Release Notes – 2020 R4

Release Notes – 2020 R4

Release Notes – 2020 R4

Earlier this year, Flowingly saw us release a raft of Process Mapping upgrades. Well, that wasn’t the only big project we were working on for 2020.

With the latest release of Flowingly we’re taking workflow up a level with our new Rules engine! Retaining the same ease-of-use that you have come to expect, the Rules engine makes it easier than ever for business users to create bespoke workflows that suit THEIR business.

Rules engine? What is that?

Next time you create or edit a workflow step you’ll notice a new Rules tab alongside the Details and Form tabs.

This allows you to use IF THIS THEN THAT logic to direct a workflow. The first rule to be released will allow you to set the Assignee of a future step based on an action taken in a previous step.

Using a Database, you can now assign a Step based on relationships within that Database.

How would I use it?

There are all sorts of ways you can use this:

  • Allocate a step based on geography. For example, if a user selects in Step 1 that their request is for the Wellington office then it allocates Step 4 to the Wellington Area Manager. Alternatively, if they select Auckland it will allocate to the Auckland Area Manager.
  • Send a step to someone based on responsibility. An easy way to manage when one CAPEX category needs to go to Joe Bloggs in Finance, and the others all go to Jane Smith.
  • Facilitate multi-level management relationships. Using Rules you now have the ability to allocate a step to an employee’s regional manager, country manager or any other report. This helps you control all those dotted lines!

This is just the beginning…

The Rules engine that you see now is just the first version. We have a whole list of rules that we’ll be adding to it over the next year.

And that’s where we need you. If you have rules you want to see, make sure to get in touch with your Flowingly Customer Success Manager.

What else has changed?

Table sums can now be used as a value in subsequent steps. This means that you can pull both currency and number sums direct from a table, either to display them easily to a user or to help route your Decision pathways.

You can also use the sums within formula fields and custom emails. So, if you have a column in a table that captures amount, in another column you could capture discount rate, and in a formula field below you could calculate the discounted rate.

This opens up a range of possibilities, especially for all those using Flowingly for financial workflows such as CAPEX or Expense Management.

For more information on Rules make sure to check out our latest KB articles on Step Rules and Databases. Or if you’re looking to use the new Table sum check out the Form Fields article.
If you’d like to learn more about how Flowingly can help you manage approvals, tasks and workflows for your business, get a trial today!

Get your business Flowing

Creating a Vision for Your Process Journey

Creating a Vision for Your Process Journey

Creating a Vision for Your Process Journey

It is essential to meet evolving market and business requirements. Countless businesses embrace process mapping and automation. A strong plan allows you to make precise course corrections while minimizing disruptions. Creating a vision for process improvement doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require a vision and good planning to be carried out properly.

Determining YourVision!

In order to get your process journey started on the right foot, you need to determine your vision. As well as looking at specific problems you’re trying to solve, think about your outcomes. Consider what you want to achieve in the long term and the experience you want to create for your customers and employees. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:

  • What does an “effective process” look like for the company?
  • How much of a change do I want to make? 
  • What is my benchmark for successful process improvement?
While needing to address future needs, your process improvement plan also needs to meet short-term objectives, using resources available today. Being able to communicate your target state is essential to get buy-in from all team members. A clearly articulated vision will resonate with employees, shareholders and customers. It aligns your efforts and promotes understanding during the project.

Allocation of Resources

Preparing your team is the next step of a successful process improvement effort. This includes creating a team of business domain experts. If you don’t have the capacity to build an in-house team, try to find a partner or platform vendor who can be trusted to implement your company’s business improvement journey.

Process improvement is an ongoing process, but it’s still worth thinking about what can be achieved in the short term with the resources available. Recent technological advances have presented huge opportunities for competitive advantage gains from process improvement. This has put on some extra pressure, with 85% of key decision makers now feeling they have only 2 years to make significant progress on digital transformation projects, including implementing workflow automation. Fortunately an experienced process improvement partner or platform vendor should help your organization make gains in a much shorter time-frame.

The business landscape will continuously evolve. Instead of focusing on the specifics of your process think about your pace of change and the ideal outcomes.

Frameworks to Begin Process Improvement

There are a number of existing frameworks to assist you in your journey. Their structure supports and guides all levels of your organization on successfully implementing change. Pro-activity trumps reactivity in an effective business environment, so continuous innovation allows organizations to launch, learn and revise approaches. A successful process framework aims to drive a broader cultural shift within the organization, particularly in the areas of empowerment, transparency and accountability.

Some tips to consider:

  • Create the right working environment, even if your team is distributed or remote, information sharing needs to be a core component of your working environment.
  • Celebrate and recognize team successes to keep morale high.
  • Enlist help from knowledgeable and experienced staff.
By improving collaboration, you can deliver better value and reshape processes more effectively.
Often, it’s difficult to know where to begin. We propose the following approach to our clients to get them started: 
  • Gather and document process requirements
  • Map existing process
  • Automate process
  • Test process flow
  • Test against requirements
  • Address issues
  • Deliver the finished product
Once their existing process is automated, we then recommend they use their process management platform reporting to identify areas of improvement.

Implementing process improvement is necessary to ensure you’re not left behind in an age of rapid change. Creating a timeline and roadmap for following the above recommendations will help you transform your organization for the better.

This is an excerpt from Flowingly’s process guide, Creating a Culture of Process Improvement.

Take your processes to new heights with our process playbooks.

Discover the building blocks of process improvement.

Advertise an Open Position

Advertise an Open Position

Advertise an Open Position

The process of writing a job description and advertising a position is often fraught with issues. Without a clear chain of communication, both the recruitment team and the advertising manager can be left extremely frustrated.

This process helps simplify the chain of communication, and leaves everyone clear on their responsibilities from end-to-end. It is also a great way to open everyone’s eyes to the exact requirements of advertising a position.

1. Gather & Validate Role Requirements Manager
The trigger for starting this process is the manager gathering and validating the requirements for the role. At this step you will want to provide the HR or Recruitment team with a basic overview of the position. Keep it simple, with only the most pertinent information being captured.

Consider things like:

  • The position title
  • Their direct manager and associated team/department
  • The estimated remuneration
  • Whether a position description exists (plus optional attachment)
2. Write a Position Description Manager
Based on the selection of the previous step, a position description may or may not need to be written. If not, the process can move straight onto the next step. If a position description has not been provided, the manager will be required to write one.

This is an essential step to keep all jobs hires consistent and well-documented across the entire business. No position description = no new hire. This ensures that everyone retains responsibility for their parts of the process.

2. Write a Position Description Manager
Based on the selection of the previous step, a position description may or may not need to be written. If not, the process can move straight onto the next step. If a position description has not been provided, the manager will be required to write one.

This is an essential step to keep all jobs hires consistent and well-documented across the entire business. No position description = no new hire. This ensures that everyone retains responsibility for their parts of the process.

3. Approve Vacancy Details Human Resources
The next step is for HR to read over the provided information and ensure that they have everything required to advertise the vacancy. This step is simply to make sure the details are in order.
4. Prepare Vacancy Advertisement Human Resources
Now that HR has all the required information, they can write the advertisement and decide on the best channels to advertise through. Most organizations will have a templated job advertisement, so it is a matter of taking the relevant information from the previous steps and applying it to the template.

If you were using an automated workflow here, you could simply have a checklist outlining the requirements, along with an attachment for the advertisement.

4. Prepare Vacancy Advertisement Human Resources
Now that HR has all the required information, they can write the advertisement and decide on the best channels to advertise through. Most organizations will have a templated job advertisement, so it is a matter of taking the relevant information from the previous steps and applying it to the template.

If you were using an automated workflow here, you could simply have a checklist outlining the requirements, along with an attachment for the advertisement.

5. Approve Advertisement Wording Manager
Before the job advertisement is posted, the manager will want to have a read over the wording to make sure that 1) it describes the position correctly and 2) it will appeal to the people that they are looking to recruit.

This will be a simple approval or rejection step. If the wording is rejected, the manager can make notes and the process would loop back to the previous step. From here HR would review the notes, make the requested changes and re-submit the advertisement for approval.

6. Post Vacancy Advertisement Human Resources
Everything has been approved and you’re ready to advertise! This step is simply letting Human Resources know that they can now advertise the position.

Adding instructions in this step will be appreciated by the whole team. A quick step-by-step guide for advertising on each channel will maintain consistency, ensure that nothing is missed, and speed the process up as a whole.

6. Post Vacancy Advertisement Human Resources
Everything has been approved and you’re ready to advertise! This step is simply letting Human Resources know that they can now advertise the position.

Adding instructions in this step will be appreciated by the whole team. A quick step-by-step guide for advertising on each channel will maintain consistency, ensure that nothing is missed, and speed the process up as a whole.

7. Run the “Hire a New Employee” Workflow Manager
Here we can see how you could link this process together with other processes or workflows to create an end-to-end process for recruiting and onboarding a new employee.

Once the vacancy has been advertised, the next logical step would be to progress to the hiring process. This would then follow on to the onboarding process.

Best practice when undertaking process improvement is to break larger processes down into pieces and then link them together. This ensures that no steps are missed and allows you to analyze and refine processes easily. It will also give you a better understanding of potential bottlenecks or issues within your processes.

This is an excerpt from Flowingly’s process guide, Essential Processes for Human Resources.

Proven Processes to Streamline Your HR Journey.

Unlock the power of process and workflow improvement in HR!

Expense Claim

Expense Claim

Expense Claim

In most organizations, particularly those that require staff to travel, it’s common for employees to incur expenses that require reimbursement. If staff have a pre-approved spending limit, a very simple process is all that is required. This is an easy first step into process improvement and the world of workflow automation.

1. Expense Claim Initiator
The process begins with a staff member submitting a claim. This step prompts them to enter an itemized list of expenses claimed and the dates the costs incurred. This list is supported by the respective receipts.
Additionally, a reminder of the daily spending limits is included.
2.  Approval by Manager Initiator’s Manager
Once the claim is submitted, the initiator’s manager reviews and either approves or rejects the claim.  
2.  Approval by Manager Initiator’s Manager
Once the claim is submitted, the initiator’s manager reviews and either approves or rejects the claim.  
3. Update Payroll Payroll
This process concludes with the Finance team. They perform a final check of the supplied information. If all details supplied are correct, they update the payroll system and the process is concluded.

This is an excerpt from Flowingly’s latest process guide, Essential Processes for Finance.

Take your processes to new heights with our new process playbook.

Discover the building blocks of process improvement.

Expense Claim

Capital Expenditure Requests

Capital Expenditure Requests

At Flowingly, we work with every kind of process and organization. Capital expenditure requests are universally one of the most critical of all processes. Organizations must be able to consistently and responsibly manage the approval of large and enduring financial decisions.

Depending on organizational specifics, there are many variations in capital expenditure approval processes. It is essential it remains easy to understand. The CAPEX request process is too important to allow ambiguity or overcomplexity to sneak in.

1. Project Details Initiator
The first step in any CAPEX request process is to gather the information that will help to determine the costs and relative benefits of the expense. The ‘Request Details’ step of the CAPEX request gives the Initiator the opportunity to provide risks, benefits, alternatives, and any other detail to support their suggested expenditure.
2.  Project Costing Finance
Core to all capital expenditure request processing is the communication of the relative benefits of the expenditure. This step documents its cost and ongoing value. Costs are itemized and the residual value is recorded. It also provides an opportunity for the Finance team to comment on the request.  
2.  Project Costing Finance
Core to all capital expenditure request processing is the communication of the relative benefits of the expenditure. This step documents its cost and ongoing value. Costs are itemized and the residual value is recorded. It also provides an opportunity for the Finance team to comment on the request.  
3. Management Review Management
Once the official costing of the project is complete, the Management team or CAPEX committee can meet to discuss, review, and make recommendations based on the information. Once the expense is approved by the group, it can move to the final signoff from the CFO or CEO. 
4. CFO Review CFO
CAPEX requests then flow through the office of the CFO for official approval. This step may then trigger a process within the office to include the expense in financial documentation.
4. CFO Review CFO
CAPEX requests then flow through the office of the CFO for official approval. This step may then trigger a process within the office to include the expense in financial documentation.
5. CEO Approval CEO
For unbudgeted or high-cost expenditure, it is common to route the request to the CEO for final approval. This step is as much about keeping the CEO informed of capital expenditure as it is about receiving approval.
6. Purchase Order Finance
Finally, the Finance team can begin their own internal process to raise a purchase order for the asset. Once this is completed, the expenditure can be made.
6. Purchase Order Finance
Finally, the Finance team can begin their own internal process to raise a purchase order for the asset. Once this is completed, the expenditure can be made.

This is an excerpt from Flowingly’s latest process guide, Essential Processes for Finance.

Take your processes to new heights with our new process playbook.

Discover the building blocks of process improvement.