Templates: When You’re Not Sure Where to Start with Workflow Software
When you learn a new skill, you can make faster progress if you have pre-made patterns or templates to work with. Sometimes the steps involved in new processes don’t make a lot of sense at first, and having guidance as you climb the learning curve can put things into perspective and keep you on the right track without feeling like you’re wasting your time.
As you gain expertise in a process, templates and patterns are still useful, but they may not be strictly necessary. Suppose you want to learn to sew. You’ll start with simple, pre-made patterns that give you explicit instructions and take you step by step through the process of creating something. Even if you get quite good at it eventually, patterns will still come in handy. But after you gain enough expertise, you can create your own patterns because you understand each step in the process and what it is for. The same is true when you use workflow software to create automated workflows. Here are some ways form and workflow templates can help in several common business areas.
Both K-12 and higher education require processes to be scaled up, often to accommodate thousands of students. Therefore, it’s essential that online forms and automated workflows be as streamlined and simple to use as possible. If you are principal of an elementary school, having field trip permission forms online and contained within a simple workflow, parents can use right from their phones or laptops, can free up considerable amounts of teachers’ (and parents’) time. And if your workflow software offers you a field trip request form template, you can create such a workflow without a long learning process.
In higher education, forms are even more ubiquitous. When students can access and complete them online as part of a well-planned automated workflow, everyone benefits. You can start small and watch how much more efficiently things go. You could, for example, use a template to create a transcript request form that’s mobile-friendly and takes a lot of time and inefficiency out of the process of getting transcripts to where they need to be. Once it’s established, you can create a form for some other process.
Few business functions benefit as much from online forms and automated workflows as the HR department. If you’re just now taking many HR functions and processes online, look for workflow software that offers a range of templates for common HR tasks, like automatic payroll deposit agreements, mileage expense forms, vacation requests or employee name and address changes. Again, if you’re new to the automation process, then starting small and seeing the results of smart workflows can inspire you to expand automated workflows to other commonly used processes.
Paper-based purchase orders, expense reports, and the like can be excruciatingly slow and prone to mistakes. Workflow software that provides online form templates for these processes can help you automate these workflows without major upheaval or a major investment of time. As you get used to using the automated workflows, you can adjust template properties so that they are more closely tailored to your company’s actual needs. In fact, you can have the people who use those workflows the most assist in designing customized forms and workflows, as long as you have great workflow software with an intuitive user interface.
Templates are a great way for companies to automate processes without feeling like they have no safety net. PerfectForms is online form and workflow software that comes with a large library of templates that can be easily customized for users’ specific needs.
With a range of templates for HR, finance, operations, surveys, and educational needs, PerfectForms empowers new users to get to work creating online forms and workflows quickly, without having to program and without having to climb a steep learning curve. We encourage you to read some of our many case studies and see how organizations like yours have benefited from implementing online forms and automated workflows.