6 Ways to Use Stop Tasks to Improve Your Team’s Workflow – Process Street

6 Ways to Use Stop Tasks to Improve Your Team’s Workflow

Process Street is the easiest way to create workflows for your team and track their progress. Our simple process creator helps teams build checklists for everything from employee onboarding to content promotion.

Often, processes are too delicate to handle in a free-for-all checklist, and you need more control over the order tasks are completed.

That’s where stop tasks come in.

Put simply, stop tasks prevent users from working through a checklist until the stop task has been completed.

In template view, stop tasks are indicated with a ✋-style icon just underneath the task number.

For an explanation of stop tasks, see the video below:

Here’s an example of when you’d want to use a stop task in a process:

Let’s say you have a blog content process used by three people; the editor, the writer, and the designer. The process starts when an outline, title, and keyword have been confirmed informally. The first task in the checklist (task 2) has form fields for this data and is set as a stop task because it is vital that the other participants know the post’s information before continuing.

The same goes for ordering (task 3) and finalizing (task 8) the header image; these tasks stop the flow of work from continuing if they aren’t complete. Similarly, it’d be unwise to publish a post that hasn’t undergone an editor’s review, so the last stop task is the final review (task 10):

Here, stop tasks prevent the process from being accidentally completed, place accountability on the writer and designer to develop the post, and then notify the editor when a post is ready for review.

You can add stop tasks to your processes by editing a template and clicking ‘Add stop’. It’s that simple.

Now you know how to add stop tasks and what they do, here are 6 ways you can use this feature to tighten up your team’s workflows.

Make sure your checklists are completed in order

You can set every task in a checklist as a stop task if you want to enforce the order in which the tasks are completed. This is useful for workflows where the person assigned to step 2 depends on the work done in step 1. It also controls when assigned tasks appear in the assignee’s inbox.

In this example, the invoice creation process is held up until Worf approves the invoice. I can’t check off tasks before I’ve done the previous one, either. When I complete task 5, task 6 appears in Worf’s inbox, letting him know it’s now up to him to approve the invoice and complete the process.

Stop Task Inbox Process Street

This way, no one is assigned work that isn’t relevant right now. Checklists with an enforced order help to keep responsibilities clear and inboxes tidy.

Gather requirements before kicking off a client onboarding checklist

Our client onboarding checklists double as forms. Take this, for example:

The first task requires the user to fill in the client’s details before the process can go ahead. It’s logical that you’d want to record unique details to refer back to throughout the process, such as the client’s website, phone number, contact name, etc.

Fill in the post’s details before running content promotion

This use case is one of our favorites, mainly because content promotion is a complex process with lots of participants. When the process starts, the first job is to fill in the form fields in the first task with the post’s details. This populates the rest of the checklist using merge tags, so it’s essential it happens first.

Review design assets before completing a checklist

When a checklist is completed, it is essentially archived and hidden from view. For straight-forward processes, this is exactly what you’d want to happen. For processes that have an approval step, you want to be sure the checklist remains active until it’s certainly gone through approval.

Let’s take a design checklist as an example. Our designer, Adam, works through a process each time he designs a header image for the blog. A good place for a stop task would be the last task of the checklist before the design is made public; this way, the work can be approved before the checklist is complete. It would also mean that the review step would appear in the reviewer’s inbox, keeping the task top of mind.

Require a scheduled date and agenda for manager one-on-ones

Everyone at Process Street has a monthly call with Vinay, our CEO. We run this meeting through a Process Street checklist with two stop tasks; one for setting the scheduled date, and the other for inputting the meeting agenda.

This allows us to be sure the one-on-ones are running smoothly and not accidentally archived from the inbox. Plus, it doesn’t add extra clutter to Vinay’s inbox before the employee has completed their tasks.

Collect all necessary forms before continuing with employee onboarding

Before you call the employee to schedule a meeting, it’s essential to collect all the necessary forms. To ensure the department in charge of form collection doesn’t accidentally hand the process off and call the employee prematurely, you can add a stop task at this stage of the checklist. In this case, the stop task helps enforce compliance the with the law and protects your company’s intellectual property.

Get started with stop tasks

Stop tasks are available for organizations on our business pro plan. Visit your billing settings in Process Street to upgrade and get started.

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Benjamin Brandall

Benjamin Brandall is a content marketer at Process Street, and runs Secret Cave on the side. Find him on Twitter here.


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