Tracking job status at a glance at a finer level than the workflow itself

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4 comments

  • Aaron Horn

    Hey Adam,

    I'm an independent Flex endorsed consultant.  I'll share my 2 cents with you.  Hope that it helps.

    When you're talking about statuses, obviously you're limited in how many factors you want to communicate through a status.  I have built workflows that incorporated 2 factors (like "Returned / Deposit Paid"), but not more than that just because it becomes unwieldy.  The reality is that each element is going through certain SOP's or protocols whether it's your PO's, PO Intake Manifests, Pull Sheets, Invoices, etc.  You obviously know all of this, but I wanted to point out that statuses of individual elements is probably not the best place to look for complete project assessments.  

    Assuming you're not wanting to use an external project management suite, here are a couple other ideas:

    Yes, you could bulk up your workflow and statuses some and incorporate more complicated statuses.  As long as you draw it out first, then this will assure you don't forget something or get off track when you actually build it.  This is what I do for customers with more complicated requests.  It also gives them a visual reference of their workflows.  Obviously, again, the actual status name is your biggest limiting factor along with automation of linked workflows.

    Yes, you could do a custom field at the quote level to try to carry all of the burden, or you could do several custom fields and break them into purposed categories like PO's, logistical, financial, and update them accordingly.  But then everyone needs access to the quote and has to remember to go and manually update it.  And hopefully the quote's not locked.  You could also do this at an Event Folder level, which for some customers is better because it truly represents the state of the entire project and not just a single quote's tree.

    You could also do a custom report that filters by a specific start date and shows you all of the qualifying Event Folders and their child elements and their current statuses.  This is the report you could run for your meeting or for reviewing if any statuses needed updating incase something slipped through the cracks.  Ultimately, with what's typically built in Flex, each element's status is what represents the true state of the project as a whole between Inquiry and Closed.  There's obviously a lot of moving parts.  So in this way, you could work on improving your workflows for each element individually and not try to burden 1 element with all of it.

    Those are my thoughts.  I'd be happy to help with any of these solutions or to do some more brainstorming with you.  Let me know if I can be of service.

    Aaron J. Horn
    Consultant / Flex Expert
    aaronjhorn@gmail.com
    615.335.1225

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  • Aaron Horn

    One more thoughts, I have a client that uses the Custom Form element in Flex for some of what you were describing.  Then you can make sure everyone has access to it and simply goes in and fills in their part as it becomes appropriate.  Then you could pull certain fields of the forms in your system through a custom report to give you the summary of different projects.  Just wanted to add that additional thought.  Let me know if I can be of service. -Aaron Horn

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  • Adam Bendig
    • or you could do several custom fields and break them into purposed categories like PO's, logistical, financial, and update them accordingly.  But then everyone needs access to the quote and has to remember to go and manually update it.

    Yeah that's not a bad idea either, though I seem to recall that I've maxed out the custom fields in the header with various ship info fields, checklist items, etc. I'll have to revise those and see if they're in use as we'd planned. Quotes don't get locked up until the end end, the real end, so we'd be good there. 

    Prior to Flex we used Hiretrack, and ran a report for production meetings that contained the job header info and all of the Notes that were entered. We were quite diligent about updating as the job progressed, so we knew during the meetings exactly where we were or what someone was waiting on at a very granular level. We asked about that during initial system spin up and I seem to recall that report with the Notes wasn't an option at the time. 

    Using a report to report status of child elements makes sense, we don't import PO's into Quickbooks so those don't get advanced beyond approving them, but the warehouse documents could tell their story at least. 

    • Ultimately, with what's typically built in Flex, each element's status is what represents the true state of the project as a whole between Inquiry and Closed.

    This is very accurate when thought of this way, but I think there's still a physical side to reconciling PO's as paid, Labor invoices received and paid, etc. I'd bet there's ways to track that in Flex, though I don't know if I could succesfully lobby for that. Interesting to consider though. 

    • So in this way, you could work on improving your workflows for each element individually and not try to burden 1 element with all of it.

    This would obviously be the argument for that path, which makes a lot of sense. 

    The Custom Form element compiling into a report could be useful as well. That seems related to our previous process with HT.

    Are you actually able to pull info from Notes onto a report? I've got to do some research in Custom Form elements to get a better understanding of how you could utilize that for us.

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  • Aaron Horn

    Hey Adam Bendig,

    I don't know if it was just on my end, or if your reply was pending and finally released, but I was just notified of your response.  Reply back or contact me direct if I can be of assistance with any of this or if you have further questions.

    Aaron Horn
    Consultant (Flex endorsed)
    aaronjhorn@gmail.com
    615.335.1225

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