Workflow Software Helps You Accelerate Recruiting and Hiring

Thursday, August 15th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Automated workflows and new employee recruiting go together naturally. 

Career fair

Whether you use job fairs or headhunters, the right workflows
accelerate the hiring process.

The hiring process has a lot of moving parts, but strong workflow management can make sure all the parts work as they should while reducing errors and making the process as efficient as it can be. Other benefits of using automated workflows in the hiring process include reduction of paperwork, reduction of status phone calls and emails, time savings, and transparency. 

Here are several types of recruiting workflows that can make the hiring process far less painful.

Workflows for Candidate Sourcing

Candidate sourcing begins with creation of an accurate job description. Different companies source job candidates differently, and different types of roles within the same company may be sourced in different ways. 

However a company decides to source candidates for a particular position, the right workflow software makes it easy to create a standardized workflow to ensure that ads are placed in all relevant publications, or that all relevant recruiting agencies and websites know about your open position. Such a workflow can be great for reducing duplication of effort.

Workflows for Shortlisting Candidates

How the hiring team creates a shortlist of candidates will also be particular to the company and to the role. Creating a standardized, automated workflow that allows hiring team members to score candidates helps ensure every team member’s voice is heard, and that no candidate is overlooked. When a workflow is used for scoring and shortlisting candidates, it’s easier to ensure that personal bias doesn’t creep into the hiring process.

Workflows for Coordinating Interviews

Coordinating interviews for candidates on your shortlist is a task that is well-suited for automated workflows. Whether the interviews will be in person or via video conference, having a workflow for scheduling interviews, knowing which questions to ask, scoring interviews, and moving on to the next candidate are helpful. 

Job interview

Coordinating job interviews helps ensure the right people are
there to meet and talk to job candidates.

With the right workflow, any hiring team member at any time can check on whether a candidate interview has been scheduled, can prepare for interviews, and can share feedback on interviews. It’s a great way to ensure that all hiring team members stay on the same page at all times.

Workflows for Making and Closing Offers

Likewise, a workflow for creating job offer letters, calculating compensation offered, and tracking the status of offers made can save valuable time and duplication of effort. If an offer is turned down, this can be recorded in the workflow for later reference. Once an offer has been made and accepted, the workflow can prompt further actions, such as scheduling the new hire’s first day of work.

Workflows for New Employee Onboarding

New employee onboarding is an essential part of the hiring process. How onboarding is handled has a major effect on how likely the new employee is to stay with the company. Automated workflows ensure that no steps are left out, and they can even lighten the new employee’s burden by making online forms easy to fill out with autocomplete, and auto-population of form fields.

Whether or not you create automated workflows for recruiting and hiring, you should create a workflow for onboarding because of the many benefits such a workflow offers to your new employee and your HR team.

Creating customized recruiting and hiring workflows requires great workflow software. PerfectForms fits the bill. With PerfectForms, no coding is required, and you can create your own forms and workflows from scratch or use the included templates. PerfectForms also integrates easily with spreadsheets and databases, so data can be collected and stored easily. And it offers powerful reporting features so you can make sense of your data and gather valuable insights. 

We invite you to watch the PerfectForms demo video to see it in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time. 

Workflow Automation is the Answer to These 4 Questions

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Many people believe that workflow automation is something that’s only available to big enterprises. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Women interior designers

Workflow automation may disproportionately benefit smaller businesses.

Also true is that smaller businesses can benefit disproportionately from workflow automation. They can do things more efficiently and reduce error rates while maintaining the agility possessed by smaller enterprises. 

Today’s no-code workflow software is accessible to businesses of all sizes and all types. It allows companies to automate processes without hiring a programmer, and quickly start enjoying the benefits of workflow automation. Workflow automation is the answer to several common business questions, including these four.

1. How Can We Reduce Error Rates?

If a number needs to end up in a spreadsheet or a database, how does it get there? Does someone copy it from a catalog, or have a worker who knows the number write it down? If so, it’s easy to see how errors can enter the process. 

Workflow automation uses workflow software to prevent these problems. Numbers entered into a workflow can be checked for accuracy before being sent to a spreadsheet, database, or other processing system. The same is true for numbers scanned using a barcode or QR scanner. 

Standard business forms that are online rather than on paper do away with errors introduced due to bad penmanship, lost, or damaged forms. Workflow automation is perhaps the best single solution for reducing error rates.

2. How Can We Overcome the Limitations of Spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are wonderful, flexible tools. But when they are shared, how do you account for changes to them? It’s not easy to ensure that everyone is working from the same version of a spreadsheet at all times, but workflow automation can help. 

Man appearing confused while looking at his laptop screen

Shared spreadsheets can cause problems if not managed properly.

Rather than entering data into a spreadsheet, users can enter the data into an automated workflow, which updates the spreadsheet while recording every input. That way it’s easy to learn if numbers have been changed, and if so, by whom. Workflow automation makes spreadsheets far more useful and accurate.

3. How Can We Get Invoices Out the Door Sooner?

Invoices that are late being sent out affect cash flow, so it’s crucial that companies send them out promptly. An automated workflow for creation and distribution of invoices can ensure that invoices go out on time, every time. 

Multiple users can enter invoice data into a workflow, and the workflow uses the data to automatically create and distribute invoices. Invoices that cannot be sent out electronically can be sent to a printer automatically, and the person(s) responsible for mailing them can be notified automatically when they are ready to go. The result is a faster invoicing process, better accounts receivable processes, and better cash flow.

4. How Can We Get Status Updates to Managers More Easily?

Project managers naturally want to know the status of the projects they oversee. But phoning or emailing project workers to find out status can waste a lot of time. Project management workflows eliminate that wasted time. 

With a project management workflow, project workers can work within the workflow, and provisions can be made to automatically update project managers when milestones have been reached, or when other specific tasks have been accomplished. Automated workflows also allow authorized workflow users to check on project status at any time, with no phone calls or emails necessary.

Workflow automation isn’t just for big business. And today’s no-code workflow software means that workflow users can design their own workflows to meet their needs exactly. PerfectForms is workflow software that requires no programming. It allows users to drag and drop form and workflow elements into place, and easily test and modify workflows before they’re deployed.

PerfectForms encourages you to browse our many case studies to see the results of workflow automation in action. And if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at any time.

Is Your Automated Workflow Ready for Prime Time? Here’s How to Tell.

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Workflows are standardized series of steps designed to accomplish a specified process or task. 

Hands drawing a flowchart

Automated workflows may have their roots in sketches or diagrams made by process users.

All steps in a workflow may run consecutively, or some series of steps may run in parallel for more complex processes. Automated workflows take as much of the manual processing out of tasks as possible. For example, a series of paper forms may be replaced by a linked series of online forms. 

Automation can significantly boost the efficiency of a process while reducing error rates, so businesses often turn to automated workflows to sharpen their competitive edge and increase productivity. But rare is the situation where you can just create an automated workflow and immediately have everyone start using it. 

In almost every situation, you have to thoroughly test automated workflows before “going live” with them. Otherwise, you risk the chaos of unforeseen problems and the time investment in fixing the problems and fixing the workflow. Here’s how to ensure your automated workflow is ready to be deployed.

Testing by the Workflow Creator or Workflow Team

With the right workflow software, programming is not required. This means that the people who actually use the workflow can have more input into workflow design. A single individual may be able to create a simple workflow. More complex ones, however, typically require a small team to develop and automate the workflow.

The workflow creator or team should test the automated workflow under a range of conditions – including erroneous conditions – to see what happens. What happens when someone enters text into a form field that requires a number? What happens if someone accidentally enters a negative number when a positive number is required? In a sense, the workflow team should try to stress, and even “break” the workflow under controlled conditions to see what happens and how they can prevent such issues.

Testing by Selected End-Users

Happy editor with team members

Having selected end-users try out the workflow before general deployment
is a good idea, so necessary changes can be made without major disruption.

Once a workflow has been thoroughly tested by the workflow creator or workflow team, it’s still a good idea to limit its use at first. Suppose you create a document management workflow. After initial testing, perhaps you should limit its use to two or three of your top report writers who have been educated about the workflow and trained to use it. 

These people are using the workflow “cold,” and they may be able to see faults that the initial development team missed. They can report back to the development team when they find problems, and work with them to get them solved.

Consider a Small Pilot Program

Before deploying an automated workflow to an entire team or department, it may be worthwhile to designate a pilot project using the workflow to ensure it does what it’s supposed to and that it really does have the potential to boost efficiency and productivity while reducing error rates. 

The team working with a particular client, for example, could brief the client on the new workflow and get their consent to be part of the pilot project. Provisions can be made to go back to the old way of doing things if major problems occur. If this pilot project works as expected, then the workflow can be deployed to the rest of the department or team, with all affected personnel being trained on how to use the workflow.

The key to easy workflow development and testing is outstanding workflow software. PerfectForms is no-code workflow software that allows users to drag and drop workflow elements into place. If testing reveals that changes need to be made, PerfectForms allows for easy modifications until the workflow is ready for wider deployment. 

Businesses like yours use PerfectForms for an impressive array of workflow automation tasks. We encourage you to browse through some of our many PerfectForms case studies to see how businesses have automated processes, raised productivity, and increased efficiency in major ways. And if you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time. 

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Workflow Software Helps You Get the Most from Employee Surveys

Monday, July 22nd, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Businesses use surveys for many different reasons. Internal surveys can help measure employee engagement, while external surveys can gather valuable insights from customers or partners.

Businesswoman using a tablet

Online survey forms are likelier to be completed than paper survey forms.

You can even use surveys to gather information about things that are only indirectly related to business, like “Which weekend is best for the company picnic?” Before online forms, surveys had to be done either in person, on paper, or by phone, and these methods all had serious shortcomings. Online forms can make business surveys not only faster and more effective, but more accurate too – assuming you use the right form software. Here are some tips for getting the most from your employee surveys. 

Do These Things

Here is a list of things you should do when you undertake an employee survey:

  • Define and articulate the purpose and goals of the survey
  • Assign someone as the survey sponsor, a single point of contact who (with appropriate help) is in charge of creating, distributing, and collecting data from the survey
  • Guarantee anonymity so respondents can answer honestly
  • Ensure surveys are brief enough. They should take less than 15 minutes to complete, in general.
  • Compile, analyze, and share survey results when it’s over
  • Take action based on the insights the survey elucidates

With the right form software, creating and delivering the survey can be the simplest and most straightforward part of the whole process. 

Don’t Do These Things

To obtain the real information you need from a survey, there are several things you should avoid doing. For example:

  • Don’t write questions that confirm biases. When you use questions as rhetorical tools (“Have you stopped beating your wife?”) you simply can’t get honest, actionable information.
  • Don’t write confusing questions
  • Don’t include questions irrelevant to the purpose of the survey
  • Don’t survey people too frequently
  • Don’t assume that correlation equals causation. This would be like discovering that both ice cream sales and drownings increase during summer and then concluding that ice cream causes drowning.
  • Don’t hide survey results or everyone will question your motives for creating the survey
  • Don’t sit on actionable results. If your survey doesn’t prompt you to some kind of action, then why did you do it? If you created a survey hoping it would confirm existing beliefs, you probably asked the wrong questions.

Hands with a confidential file

Even if the survey doesn’t confirm your expectations, it’s
important to share the results, not hide them away.

Your Online Form Software Can Ensure You Get Actionable Insights

Surveys delivered via online forms are inherently better than paper-based or phone-based surveys. They’re faster and easier to complete, are more anonymous, and can be evaluated with software to prevent biases from creeping in. But it’s essential that you have powerful online form software that does what you need it to.

For example, your form software should automatically collect data when people submit their completed forms, sending it to analytical software, spreadsheets, or some other system where the data can be analyzed. It should allow you to take survey data and create informative reports from it. And if you deliver the same survey multiple times over the long term, it should help you discover trends in participants’ answers. 

PerfectForms is an ideal software solution for delivering employee and other types of surveys. PerfectForms comes with a number of survey templates, including templates for employee appraisal, course evaluation, customer service, customer satisfaction, and more. Each of these can be modified as necessary, or you can create your own survey form from scratch, with no programming required. With PerfectForms, you can integrate with Google Spreadsheets, Salesforce, web forms, and other systems, routing data to exactly where it needs to go with ease.

Did you know you can test drive PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial? It’s the easiest way to see for yourself how powerful, flexible, and user-friendly PerfectForms is. If you have any questions about online forms or workflows, we invite you to contact us at any time

Workflows to Turn Leads into Customers

Friday, July 19th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Leads can come from a wide variety of places, particularly if your business has a strong inbound marketing program.

Happy woman with a laptop

Leads often come in through downloads of gated content, or completion of landing page forms.

What you do with those leads can affect the health of your business, including your revenue and your rate of growth. When you create a lead management workflow, you’re positioned to turn more leads into customers. When you lack a defined lead management workflow, however, leads can fall by the wayside, with potential customers feeling the neglect and turning elsewhere for their needs. 

Creating an automated workflow for the express purpose of handling incoming leads will not only increase the number of qualified leads your sales team will have to work with, but will also increase conversion rates, save time, and reduce your marketing costs while increasing marketing ROI.

Before Developing the Workflow, Define Goals and Customer Personas

But before you can create a customized workflow to turn leads into customers, you need to set goals and ensure your team thoroughly understands customer personas. Goals should be reasonable and should require that team members “stretch” a bit, without being overwhelming or unattainable.

Knowing your different customer personas, whether they’re marketing managers, game enthusiasts, stay-at-home parents, or craft beer fans, helps you understand how “warm” they are likely to be when they come into your system, and the best types of content for engaging with them. 

Define the Actions and Events That Will Trigger Workflows

Before fleshing out your lead management workflow, you need to define which events will trigger the workflow. Common triggers for these workflows include:

  • People who download gated content
  • People who fill out a landing page form
  • People who visit pricing pages on multiple occasions
  • People who subscribe to your blog

Whenever one of these events happens, the lead management workflow can begin, helping shepherd potential customers through the sales funnel with content that is most likely to meet their needs. You could even design a simple lead introduction form that allows non-sales employees to notify sales when they know of a potential lead.

Executive men talking

A simple lead introduction form can help non-sales personnel
notify sales of potential leads they may not have known about otherwise.

Steps in a Typical Lead Management Workflow

One popular early step in an automated workflow for lead management is assigning a score to a lead based on the type of content they downloaded, information they included in their landing page form, or other information. Leads that are assigned different scores can be routed differently. Leads with scores that indicate relatively “cool” interest may be signed up for a general newsletter, while warmer leads may cause a notification to a sales associate prompting them to reach out personally. 

Your workflow software should allow you to automatically track lead scores and actions taken, so you can be confident that no leads fall through the cracks. Tracking built into a lead management workflow also helps you see the value of lead management over time. You could see, for instance, that conversion rates or sales increased during the first six months of use of the lead management workflow. Your workflow software should also allow you to create reports so you can make sense of the data you collect. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that gives your team the power and flexibility they need to create a lead management workflow customized to your goals and your customer base. It comes with a number of prefabricated templates, including a lead form, a sales inquiry form, and numerous survey forms, but you can also create lead management forms and workflows from scratch, with no programming required. And if you use Salesforce, you can make PerfectForms integrate with Salesforce easily, getting more value out of both.

Automated workflows make sense for countless business processes, including management of potential sales leads. To learn more, why not browse through some of the many PerfectForms case studies, including the Affinity Management Group case study. And if you have questions, you are welcome to contact us at any time

Workflows You Hope You Never Use: Disaster and Incident Response

Thursday, July 18th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

You probably have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen (and if you don’t you should buy one on your way home from work today).

fire extinguisher

Think of your disaster and incident response workflows as metaphorical fire extinguishers. 

It’s possible you’ll never have to use that fire extinguisher, but should the rare kitchen fire ever occur, you will think of it as one of the best investments you ever made. Likewise, disasters and unexpected incidents at work may be rare, but you need to prepare for them anyway.

We like to think we’ll remain calm and collected during a data breach or other disaster, but people rarely are. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to create disaster and incident response workflows for your business. While you can’t test these workflows as thoroughly as you can other types of workflows, you can test them with mock disasters, and you should. Like the humble kitchen fire extinguisher, disaster and incident workflows may end up being an outstanding investment of your time and effort.

A Workflow for IT Incidents

There is a 27.9% chance your business will experience a data breach in the next two years, according to a study by IBM. If you don’t develop a response workflow and later experience a data breach or other IT incident, chances are that your main response will be panic, and that’s a sure recipe for poor decision-making and mistakes. 

After notifying key personnel, the first step in an IT incident workflow is classifying the severity of the incident into one of these categories:

  • Critical – something with potentially catastrophic effects on your business
  • High – an incident with significant risk of negative financial or PR impact
  • Medium – an incident that is limited in scope, but that could be costly or damage reputation
  • Low – an incident where an intrusion or threat has occurred with no effect on critical infrastructure

Other typical steps in an IT incident workflow include:

  • Notification and containment
  • Eradication of the threat
  • Documentation of the incident and response
  • Evaluation of the response
  • Communication of the incident and response to stakeholders

Cloud-hosted form and workflow software allows you to create such a workflow that you can access from an alternate network if your business network is affected.

Outdoor businessman with a laptop

Cloud-hosted software can be accessed wherever you can connect to the internet.

A Workflow for Non-IT Incidents

Field services companies and companies located where natural disasters are a threat absolutely need a non-IT incident response workflow. Other companies should have one as well, to be safe. Typical steps in a non-IT incident response workflow may include:

  • Recording all critical details of the incident
  • Communicating incident details to all relevant company leaders
  • Activation of a remediation action plan
  • Generation of work orders based on the original incident documentation form, with key personnel deployed based on their skills and location
  • Documentation of work completed based on work orders
  • Creation of final incident resolution report and communication to all stakeholders

Review Incident Responses At Least Annually

It’s not sufficient to create a disaster or incident response workflow once for all time. Particularly for IT-related incidents, the response will need to change due to changes in IT infrastructure and technologies used in the business. After an incident response is a good time to review the workflow, because problems with it will be fresh in everyone’s mind. 

But if you’re fortunate enough to go long periods without incidents, it’s still a good idea to review your incident response workflows every year, or after major company changes, such as a change of location. 

Workflow software that is deployed in the cloud, like PerfectForms, is an ideal choice for creating your disaster an incident response workflows. Should your network go down, you can still access the workflows from another network, and you can make your forms and workflows mobile-friendly, which is helpful for workers who are responding in the field. 

And since you can try PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial, there’s no reason to put off creating a disaster and incident response workflow any longer. Or if you want, you can watch the demo video and see for yourself how easy it is to create fully customized forms and workflows, with no programming required. 

Does Your CapEx Workflow Need an Update?

Friday, July 12th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Capital expenditures (CapEx) are expenditures on things like machinery, equipment, furniture, IT infrastructure or property that make your business operational and profitable. Expenses qualify as CapEx when their usefulness extends over a period of years. 

CNC bore machine.

A strong, consistent CapEx process ensures resources are used wisely to
help your business increase profits.

A company’s CapEx approval process is important, because major expenditures need to be discussed and approved. But when the CapEx process is manual and paper-based, it is slow, clunky, and prone to errors and mounting frustration. An automated CapEx workflow is necessary for most businesses.

A Typical CapEx Process

Each organization has its own process, but typically someone makes a CapEx request, which must then be approved by several stakeholders. Those stakeholders may be department heads, people in the finance department, or various vice presidents or other leaders. Once the CapEx request has been approved, a purchase order is initiated. The CapEx workflow is completed once the order has been fulfilled and what has been purchased is logged as an asset. 

Keeping Everyone Informed

Multiple people are interested in the progress of a CapEx workflow, especially the person who initiated it. With manual CapEx workflows, it’s hard to keep people informed of the status of the process. That’s another reason why automated workflows make so much sense. With role-based access to workflow status, anyone involved in the process can log in and see the status. Which approval authorities have granted approval? Which have requested more information? With automated workflows all this can be done without endless rounds of phone tag or schlepping from place to place asking around.

Make a Practice Workflow and Test It Thoroughly Before Deploying

Creating an automated CapEx workflow isn’t difficult if you have the right workflow software. Some workflow software includes templates for CapEx that can be modified. Going from a manual to an automated workflow for CapEx doesn’t have to be difficult. Perhaps the most important thing to do is to create a workflow and test it out thoroughly. 

Two happy people using laptops.

Testing workflows thoroughly ensure they perform as expected when you deploy them for use.

Learn what happens when someone enters invalid information or attempts to skip a step by trying it out. Make sure the workflow records who uses the workflow at which steps and when. This makes the workflow auditable, so if there is ever a question about what was done and by whom, it’s easy to find out the answer. Only after the CapEx workflow has been thoroughly tested should it be deployed for use.

Update Your CapEx Workflow Periodically

Just as all business processes evolve, so do CapEx workflows. Suppose the existing workflow requires approval by department heads, but then two departments merge. You would need to modify your CapEx workflow to accommodate this. Over time, the dollar amount that qualifies a purchase as a CapEx purchase may change, and your workflow should reflect this too. Once you have a solid workflow (whether for CapEx or anything else), it’s smart to review it annually to determine if changes should be made to make it more efficient or to accommodate changes to the company.

Automated workflows for capital expenditures make sense for many reasons. They’re faster, more accurate, keep better records, and are easier to audit. Your choice of workflow software makes a difference too. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that allows you to drag and drop workflow elements into place, with no programming required. PerfectForms comes with a CapEx template that you can modify to suit your needs, or you can create one from scratch. We encourage you to watch the PerfectForms demo video and see for yourself how the right workflow software raises efficiency and productivity while reducing costs and errors. 

‘No Code’ Workflows Help Companies Automate Overlooked Processes

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Process automation in business is nothing new.

Workers in open plan office

Businesses already automate core processes, but what about
less-central processes that could stand to be made more efficient?

Many, if not most businesses have already applied automation to their high-stakes processes. These high-stakes processes are related to core operations (like payroll) and are often necessary for achieving regulatory compliance.

However, most businesses have plenty of other processes that consume time and are vulnerable to error introduction. These processes may be unique to a business and may involve multiple departments. If they rely on paper forms and manual processes, then they will almost certainly benefit from automation. The question is, who is going to write the code for automating those processes?

Not many businesses have IT teams equipped with talented programmers who can be pulled off their regular work at will to design and program automated processes. Hiring someone on a contract basis can be expensive. The good news is, no-code automation platforms allow non-programmers to automate processes because the platform itself generates the code as the user maps out the process. Such platforms are affordable and can run in the cloud, so adding IT infrastructure is not necessary.

Characteristics of Processes Best-Suited for No-Code Automation

The processes that are best-suited for no-code automation are ones that are done regularly and repeatedly. They may involve handling of paper and manual data entry. They’re often prone to error. These processes may cross departmental boundaries and are often unique to a business, which means that pre-packaged solutions aren’t a good fit. They may not be considered core business processes, but automating them can streamline work, reduce errors, and ultimately confer a competitive edge.

Introducing a new employee

Think of the many processes that could be automated to bring new employees up to speed more quickly.

One example of such a process might be assignment of IT equipment to a new employee. It crosses department boundaries (HR, IT, and the new employee’s department), and though it isn’t a core business process, automating it can ensure that new hires are up to speed and functional in record time.

What to Expect from a No-Code Workflow Solution

No-code platforms for custom workflow automation must have several key attributes to produce the quickest ROI and ensure maximum benefit to the business:

  • They must be easy to use 
  • They must offer easy connectivity to commonly used office systems like spreadsheets, web forms, and popular platforms like Salesforce
  • They must allow proper data governance and data quality control
  • They should offer templates, examples, suggestions, and easy-to-follow tutorials to make the learning curve easy to climb

Why PerfectForms Fulfills These Requirements

PerfectForms is a no-code workflow automation platform that fulfills these needs and more. Automated workflows can be created through a user-friendly interface, where users drag and drop objects onto a virtual canvas. Workflow creators can add “intelligent” features to their no-code workflows like notifications prompted by defined triggers, automatic calculations, and mandatory field-checks. 

Users can create automatic alerts so that when one element of a process is completed, the next person whose input is required is automatically notified. And data can be collected for later reporting, or for auditing purposes, ensuring strong data and process control.

PerfectForms workflow software offers a level of flexibility and power that makes it suitable for a nearly unlimited range of workflow automation applications. We invite you to watch the PerfectForms demo video , and even have a look at some of our many training videos to see just how easy-to-use and powerful a no-code workflow automation solution can be. 

Workflow Software as a Change Management Tool

Friday, May 10th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

Every organization undergoes change, whether that’s changing physical location, changing technologies, or changing organizational roles.

Professionals looking into box

Whether it’s a new location, new software, or a new organizational structure,
automated workflows can help keep changes on track.

Major organizational changes require that rank and file employees must each make their own individual changes, and this can be difficult. If individual employees don’t have the support they need to make the individual changes that contribute to organizational change, results can include wasted time and resources, resentful employees, and change that doesn’t deliver positive results. 

Change management is the process of preparing for, executing, and supporting change before, during, and after it happens. It’s a great way to ensure nobody misses any key steps and that the change delivers the results you expect. Many aspects of change management can be assisted by automated workflows.

Plan Change

Suppose your business is moving to a new location. Careful planning is necessary to minimize upheaval. With the right workflow software, you can create workflows for tasks like selecting moving service providers, scheduling employees during the move itself, ensuring any required deposits are paid, and confirming that every employee has a workspace and necessary tools at your new location. 

Such workflows can be designed to ensure no steps are missed by prohibiting completion of further steps until all prerequisite steps have been taken. They can also be used to keep the days leading up to moving day on schedule, and to send out periodic notifications keeping affected employees informed about progress.

Map Change

Mapping out change with workflows requires that you understand your current status with regard to the change, and that you have a clear vision of how the situation will be different once change has been completed. Maybe a current software suite you use is clunky and inadequate to the needs of your growing business, so you plan to replace it with something newer and more advanced.

Mapping out goals for after the change is a key step in change management, and workflows can help here too. If, for example, new software will first roll out to a single department, and then expand to other departments, you can create workflows scheduling the order of departmental adoption, with checklists department heads can complete once the new software is in place. 

Hands drawing a flowchart

Mapping out change to the best of your ability helps affected employees know they are supported
while keeping the steps involved in change on track for efficient completion.

Manage Change

Workflow management and change management go hand-in-hand. During a major change, such as a reorganization of departments or teams, automated workflows can be designed to methodically manage each affected person’s old and new status. Suppose your business now has HR and payroll together in one department, but you plan to split payroll off into its own department.

Workflows can be created to track each affected employee so that their current role and their future role are clearly defined, and so that employees left behind understand exactly how their roles will change. You can also create workflows for moving employees whose workstations will change location. This can prevent confusion and miscommunication and help the new, separate departments get up and running more quickly.

Track Change

Tracking change, including successes, problems, and lessons learned can be tremendously beneficial for future change management scenarios. With the right workflow software, you can easily collect data on how long certain steps take, where problems arose, and which steps proceeded as planned. You can later use this data to create reports that help inform future change management initiatives. If your workflow software has powerful data collection and reporting capabilities, this can be done easily. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that makes workflow management – including change management – straightforward and perfectly organized. No programming is required to create customized online forms and workflows, embed audit trails, and collect data for reporting. PerfectForms can be an outstanding change management partner in addition to its many other applications in streamlining and automating business processes. If you need inspiration and ideas, watch our demo video, or browse through our case studies. You’ll discover the many ways PerfectForms delivers better, faster, more accurate business processes across departments and across industries.

Use Online Forms and Workflows to Power Ideas and Innovation

Thursday, May 9th, 2019 by PerfectForms Editors

The best ideas and innovations for your business may come from your employees.

Enthusiastic employees

Employees can be outstanding sources of innovative ideas.

The people who carry out work processes every day are in the perfect position to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and quite often they think of ways to overcome these problems.

But not all businesses are friendly to innovation, and that’s a shame. The pace of business demands innovation in terms of processes, products and services, and even business models, and companies that are willing to embrace innovation are often the ones that pull ahead competitively. Collecting innovative ideas and putting the best ones into practice are not easy tasks, but online forms and workflows can help.

Encouraging Innovative Behavior in the Workplace

It’s not enough for company leaders to say they support innovation. For real innovation to happen, employees must know how to submit their ideas for evaluation. Getting employees to think through and put forth their ideas requires a supportive corporate culture.

Not every employee is comfortable writing up a great idea and presenting it to their supervisor, so it’s important that companies facilitate anonymous ideas. Online forms for ideas can be designed to remove and store identifying information so that ideas can be evaluated anonymously, for fairness. 

Most importantly, however, employees must see innovation in action and know that great ideas are supported, funded, and implemented. They’re unlikely to submit their ideas if they know the company won’t pay attention.

Online Forms for Soliciting Employee Ideas

Idea collection can begin with a simple online form for capturing ideas. Keeping it simple encourages employees to act when inspiration strikes. It should include information like the submitter’s name (which can be removed during evaluation to maintain impartiality), a title for their idea, a brief description, the primary goal of the idea, and benefits the submitter believes will result from adoption of the idea.

Companies may also create a more detailed idea submission form for clarification of promising ideas. These online forms should ask for more detail, such as:

  • A hypothesis of how the idea would work in practice
  • Resources and skill sets needed to test the idea
  • Estimates of how long creating a prototype or pilot study would take

Working together

Detailed online forms for idea submission helps decision-makers evaluate and prioritize ideas.

Workflows for Identifying and Prioritizing the Best Ideas

Soliciting and collecting ideas is one thing but acting on them shows employees that the company takes innovation seriously. To identify and prioritize the best ideas, you will need a team with the right mix of skills to evaluate, select, and prioritize them. 

These activities can be done with an online workflow that takes data from idea submission forms and allows evaluators to rate the ideas, note where further clarification is needed, and give their opinion on whether an idea merits further consideration. 

The evaluation team should have both a goal and time scale in mind. For example, the goal may be to identify, fund, and test three ideas over the course of six months. Having a goal and time frame can help prevent idea development from falling by the wayside.

Workflows for Funding and Testing the Best Ideas

Suppose the idea evaluation team identifies three winning ideas. A workflow for identifying and securing funding for development of the ideas can help bring them to fruition. Such a workflow can help the evaluation team identify possible sources of funding, communicate with those in charge of fund allocation, and develop a plan for prototypes, pilot projects, or other real-world test applications.

Collection of data on funding of pilot projects and prototypes is not only valuable for the development of the ideas under consideration but provides valuable information for future innovation pushes. It also lays a foundation for determining ROI for ideas that are developed and put into practice.

Companies rarely fail to innovate due to lack of ideas, because employees often have great ideas about new processes and products. Most companies fail to innovate due to a lack of a defined process for collecting, evaluating, and funding innovations. 

PerfectForms is workflow software that is powerful and flexible enough to allow creation of custom online forms and workflows for almost any process imaginable – including the process of innovation. We invite you to watch our demo video to see how you can use PerfectForms to create, streamline, and accelerate a range of processes in your business.