We're having some trouble surrounding our review and approval process, and I'm hoping to gain some insight from the community. We've been using document approvals (since you can do more reporting with those compared to proof approvals at the moment), but there's a lot of manual adding/removing of tasks by our Traffic team to accommodate for the reviewer's possible decisions. Our general workflow for artwork approval is below: 1. A Designer uploads the file, adds an Art Director and Editor to the document approval, then marks their task Complete. 2. The Editor and Art Director both have tasks to review the artwork, where they go into Documents and make their decision (Approved / Changes / Rejected), then mark their tasks complete. 3. Once both decisions have been made, a member of the Traffic team determines the next steps and manually adds tasks based on the document decisions. For example, if the Editor rejects the file and the Art Director chose Approved, then Traffic would add a task for the Designer to make updates and then for the Editor to review again. 4... This process repeats until the artwork is eventually fully approved, and many times it takes multiple rounds of review/approval before all the necessary changes have been made correctly. Our biggest problem with our current system is the level of involvement Traffic must have. Their team is small and short-staffed, and they can't spare all the extra time it takes to babysit document approvals when that process can (and should) be more automated. It's slowing down the progress of all of our projects. We're looking at changing to task approvals, since those decisions have an actual action-item tied to them. If a file is rejected, it would go back to the designer to make updates. If approved, the rest of the project can move forward. A couple of my concerns with using task approvals are: -there is no Changes (Approved with Changes) decision available -there doesn't seem to be the flexibility of more than one "if this then that" scenario. If the Editor has approved a file and the Art Director rejected it, the Editor doesn't need to see it again. From what I can tell, once the designer makes their changes and marks their task complete, there's no way to then omit the Editor stage of the approval process. We also want to avoid anyone having to click through many different pages to reach the file for review or to make their decision. Ideally we'd want a report that shows the name of the project, a link to the documents tab on the project, and a dropdown (or buttons?) with which to make the decision. We really like that document approvals let you make your decision directly on the document. Using task approvals would mean finding the document, then finding the actual task, then making a decision (too many steps). This was a really long post (sorry!) but if you have any suggestions or input, it would be greatly appreciated! What has your organization done for your review/revision processes? What worked and didn't work? The more info I have, the better. :) Maddy Martin Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
I don't have any suggestions, but I want to follow this thread to see what others suggest. I'm a user experience (UX) researcher at Workfront and I work with one of our designers who works on automated workflows. I'd love to share some of this feedback with her.
Elissa Elissa Lauber Workfront
so here's what we've done... We've built most of our project templates with a few rounds of review, if something gets approved on round 1, the extra revisions/review tasks can be deleted - that seemed like less work than adding tasks. If you switch to task approvals, one way to possibly avoid having to search for the document to review, then the task to approve, might be to attach the document to that same task. Or we use a folder within the project's documents tab - any files for review go into that folder so they are easy to find. However, what we found with task approvals is that if there are multiple people on the approval and any one of them clicks Reject, it bounces back to the task assignee to make changes and drops off as an approval for the rest of the approvers. So we trained all our approvers to click Approved even if they had changes - then there was a second stage on the approval that triggered when all the others had approved, that final approver (project manager for us) reviewed the comments and made the final Approve/Reject decision -- that part might be an issue for @Elissa Lauber and @Julia Tyler to look into.
Thanks @Heather Kulbacki that's really helpful! It's sounding like we'll need to stick with document approvals unless we can somehow customize the task approval process. I've reached out to our account reps but haven't heard back (our original rep left so we're kind of floating right now with temporary reps). I'm eager to hear if @Julia Tyler has any thoughts. :) Maddy Martin Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Hi, We have set up our templates to include all tasks required and then set up within the templates each of the approvals against the individual tasks and make each task a predecessor. I would suggest that each approval template has each individual assigned to the specific task along with their approvals and update their notifications to have instant / daily digest to alert 'a predecessor to one of my tasks is complete' Also we have trained our approvers to approve documents and within the updates section to provide the information requiring the change. this supports a much smoother flow of approvals. hope this helps. Elaine Hennessey Arthur J. Gallagher, GTS
Hi If I'm reading this correctly, you are creating tasks at every stage so you can assign the right person to the project and see whether it was completed. We started off doing this but found it way too much work and so complicated to keep track of all those tasks PLUS all those proofs associated. Instead, every time a proof is ready to go to the next stage, the person responsible (ie maybe in your case it's the traffic manager) makes an @ update to the next person on the chain with what they need to do next. (Thank you Skye, that was your advice to me at the beginning and it works very well.) We don't create more tasks. So, we have 4 tasks for design work in each project to get a sense of where the project is: First Draft Due, First Draft Approved, Final Due, Final Approved. The rest of the in between is managed within Proof and using @ updates to tell the next person it's their turn to do something. When the designer has done their part, they @ update the project manager who then decides what the next step is and who has to review and approve. The other thing we do is in the Description of both Draft & Final tasks we have a list/reminder of the order of who has to review and approve, ie Round 1: Creative Director, Round 2: Product Manager/Field Staff, Round 3: Proofreader Round 4: Partners (and then you can go through the versions in Proof to make sure all the right people have seen it). Also, we created a Notes field for each task so if someone wants to make a note there about who needs to approve they have a space to easily watch it. (Nobody uses this!)