WorkFlow Module

The WorkFlow package is an effective tool to help you manage tasks, jobs, clients and prospects, staff and other resources (such as specialized equipment).  It provides work scheduling (To-Do Lists) and a powerful database of notes on your clients and jobs, which can be viewed in many different ways (i.e. selected and sorted in any combination of: client, job, staff, topic, status, priority, and date.  WorkFlow can even be used as an internal e-mail system, where messages drop straight into a person's To-Do List and are subsequently retained as history for later retrieval by client, job, etc.  (Users are advised that they have unread notes. Managers can see notes that are as yet unread by respective staff.)

Notes can be very simple, such as a reminder about a meeting, site visit, or five-minute task that needs to be done.  They can also track a lengthy process, as it progresses from beginning to completion, including being passed from one person to another.  Notes can merely record some information about a client under some subject classification, for later retrieval. If a job is put on hold, you can set its notes to "bring up" at a much later date (such as 3 months before a Resource Consent will lapse).

Notes requiring action can be viewed (and printed) like a diary for respective staff.  When viewing their To-Do List, staff can add new information to notes (e.g. record what they have just done), and set them for bring-up again at a future date or forward them to someone else.  When meetings or work have been completed, their respective note can be updated accordingly and signed off.  Completed items are usually retained to form an excellent client and job history, (which can also be easily viewed by topic if you are researching a certain subject of interest).

Notes also have a field for the estimated time involved which, if filled in realistically for all staff, provides a basis for monitoring and re-allocating staff resources (there is a handy report for this purpose), and can be used to re-schedule To-Do Lists automatically.  In the event of someone being unavailable (through sickness or whatever) or just plain over-burdened, scheduled work and appointments can be easily transferred to other staff.

WorkFlow is particularly valuable in a multi-user (i.e. network) environment, where many staff have ready access to a computer to view their own To-Do List and update their own notes, and managers can easily use it as a management/supervision tool.

There is a facility to re-schedule notes according to their priority and the prescribed planned hours per day for respective staff, which keeps start and completion dates realistic. (Some staff, e.g. Directors, may only have 4 hours planned time per day for scheduled tasks - the rest of the day usually  being taken up by 'alligators').

Recent Improvements and Key Features

In 2014, WorkFlow was enhanced significantly:

  • It now has a "Diary" facility which lets you view appointments and tasks in a Diary view (with drag-and-drop capabilities for rescheduling them or assigning new tasks to staff.  It also functions like a "whiteboard", to give you a good "see at a glance" view of which staff (and other resources such as vehicles and GPS equipment) are out "on site" on any day (and what jobs/tasks they are working on).  One of our clients displays this on a large screen instead of using a whiteboard.  (They find that it is much more efficient to tweak and update, and allows them to easily schedule some tasks several weeks in advance.)
  • WorkFlow is fully integrated with the new Doc Admin module:
    • You can raise one or more notes for an individual document, and associate one or more documents (CAD drawings, Word files, Excel spreadsheets, digital photos, etc.) to a particular note.
    • From your To-Do List, you can easily open / view any documents associated with a given note.
  • It is also fully integrated with the new Job Scheduling module:
    • You can raise one or more notes for respective staff from a line in a Job Schedule.
    • From the Job Scheduling module, you can subsequently view the history / comments that staff have written up on respective notes
  • You can view relevant notes directly, using page tabs within the Address Book and Jobs windows.  (We have also retained the slaved "WorkFlow Notes" windows which can be quite useful.)