all their individual workflows, manually update them, then get each to start over again?

You don’t have to. Process Street allows you to update all workflow runs immediately when you make changes to a workflow. Make the correction once, and all workflow runs are updated instantly.

Your workflows are given maximum flexibility with this update feature. It also ensures that no matter what changes are made or when, everyone will be able to use the most current version. This also ensures that no one will be using an outdated workflow version.

 

5.  Using form fields and transferring data seamlessly

We all know that forms are useful for a lot of things. We all have filled out forms at one time or another. Process Street’s no-code workflow creation tools offer a variety of form fields that you can use when developing your workflows.

The difference is, not only can you put data into Process Street’s form fields, you can extract data out as well. As such, you will be able to export any data you input into a form field into other apps.

Think how this will save you time if you want customer details to appear in your CRM app. There would be no need to add the account info into a spreadsheet.

One useful tip we could impart is to make individual form fields a requirement. This will ensure that any person filling out a workflow run won’t be able to complete a task until they have completed filling out all the required data. This will also ensure that there will be no nameless applications or missing contact information. No need to thank us.

 

6.  Let Variables enter the data

Allowing Variables to fill out form fields takes it to a whole new level. As the name suggests, Variables are “variable” information that are unique to each individual workflow run. It eliminates having to copy/paste data into multiple locations, or having to retype the data every time.

Take for example a client who enters their personal information into a workflow run. As part of the workflow, one of your tasks will be to send that client a confirmation email with a summary of their account information. You can use the email widget to generate a customized email using the data a client entered to populate their name, email address, and any other information you want to include.

Not only can this be a timesaver, it also reduces human errors in retyping information. It also eliminates the possibility of accidentally sending someone a personalized email.

This video shows variables in action in an annual leave request workflow.

 

7.  Workflows can be flexible by using Conditional Logic

Creating dynamic workflow runs is allowed using conditional logic or if-this-then-that logic.

During the creation or editing of workflows, you can set rules in your process to display variable tasks and elements depending on what happens in the process. With this feature, you are able to divide a workflow into branches.

Conditional Logic eliminates the need for two separate processes – say for hiring staff for two different departments – by letting you create a single, branching process that determines which tasks are available based on these conditions.

As a result, if you are hiring for the marketing department, all tasks available are those related to recruitment for the marketing department once that department has been selected. Hiring for sales means you need sales criteria, and so on. This makes it possible that everyone will only see what they need to see without creating another process run for each.

Using Conditional Logic, you can adapt your workflow to multiple situations. Instead of having a different workflow for every eventuality, you can simplify it with one that’s designed to work with a variety of factors. Conditional Logic can bring so much versatility to your workflows.

 

8.  Stop Tasks can be added to your workflows to enforce order

What this feature does is already said in the name, it will literally stop a workflow run at a given point.

If you run a workflow that contains Stop Tasks, all subsequent tasks will be hidden and disabled. If you add required fields to any of the tasks before the stop task, then the stop task will not be completed until all of those fields have been filled in.

Workflow runs can be completed in a specific order by using this feature. In an onboarding scenario with your new employees, you’ll want each of them to proceed through the process in a certain way.

In addition to the paperwork, they’ll need to get their credentials, learn how to use any required equipment, and so on. If a step is skipped or completed in the wrong order, it can completely disrupt the onboarding process, cause important documentation to become incomplete, or prevent the employee from learning key skills.

In that situation, Stop Tasks could prevent those mistakes from happening. Additionally, Stop Tasks would ensure that every new employee gets the exact same onboarding experience, which is important from both a quality and an equality perspective.

Stop Tasks work incredibly well if paired with Approvals, as you will learn in the next section.

 

9.  Streamline handoffs by requiring Approvals

You can streamline any process needing authorisation from another person with Approvals. When the workflow is ripe for approval, the person responsible receives a notification allowing them to approve or reject the completed task. Comments can also be added alongside this approval or rejection.

Whenever you need to do a handover or get authorisation, an Approval is a fast and simple way to both review and approve someone’s work, whether it be for an approval of a contract, an acceptance of a submission, or an employee evaluation. In addition, it is possible to reject it, along with any comments as to why it was rejected.

One example of this is specific to content creation, but it can also work for any project management process. Writers undergo various stages of editing, peer review, and revision whenever they create posts.

When that’s done, all posts are sent to an editor to be proofed and either approved or rejected using the Approvals feature. When the post still needs work, the editor rejects it and uses the comments feature to provide feedback to the writer.

Approvals, in conjunction with the Stop Tasks feature, are a powerful way to streamline hand-offs, regardless of whether they’re single-instance, multi-stage, or sequential.

 

10.  Using Automations to collaborate has never been easier

It is likely that important processes will involve multiple software tools. But there is no consistent way to get them all working together and ensure that the entire process is done correctly. Even with one tool, it is difficult to manage all the touchpoints and actions across multiple stakeholders.

Have you ever had to manually copy/paste data from one application to another because the two platforms cannot share? Out of the 50 or so open tabs on your desktop, how many times have you moved data to the wrong place by accident?

What if there was a way to transport data for you? Thankfully, there is an Automation for that.

Integrate workflows across multiple apps into a cohesive process and collaborate easier with your favorite apps using a simple user interface that provides a consistent view of how processes work.

It is no longer necessary to teach colleagues complex software and worry that they will do something incorrectly. With Process Street Automations, you get the power of these applications with the safety and control of a checklist.

Integration between Process Street and Process Street is possible. This means that from within a run of a workflow, you can trigger a second run once a task (or the original workflow run) has been completed.

Going back to those new employees. Immediately following the initial onboarding, each person has to complete a mentor-led training course.

An Automation can be set up to run the training workflow as soon as the onboarding workflow is completed. Now your employees transition seamlessly from onboarding to training, and there’s no need for any complicated setup or additional paperwork.

 

Bonus: Slack is now available through Process Street

Most organizations today use Slack. Process Street’s Slack App combines Process Street workflows with Slack channels, giving users twice the options with only one application.

Though you may not always be logged into Process Street or your email, I bet you’re almost always set as active on Slack. When a task is assigned in Process Street that is urgent or time-sensitive, Slack will immediately notify you of the assignment. That’s cool, but you can also view and complete tasks on the same platform without having to switch.

Let’s say that you are doing all your work using your smartphone because you have back-to-back face-to-face meetings. You can finish all your tasks during your coffee break and not miss a beat.

Maybe you shut down your workstation when you realized you forgot to complete a task to hand the workflow run over to another colleague. Hit complete in Slack and head home.

Or perhaps you’re a content writer with a poor sense of time who appreciates receiving a reminder from Slack about an upcoming task. It doesn’t matter what your situation is, the Slack App can help.

Now that we have shown you Process Street’s features and how you can use these features to streamline your business processes, you can begin by using some of Process Street’s pre-built client onboarding workflows.

You can use all of these workflows straight out of the box or customize them to your preferences and needs. Their workflow library offers a wide selection of pre-built workflows to suit most business processes you can imagine.

Get started streamlining your workflow today by signing up for your free Process Street account!

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