Workflow Management: Zen Flow

Webinar 28 in the "I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!" webinar series

Manage your workflow with ClearPoint and your tasks will practically complete themselves.

In this episode of the “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!” Webinar, we’ll dive into action items, project phases, Gantt charts, and show you how ClearPoint helps you manage communication with your team. This is the second of two project & workflow management-focused webinars (you can find part 1 here).

Happy reporting!

 

Webinar 28 Transcript

Introduction

  • Hello everyone and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar series
  • Today we’re showing you tips and tricks for a smooth workflow in ClearPoint.
  • Here are your smiling hosts, I’m Catherine and I’m Jenna
  • HOUSE KEEPING
    • We will be recording this session and will make it available within a week
    • Webinar will last about 25 minutes with time for questions
    • Submit questions to [email protected] (answered at the end)
      • We’ll follow up via email
    • On our last installment, we tackled project management, covering initiatives, milestones, and more. I’d highly recommend checking out that recording on our blog, Vimeo channel, or support center – just search Webinar.
    • Today, we’re diving into part two of our project and workflow management series.

 

Agenda

  • We’ll tackle managing action items
  • Show you how to build custom GANTT charts to see a selection of initiatives and milestones
  • Set up some project phases and summary reports to help you streamline your workflow
  • And show you how reminders can help keep your team on the same page.

So let’s get started. We’re flying the friendly skies here at Upward Airlines.

 

Action Items (1:15)

  • Now, in our last episode, we talked about initiatives, which are your major projects that you’re tracking in order to better your strategic results.
  • We also introduced milestones, the project phases that break your initiatives down into the steps.
  • Today, we introduce another element that will help you get stuff done, the action item.
    • Action items are like to-do list items or tasks.
      • Jenna: Typically, these are items that need to get done, but don’t require resources to be set aside.
      • Catherine: Right, like scheduling a call, or following up with someone to check on the status of a reservation.
    • Jenna: And you can associate action items with any other element in ClearPoint, whether it’s an objective, measure, initiative or risk.
    • Catherine: And there’s an easy way to add them in ClearPoint so that they’re linked automatically.
      • I could add a standalone action item from the Manage page, just like other elements,
      • But I’m actually going to bypass this and go into the Create New Employee Training
      • I’ll see my Action Items field on the detail page, where all action items are displayed.
      • Double clicking on this, I can link existing action items, or add new ones.
        • I’ll click to add, and this is where the shortcut comes in.
        • We’ll call this action item “Set up meeting to discuss employee offsite“
        • When I click to save, this Action Item will appear here in this field – and it’s also automatically linked to the initiative.
      • Let’s edit the action item take a closer look. Here on the links tab, we’ll see our automatic link, and we can also link this action item to other relevant elements if we want to.
        • On the Dates tab, I can adjust the start and end date as necessary.
        • Jenna: For an action item, typically the start date would be the date the item was assigned, and the end date would be the due date.
        • Catherine: Right, and we can mark it complete here as well, just like an initiative or milestone.
        • You’ll also want to make sure to assign ownership on the Edit Tab. We’ll click on the Owner menu, and choose the appropriate user.
        • Jenna: This will be the person responsible for completing the task. We always assign action items at the end of our quarterly review meetings to make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for.
        • Catherine: Right, and having them in ClearPoint allows you to eliminate cumbersome methods of communicating those action items to your team.
          • Rather than having to make a separate list or go back through post-meeting emails to find your action items,
          • You can add them right to ClearPoint during your meeting,
          • And then follow through on them here too.

 

Summary Reports (4:04)

  • Jenna: There’s an even simpler way to have users see and edit action items in one place if you use a summary report.
  • Catherine: You’re so right! Let’s go over to Manage Action Item reports.
    • Action items do have their own detail pages, but considering the short nature or small scope they are typically used for, you may not be updating all that much information.
      • So, since summary reports can be inline edited, they’re a perfect place to maintain the information you need to track action items at a high level.
      • Let’s click to add a summary report and call it User Action Items
      • Under columns, We’ll add the name of the action item, the linked objects it’s associated with, start and end dates, and the comments field to make any notes.
      • Let’s click on filters, and this is where Jenna’s favorite filter comes in handy.
      • We’ll filter the action items by Owner,
        • And choose current user, to show only the items owned by the current user looking at ClearPoint.
        • Jenna: When Catherine clicks save, all we can see here is the action items that she needs to worry about. Looks like you’ve got a lot on your plate, Catherine!
        • Catherine: It’s no problem when I’ve got one easy place to make all my updates!

 

Emailing Pages (5:45)

  • Jenna: You could even email this page to your supervisor to give them an update on everything going on.
    • Catherine: That’s a good idea! You can actually email any page in ClearPoint directly as a PDF.
    • In the edit menu here, I’ll click on email page, I can select a user’s email address and add a message
    • Jenna: And now that I know that Catherine has completed her one action item, I can send some new tasks her way.
    • You can see we’ve also got a strike through for completed items, and the ability to check them off right from the summary report.

 

Marking Complete (6:55)

  • We talked about options here for marking things complete, and I wanted to point them out one more time.
  • In Admin Options > organization and security > under Completed Items, you can determine two visual options: whether to strike through completed elements, and whether you can mark elements complete from summary reports.
  • One more option can be found in Manage Scorecards and set for individual scorecards.
    • Let’s click to edit our Upward Airlines scorecard, and we’ll see that we can hide action items completed before a certain date.
    • This lets us keep our list current, hiding completed items from view everywhere except the manage action items page.
  • Jenna: One other thing to keep in mind here is that once an element is marked complete, it will hold the same status and update field values for all future periods
  • Catherine: Yup, good point.

 

Notifications (8:10)

  • Now if you want to give users a heads-up when they are assigned new action items, we can use notifications to do so.
  • Notifications are alerts sent to you after particular changes are made in ClearPoint.
  • Any update information can be used as the basis of a custom notification – a change in status, or an empty analysis field for example.
  • For this notification, we’ll alert users every time new action items are assigned.
  • We’ll go to our action item detail page and here on this page we’ll see an update field called Assigned. It’s a Boolean field, meaning the values can be yes, or no, for a particular period.
  • So, let’s set up our notification. Under alerts and reminders, click on notifications, then we’ll go over to settings and click on add new.
    • We’ll call this New Action Items Assigned
    • And for our message, we’ll say “There are new action items. Please check the User Action Items Report”
    • For our criteria, we’ll want to send this notification when the assigned? Field is checked Yes.
      • Then for the elements included, you can limit by scorecard, and type of element, so we’ll choose Action Items.
      • Then choose all users in your team or department who should be receiving an alert about newly added action items.
      • We’ll click save, and let’s go see it in action.
      • So we’ll change our new action item to assigned, and watch our notification appear!
    • Jenna: This is a great way to keep your team up to date with changes. Also, you can expect some new and improved notification features in ClearPoint 11! So stay tuned to see those in our next webinar.

 

Gantt Chart (11:50)

  • In the meantime, let’s switch gears a bit and talk about one of my favorite features in ClearPoint, the Gantt Chart. We’ll go back to our Create New Employee Training Initiative detail page.
    • You can see at the bottom of the page that the Gantt chart already contains our initiative and milestones
  • Let’s add a few more milestones and see what happens. I’m going to edit the initiative and go to the milestones tab so that I can add multiple milestones at once.
    • I’ll name them
      • Write curriculum
      • Test new curriculum
      • Evaluate results
      • Rollout training
      • I’ll click save and let’s look at our Gantt chart.
    • The Gantt chart now has all of our milestones on it in addition to our initiative.
      • Catherine: That’s pretty cool Jenna! But usually all of my milestones don’t have the same dates, do I have to go into each one individually and edit them?
      • Jenna: Good question Catherine. That brings me to my favorite thing about Gantt charts. You can actually edit your milestones and initiatives from the Gantt chart on the detail page!
        • I’ll start by double clicking on the Gantt chart. On the right hand side, an editor appears.
        • When I click on the bar for a specific milestone, the entire row becomes highlighted and I’ll see the name of the milestone appear on the right side.
        • Next to the name, I can change my status icon.
        • I can also change my start date, end date and percent complete from this right hand editor.
        • I can make edits to multiple milestones and the Gantt chart will update as I make each change.
      • Catherine: That’s awesome! Your Gantt chart looks a lot better now that it has color and you’ve updated the dates.
      • Jenna: I haven’t even shown you my favorite part. I can also change the start and end dates by dragging the bar for each milestone. I can drag the entire bar, or I can extend one end at a time.
        • Once I’ve made all of my changes, I’ll save and my milestones are updated throughout ClearPoint, including on this detail page and in any summary reports.
      • Catherine: Speaking of summary reports, you can build a Gantt chart that shows multiple initiatives and milestones all together.
      • Jenna: That’s right Catherine. We’ll go to Manage Initiative Reports and add a new report. We’ll call it ‘upcoming milestones’ and for the report chart choose ‘Gantt chart’.
        • We can select specific elements to show on our report like we can for standard summary reports
        • We can also add filters. For example, we could add a filter for owner and create a Gantt chart with initiatives owned by a specific user.
        • You can also create filters using the start and end dates for initiatives or milestones.
        • For this report, let’s add a filter so that only milestones that are due before the end of June show up.
        • We’ll select ‘milestone end date’ and set it to 6/30/2017.
        • Now when we save, only milestones will show that end before the end of the year. The initiatives they are associated with are also included.

 

Workflow (16:17)

  • Awesome! This is a great way to supplement the default Gantt charts shown in every scorecard, to get a custom Gantt chart of the projects you want to see.
  • We promised to dive into workflow today, so let’s talk about how to show project phases for our initiatives
  • And here on the detail page we can see we’ve set up a custom picklist field called Project Workflow with four options –
    • Submitted, Under Review and then Rejected and Approved as well.
    • So each initiative will have a phase assigned, and we can change the phases as the project progresses.
    • This is another place where the discussion field comes in handy.
    • So on our last installment, we showed how discussion can be used to personalize and time-stamp comments about an initiative or milestone.
    • In this case, you might use this field to have your team leader comment here to indicate that a project has been submitted or approved, so that you’ll have a record of why the phase was changed.
  • Jenna: You can also use filters to set up summary reports based on these phases. If we click on Submitted, we’ll see our submitted projects,
    • And if we take a look into the edit report window, on the Filter tab, this is because our list has been filtered based off of the phase.
      • Now, we have four separate reports for each phase, and let’s take a look at how we can view all these projects in one place.
      • I’ll click on scorecards here to my All Initiatives report, and I’ll see I’ve got a few data grid fields set up here.
      • Jenna: Data grids are custom fields that allow you to reference summary reports from elsewhere in ClearPoint.
      • Catherine: Right, so just on this page, we can add a summary report to each of our data grids to see everything in one place. We can see the progression as the phases move for each initiative.
    • So in this case we used a picklist to show project phase, but you can use them to segment initiatives like this in any way your organization finds most beneficial – for example, instead of using approval you could set a Priority field with high medium and low options.
      • Dividing up your initiatives like this and defining each phase or priority can help give you and idea of which projects will be completed when and what steps are necessary for each phase or project type.
      • And of course, you’ll want to make sure these projects are actually getting updated. Jenna, is there any way to give users a little nudge to go and update their initiatives?

 

Reminders (19:29)

  • Sure thing, Catherine. Administrators have the ability to send out an email to users who need to make updates to their elements in ClearPoint. We call these reminders and you can find the menu in the control panel. Let’s add a new reminder and talk through the different options
    • On the first tab, we’ll name our reminder, ‘first monthly update’
    • We can choose the subject line for the email. ‘Time to make ClearPoint Updates’
    • There’s a body for the email in ClearPoint already which will pull in each user’s name, the reporting period that users need to update, and a list of the elements that they need to update. You can change this text if you want to, but we recommend leaving the Item list.
    • Each of the tabs on the left is a different filter.
      • First, on the ‘recipients’ tab, you need to choose if you want to send reminders to element owners, collaborators or both.
      • We can send reminders for specific scorecards, elements with a certain status, certain types of elements, or to specific users. If you don’t make selections for any of these filters, ClearPoint will default to ‘all’.
      • Let’s go ahead and select Catherine on the users tab so we can send her a reminder to make her updates.
    • On the ‘Recipient Preview screen we can see who will receive an email and what elements they will need to update.
    • Let’s save this template. Now when I want to send my reminder, I can click on the send icon.
    • Catherine, can you check your inbox and show us your reminder email?
    • Catherine: Sure thing Jenna. I’m just checking my inbox on my second screen and I did get the reminder.
    • Here’s the list of elements that I need to update. If I click on them, it’ll take me right to their page in ClearPoint.
  • Jenna: So this is an easy way to remind users to update data and encourage them to get into the system right from your reminder email.
  • Catherine: Awesome! So we’ve covered a lot of great features today and we want to leave time for your questions as well.

 

Questions (22:47)

  1. What if I update my projects weekly?
    1. One thing you could do is date the analysis field.
    2. If you scroll to the analysis field and double click, you can simply date your different updates.
  1. What if I don’t want to show our internal action items on our Briefing Books or published reports?
    1. This is really easy to do. If you go to into our new initiative, you can edit the layout in the edit menu, and you can see there are several options if you expand the menu.
    2. You can hide the prof from print view, online view or when published.

 

That’s all we have time for today, we’ll follow up with your questions via email, thanks for taking the time to join us and happy reporting!

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