Zingtree Tags: improve business processes

Decision Trees for Business Processes – The Zingtree Task Manager Tool

Business Process Management with Zingtree

Overview

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.

Set Up

Creating your first business process with interactive decision trees is not complicated. It involves these steps:

  1. Enter your “agents” – the people who act upon your processes – and assign them to groups.
  2. Create a decision tree, and assign each node (step of the process) to one of your Agent Groups.
  3. Assign your tree(s) to various Agent Groups. Only people in those groups will be allowed to start or kill a project.

This article has full details on how to set up your first business process.

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.

This article has a video and full reference for the Zingtree Task Manager.

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:

Groups

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.

Notifications

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.

Go here for a full reference on the Task Manager


Got questions about using Zingtree for streamlining your repetitive business processes? Reach out to our team!

3 Ways to Take Advantage of Decision Trees in Business

Decision trees for business can address a variety of problem-solving use cases. Since the beginning of Zingtree, we’ve helped 7,500+ organizations spanning geographic locations and industries to improve support and internal business processes, build powerful sales funnels and enhance productivity in a number of ways.

The intuitive question-and-answer style of a decision tree makes it simple for companies to improve efficiency, train new hires and evaluate staff, qualify the best leads, deliver amazing support experiences, and much more. Here are just some of the ways that taking advantage of intuitive decision trees can help businesses.

1. Lead Qualification

A business can’t grow, or succeed long-term, without continued interest from leads that are the most qualified for the market they serve; this is a well-known fact. After generating new leads for your business, it’s important to carefully select the cream of the crop, according to what your company is looking for in an ideal lead.

By putting these new leads into a decision tree based on the main characteristics of your ideal customer, any business can easily make sure that the most qualified leads are sent along to the right person. After all, the faster you can follow-up, the more potential for new business! For a decision tree to qualify leads, you should include a flow for proper sales distribution, content and promotions to best serve them, and more.

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.

2. Training and Evaluation

Because Zingtree is such a powerful interactive tool, it is a prime resource for building and implementing training programs, simulations and evaluations. As with all training and evaluation programs, yours should be relevant to your company or the position, easily digestible, and appropriate to the employee involved – this is important if the training is to be integrated into workplace practices.

Once training is completed, it’s just as important to keep up with how they are doing, using evaluations to tap into their knowledge, progress and comfort levels. We’ve used Zingtree’s robust logic with a scoring system that can perform detailed evaluations, allowing you to add a value to each answer and later act upon the total weighted score. Explore our Gallery examples to preview existing decision trees for training and evaluations.

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.

3. Customer Support

Interactive decision tree troubleshooters customized to fit your business needs are one of the most important extensions of your brand that can be implemented. Troubleshooter decision trees allow customers to follow a path of questions and answers that lead them to the most-likely solution, and are even more helpful for technical issues.

Companies that build interactive troubleshooters and FAQs into their customer service processes have seen an average of a 20% overall reduction in support costs!

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.


Ready to improve your key business processes?

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