Release Notes – 2019 R5

Release Notes – 2019 R5

Release Notes – 2019 R5

Our fifth release of 2019 provides a more user-friendly Flowingly experience and significant improvements to reporting.

Here are the highlights of our December release:

New Active Flow Experience

The Active Flow page is now split into Completed Steps (left panel) and Current Steps (right panel). This gives users the ability to see all pending steps assigned to them and/or others while simultaneously reviewing previously completed steps.

Report Module Improvements

The Report module has seen a major upgrade in functionality. Our improved filter system allows users to more clearly add filters or remove all filters at once. Report users will also notice a slicker experience as Flow IDs now directly link to corresponding flows. 

We’ve removed Step Data information from the UI for a smoother experience. Meanwhile, we’ve added new flow metadata which provides greater insight into flow performance and helps users identify active issues and look for ongoing trends.

Users can now download a CSV file, compatible with common BI tools. The CSV format also means you can now download large data sets much faster, without previous size and speed restrictions.

Additional Improvements

  • Improvements to Start Flows page and experience 
  • Ability to delegate work assigned to a single member team 
  • Ability to see the list of users CC’d on a Flow in the History log 
  • Improvements to validation around Intranet Forms
  • Navigation panel and icons have undergone a makeover to free up more space
  • Small tweaks and bug fixes 
If you’d like to learn more about how Flowingly can help you on your process improvement journey, get a demo today!
Helping staff adopt workflow automation

Helping staff adopt workflow automation

Helping staff adopt workflow automation

Change can be a doubled-edged sword. With any transformation, employees can face uncertainty. This is true whether you’re introducing a new CRM, ERP or workflow automation platform. The gains to overall efficiency are immense and accompanied by a far superior employee experience. To ensure that your employees face minimal disruption and buy into the project, planning the implementation phase and developing a culture of continuous improvement is essential.

The core benefits

At its core, workflow automation is about the linking of steps in a business process. It allows employees to focus on their actual work rather than balancing the processes that support them. Workflow automation has been readily embraced by businesses of all sizes, and it’s not hard to see why. Workflow automation offers: 

  • Greater efficiency
  • Measurability and visibility
  • Better collaboration within and between departments
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Fewer errors
If your employees spend half their day checking emails, always seem unclear on project or task progress, or are wasting energy and time on reviewing, editing and re-doing work, your organization can benefit enormously from workflow automation.

But how can you ensure employees see your workflow automation journey in the same light you do? 

Communicate effectively

People have a tendency to avoid the things they don’t understand. It’s essential for leadership to frequently and honestly communicate with team members about the benefits and challenges of adopting workflow automation. 

There can be a lot of confusion within a workforce around what “automation” involves. Showing your employees that workflow automation won’t replace them will help to alleviate some fear and resistance.

Focusing on the outcomes and bringing staff into the company vision will demonstrate why the effort is worth it. Be sure to reiterate the & benefits that employees will be able to experience directly thanks to automation. The same goes for communicating any expected challenges.

Finally, listening to concerns and taking on feedback will give employees a sense of ownership over the new workflow automation processes and keep them aligned with your vision. Employees intuitively know which processes are slowing them down, which can be improved, and which should be scrapped. After all, they’re on the frontline day in, day out. Getting feedback from them can inform your workflow automation on a company-wide scale.

Educate staff

Workflow automation does require staff to learn to use a new platform. However minor the learning curve, managers and senior leaders need to ensure support is in place. For example, helping staff understand the basics of documenting and improving their processes or providing training for the new process platform software.

It’s worth emphasizing how workflow automation will benefit the employees themselves in order to create enthusiasm for learning.

Understand the short-term impact

It’s important to be understanding of the learning curve as staff come to grips with new technology and an improved way of working.

Make sure to allocate time for learning and feedback. Employee questions need to be heard and addressed. The people who use the processes on a regular basis are an invaluable source and engaging them in the project is essential.

By acknowledging the short-term impact and addressing the concerns around this, you instantly build trust in the workforce.

Facilitate adoption

In order to allow the team to adopt your workflow automation steps, it’s important to facilitate opportunities to do so. This could be in the form of taking sessions with departments and teams to go over and work through process documentation and mapping together.

As a first step, it could be worth assigning a team to test and implement your workflow automation solutions gradually. This could start with process mapping and move gradually into automation. This will help to get collaborators on board with adopting new changes while allowing you to troubleshoot before a full-scale launch.

You may wish to seek support from the vendor when rolling out your workflow automation system, while you keep an eye on processes to identify bottlenecks and areas for further improvement.

A smooth transition

By utilizing workflow automation, organizations can reduce the time their employees spend on menial tasks and redirect focus to more important work. Workflow automation allows companies to achieve more consistent results by reducing expenses and errors. By following the above steps, you will be able to smoothly transition into workflow automation while maintaining employee satisfaction.

If you’d like to learn more about how Flowingly can help you on your process improvement journey, get a demo today!

Simple is Good – The 3 Step Quarterly Review

Simple is Good – The 3 Step Quarterly Review

Simple is Good – The 3 Step Quarterly Review

When it comes to building process maps and automated workflows, simple is good. Processes can easily become bloated and laborious if you aren’t careful, so it’s a good idea to try and make them as basic as possible.


As simple as it gets

One of our favorite flows is the 3-Step Quarterly Review. This process is about as simple as it gets.

Performance reviews are a great place to start with process change. They are an essential part of how a company functions. The review process has a dramatic impact on employee morale. It also sets the role of professional development and formalizes a continuous feedback loop.

By limiting the review process to 3 steps, you can ensure that staff complete their reviews nice and quickly, with minimal stress.

3 steps

Our 3-Step Quarterly Review consists of the following:

Employee Feedback

Start with the employee. This is going to be different for every organization, however you could include questions such as “What are you most proud of over the last 6 months?”, “Do you feel your role has changed since your last review?” or “What areas would you like to improve in?”. If you have formal KPIs, this is a great place to put them. Remember that the purpose of a review is both to evaluate performance and identify development opportunities. Your questions should reflect this.


Manager Feedback

When it comes to evaluating employee performance, you are looking at the measures of success (e.g. KPIs), patterns in performance and distinct behaviors. The questions in this section should be the same as the questions posed to the employee. That way you are both evaluating the same thing, and you can easily discuss disparities.


Review Meeting

The meeting should always start with the manager outlining the purpose and agenda of the meeting. From there, the employee will have a chance to walk through their responses, expanding on why they felt a certain way. Once the manager has shared their notes on performance, any disparities between the two can be clarified and discussed. The employee should then be given a chance to provide feedback on the manager. Lastly, goals should be set and an ongoing development plan put in place to assist with the employee’s goals.

Is that all?

That’s all there is to it. You could make this process a whole lot more complex. Most companies do. That’s why a lot of review processes drag on over 1-2 months and end up with everyone resenting it.

We found that by moving to a much more simple review process we could shift from an annual to a quarterly review system. This made the reviews easier for both managers and staff, shifting the process from a necessary evil to a genuine feedback system. 

Build it yourself

Feel free to use the 3-Step Quarterly Review for your own team.

The simpler, the better. Breaking processes down to a few simple steps is the best way to ensure compliance and ease of use. The biggest challenge you will find in process improvement is resistance to change. So make it as easy as possible for those involved. Without all the excess, they’ll love how easy your new processes are and will quickly become supporters of the change.

If you’d like to learn more about how Flowingly can help you on your process improvement journey, get a demo today!

Release Notes – 2019 R4

Release Notes – 2019 R4

Release Notes – 2019 R4

In our fourth release of 2019, we’ve worked to make Flowingly even more powerful and easier to use. We’ve been hard at work adding and improving features that we know you’ll love.

If you haven’t seen the latest features and performance improvements, here are the highlights of our September release: 


SharePoint Integration

Flowingly forms embedded on SharePoint can now integrate with your single sign on (SSO) to prepopulate fields with a user’s details. This means you can now add a leave request or approval form to your intranet and cut down on hours of tedious form filling. We have even more functionality for SharePoint coming up, and our SSO support will be a game changer.

New Modeler Graphics

Our flow modeler now has a shiny new look. It’s an even cleaner experience to design and build your flows.

Full Special Character Support

We’ve extended special character support to all user-editable text fields. Flowingly can handle everything from a mu to a macron.

Improved Bulk Import

Bulk import now has additional functionality and control for onboarding large numbers of users.

Bug Fixes

As always, we’ve been working hard to iron out any issues and adding small improvements here and there.

If you’d like to learn more about how Flowingly can help you on your process improvement journey, get a demo today!
What is Lean Process Improvement?

What is Lean Process Improvement?

What is Lean Process Improvement?

Looking for a way to make sense of the complex parts of your organization? Know there are error-prone areas in your business? Wish there was a way to provide more clarity to your employees so they can be more productive? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, lean process improvement could be just what you need.


What is Lean Process Improvement?

Lean process improvement is a user-centric commitment to continually trim excess from an organization’s operations. From its origins in the Japanese manufacturing sector of the 1950s, lean process improvement is an approach that’s heavily geared around maximizing the productivity of people and the processes they power.

Improved customer experience should be one of the ultimate outcomes of lean process improvement – either directly or indirectly. If the proposed changes will not make a noticeable difference for the customer, there is no business case for undertaking such an initiative.

What are the benefits of Lean Process Improvement?

There are two types of benefits regarding lean process improvement. The first type broadly fits under the umbrella of improving business efficiency. It does this by:

Reducing excess

By eliminating wasted time or errors in a process, companies can either do more with the same amount of resources or can divert the cost savings to grow another area of the business.

Delivering value faster

Trimming the unessential processes of a business can shorten the time taken to accomplish a task – increasing its cost-effectiveness and scalability. 

The second type of benefit that lean process improvement offers is lifting the overall retention of businesses. The key aspects of this are:

Improving employee morale

Any form of ambiguity or lack of clarity around business process can negatively impact an employee’s productivity. Having well-defined processes helps negates this. This added clarity provides a roadmap to follow. So when employees deliver from an operational perspective, they’re more satisfied. And if they’re more satisfied, they’re less likely to be tempted by the greener grass at other businesses.

Improving customer satisfaction

Unfortunately for businesses, customers seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to broken processes. Their high expectations mean that any hint of friction is often magnified, and thanks to the competitive environments most companies compete in, this means people can easily take their custom elsewhere.

But if you get your processes right and every part of your business is in harmony like a symphony orchestra, then your customers will be satisfied and stay with you long term.

What’s the best foundation for Lean Process Improvement software?

Processes often start out simple, but they can easily blow out and be very difficult to keep track of once established. Business process management and workflow automation software is the answer. In order to get the best ROI when embracing lean process management, there are two vital elements a business needs to get right.

One process to rule them all

The most effective implementors of lean business process management software share one thing in common – their entire company buys into the approach. While individual departments can operate lean, they will eventually operate at cross purposes with others, and waste and excess will result.

It’s a way of working, not a project

The final key to implementing and maintaining effective lean business process management software is to understand the paradigm shift that it is a mindset, not a one-off endeavor to dot is and cross ts. Yes, there will be times employees or departments want to take shortcuts, but this will affect the whole business. This is where Workflow Automation software comes to the fore, as it enforces compliance organization-wide.

If lean process improvement is bought into by all employees all the time, the organization will in turn reap significant rewards.

Want to find out how going Lean can help you streamline your processes? Get your free demo of Flowingly today.