All posts in Document Management


How to Write an Actionable Policy and Procedure Template (ISO Compliant!)

Policy and procedure document

Let’s get straight to the point – you’re probably searching for a policy and procedure template you can actually use (bonus points if it’s ISO compliant).

So, if you just want an actionable policy and procedure template, you can find two hand-crafted examples below. One of them is basically a blueprint you can use to build out your own, and the other is a fully filled out example of the first, using a fictional company called Brightstar Marketing.

Both can be easily edited and updated by you inside Process Street.

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Agile ISO: How to Combine Compliance with Rapid Process Improvement

agile isoISO standards can be confusing and intimidating.

However, with the 2015 updates, it really shouldn’t be that scary.

In the past, conforming to ISO meant huge manuals and a lengthy process to change how tasks were approached.

Now, there is increased flexibility and the opportunity to utilize software to speed up your systems and make everything easier to handle.

This is why we’re presenting you with our concept of Agile ISO: how to combine structured compliance with the rapid process improvement of a startup.

In this Process Street article, we’ll cover:

  • What is ISO?
  • What is ISO 9000?
  • What is Agile ISO?
  • What is needed to support Agile ISO?
  • How to get started with Agile ISO in 5 easy steps

I’m going to try to be brief and clear while cutting the bullshit.

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A Practical Guide to Increase Productivity with Process Mapping

process-mapping

Process mapping is a useful tool for what can be summed up as “seeing the big picture and little pictures at the same time”.

That may sound silly to you, but that’s really what it is.

The primary benefit achieved from mapping out your business processes is that you can accurately evaluate each of the steps needed to complete a certain workflow, while understanding exactly how each of them interacts with one another and contributes to the process as a whole.

This ability to evaluate all aspects of a process helps managers identify constraints, opportunities for improvement, and formulate strategies to implement changes without disrupting day-to-day work.

But how do you go about ensuring that the time and effort you put into constructing these maps translates into improved performance?

That’s the question we’ll be tackling in this post.

Before doing so, however, we must acknowledge that there is a huge range of complexity when it comes to methods for process mapping. If you are a small organization it can be as simple as drawing it out on a whiteboard, whereas enterprises use sophisticated mapping software tools like Appian and Lucidchart.

This point regarding complexity and different kinds of process maps leads us to another important sub-topic that needs to be addressed early on – the difference between process mapping and process modeling.

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7 Ways to Use Dynamic Due Dates For Enhanced Process Flexibility

dynamic-due-dates

You’ve just closed a major deal.

It’s taken months of hard work to successfully convey the value of your product and negotiate a solid agreement. The sales team are pumped, managers have a big smile on their faces, and the customer success team are readying themselves to take on a high-value customer.

Ensuring a smooth handoff from the account executive (AE) to the relevant customer success manager (CSM) is now the priority. This critical process cannot be overlooked if you are hoping to build a trusting, long-term relationship that keeps both parties happy.

There are numerous tasks that need to be completed during the handoff, and they must be done efficiently or the customer could get the wrong impression.

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Process Street Best Practices: How to Name Your Form Fields

form-fields

There are numerous features of Process Street that make the platform as useful as it is for managing recurring workflows and processes.

Beyond the ability to create process checklists, features such as form fields, rich media, conditional logic, real-time tracking, and the ability to set up automation with 1000+ other applications, provide a huge amount of value.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at one feature in particular: form fields.

An essential component of our software, form fields allow users to safely store important data that can then be automatically passed to and from other tools in your tech stack.

The goal of the post is to show you how you can name your form fields so that they are as effective as possible when used by other team members, as well as suppliers and customers who may be interacting with your checklists.

First, I’ll run through a brief overview of form fields, the various different types, and what value they provide. Then we’ll take a quick look at some typical use cases that will give you a better idea of when they are used, before going through a set of naming best practices with examples.

Let’s get started.

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Airtable vs Trello: The Best of Task and Project Management

airtable vs trello

Airtable vs Trello. Which is better?

Our team had been using Trello for years and had only recently undergone a transition to Airtable. We were having a tough time adjusting (old habits die hard), and my Process Street colleague Ben Brandall was trying to get to the bottom of why.

We love improving our productivity using everything from business process automation to focus music, and this case was no different.

Trello is a powerhouse of task management but Airtable is a masterful mix of database, spreadsheet, task and project management app. How are you supposed to choose?

That’s why I’m writing this post. After having used both apps personally and professionally for more than three years, I’ve been able to get to grips with who these apps are designed for and what makes them useful.

Most of all, you can learn from this to see which app would suit you instead of spending years testing them out yourself.

Let’s get started.

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Freelance Tips: How to Use Processes to Stay Productive

freelance-tips

“How did I forget to follow up with that client?”

There was a time when I used to think that as another golden opportunity passed me by. It’s tough enough being a freelancer and having to both find clients and secure them in such a competitive scene without adding human error into the mix.

Nowadays, I’ve largely mitigated the frustration that comes with making avoidable errors, letting me massively boost my consistency and productivity, and it’s all thanks to process documentation.

Having a documented process to work through is insanely useful. I’m here to tell you exactly why you need to be using processes in your work and give some freelance tips on how you can start noticing the benefits in no time. Let’s get started.

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Automate Your Exception Reports: It’s Easy, Here’s How

exception reportPart of the reality of trying to manage operations in organizations of any size, is understanding that sometimes things go wrong.

In an ideal world, we don’t want anything to go wrong. We want our processes to run smoothly and all tasks to be easily completed.

But that isn’t just something which happens. It is, however, something we can work towards.

The first step is to create a critical culture where people can identify when and why a process has had a problem. From there, you can track problems, investigate them, and improve processes to stop those problems occuring.

But you need that first step.

That first step needs to be done each and every time, it needs to be done with the right amount of detail, and it needs to be quick and painless to take.

This is the art of an exception report.

Done well, this can illuminate your problems and be a crucial linchpin in a broader effort to improve processes and, in turn, outcomes.

In this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at:

  • What is an exception report?
  • Why you should use exception reports in your business
  • How you can record exception in Process Street
  • How to use Zapier to generate an exception report

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How to Build a Better Purchase Order Workflow with Process Street

The importance of efficient purchase order management

Effectively managing purchase orders is a critical component of any business with vendor relationships. And yet, according to the founder & COO of Procurify, Kenneth Loi:

“Many organizations unwisely forego purchase orders because they perceive the paperwork to be a hassle that slows things down.”

He’s right. Paperwork is a hassle and does slow things down. However, this is not a good enough reason to forego purchase orders, hence the word “unwisely”.

From creating a requisition to gaining approval and receiving an invoice from the vendor, there are up to 7 documents involved in the purchasing cycle. That is a lot to keep track of for a single purchase.

And this only gets more complex as a business grows.

Maintaining a paper-based system at the enterprise level is virtually impossible. For smaller companies, it’s do-able, just incredibly inefficient.

The frustration and inefficiency that comes with managing piles of paperwork is no longer an unavoidable obstacle to overcome. By establishing an automated purchase order workflow, you can centralize documentation, seamlessly track progress in real-time, and shorten purchasing cycles.

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The Best Digital Signature Tools, Integrations, and Workflows

digital signatureGone are the days where signing contracts involved figuring out how to connect to a printer, scanner, or photocopier.

And don’t get me started on fax machines.

Now we live in a glorious new world of rapid digital signature workflows.

There are many kinds of digital signatures. Some may think of the high-tech encrypted keys people like Julian Assange have used to prove whether messages came from them or not.

But let’s be honest, outside of our international secret agent daydreaming we’re not likely to need to use those. What we need is the simple act of being able to add our signature on to digital documents with the fewest number of clicks possible.

Those interested in soccer may remember the high profile signing of David de Gea by Spanish giant Real Madrid from Manchester United. Or, actually, you won’t remember it. Because it didn’t happen. The documents were to be sent in the last moments of the transfer window, and the whole multi-multi-million dollar deal fell through due to a broken fax machine.

Digital solutions to contract workflows are important.

That’s why in this Process Street article we’re going to look at:

  • The 5 best digital signature tools
  • Digital signature integrations you can use today
  • How to connect digital signatures with the workflows in your business

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