One of the more common, interesting uses for interactive decision trees is as an online task management tool for streamlining recurring business processes. These are standardized workflows that have a series of repeatable steps, which may need to involve handoffs to different people on a team or even in another department. For example, your company may have an approval process for:
- making purchases
- approving project budgets
- hiring or firing employees
- creating blog posts (like this one!)
- and any other repetitive tasks or processes your business uses
The Zingtree Task Manager is a dashboard for guiding your coworkers through decision-tree-based processes created using the Zingtree tools. This makes it easy for everyone to be held accountable, and to follow standard operating procedures.
Here’s a diagram of a simple purchasing process:
In this case, if the item is under $100, then the request is approved automatically. Otherwise, a manager needs to approve the order.
Creating your first business process with interactive decision trees is not complicated. It involves these steps:
- Enter your “agents” – the people who act upon your processes – and assign them to groups.
- Create a decision tree, and assign each node (step of the process) to one of your Agent Groups.
- Assign your tree(s) to various Agent Groups. Only people in those groups will be allowed to start or kill a project.
The Task Manager
The Zingtree Task Manager was built with full-team functionality in mind. Anyone involved in a work process can use standardized decision tree workflows to navigate through the procedure. Certain steps can only be completed by specific people, and once you reach a step where it’s no longer your responsibility, that task is assigned to someone else.
For example, in the procurement process diagrammed above, an employee creates the purchase request and a manager approves or declines it if over $100.
Here’s how the Task Manager could appear for an individual:
When someone Takes or Resumes a task, it looks like this:
Each person involved in a process (an “agent”) can belong to one or more groups. You can configure people and groups via Account > My Agents. So for example, a small team with two employees and one manager is set up like this:
Note that “Bill Zing” belongs to both the manager and employee groups.
When creating your process trees, you can tag each tree with the groups that are allowed to start the process.
Assigning Steps in the Process using Tags
Each node of your business process tree needs to include the Agent Group(s) allowed to act on that step of the process. You can see how our procurement process tree’s groups (outlined in red) are set up here:
The initial request step (node #1) is tagged with “employee”, so only people in the employee group can initiate a request. Node #6 – the Manager approval step – is tagged as “manager”, so only a manager can approve the purchase.
Assigning Agent Groups to a node is done using the Groups tab when editing a node. Here’s how node #1 is set up for an employee group:
Project Status: Success, Failure or In-Progress
At the end of a workflow, a project is either successful or a failure. When building your process tree, you can assign a result to each node in the node editor – like this:
Once a node is reached with a success or failure result, the process has ended.
A notification can be sent when any node (process step) is reached so that the next person can be alerted and step in for their task. Notifications can be sent in a few different ways, including:
- A text message
- A simple email notification
- A Slack notification
- A customized email (using an email node)
Task Manager Operations
Your agents – people involved in your processes – can perform the following operations on each task:
- Start: Begin a new task, and assign it a name.
- Take: Take over the next step of a task. Only one person at a time can move a task to the next step.
- Release: Release a task so another person can complete the step.
- Resume: Continue with a task that you have previously taken.
- Revisit: Go back to a previous step in the task you have permissions to act upon.
- Reclaim: Take back a task from someone who has taken it.
- Kill: End a task early, without following all the steps to completion.
Got questions about using Zingtree for streamlining your repetitive business processes? Reach out to our team!