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Tasks! I hate them! Get rid of them! No one ever completes them, then they have an annoying popup ever time they log in, or they work out how to turn the popup off. They are difficult to complete - it takes too many steps, and people just end up ignoring them. 

DO NOT ASSIGN AUTOMATED TASKS unless you can find no other way of doing it. 

Here's my approach...

Action Views 

Action Views are the list of things that MUST be done. An Action View is simply a view that is set up so that it should always be empty. If there is something in there, then something must be done on this record. Eg All Open Leads is an Action View - the leads should not be open - they are there to be converted. 

  • Set up a naming convention to separate these views out - eg Action - Calls, Action - New Leads, or ACTION: Follow Up. 
  • Use Action Views for any object where the records go through a pre-defined process. 
  • All steps of the process should be covered by an Action View. 
  • Create a document that maps out each step of the process, and which view you will find your Leads/Opportunities/Cases in for each step. 
  • No record should fall through the cracks. 

Example

Cases have a simple process in your organisation - they are NEW then they are owned by a staff member, they may need more info from the client, and then they are closed. Each an every Case should be in one of the following views.

  • ACTION: New Cases (Status = New)
  • My Open Cases and All Open Cases (Closed = False)
  • ACTION: Follow Up (eg at Waiting Status > 2 days and Closed = False).
  • All Waiting Cases (Status = Waiting and Closed = False)
  • All Closed Cases (Closed = True)

The naming convention I use is "ACTION:" = something now MUST be done, "All" = All the Cases in that stage, "My" same as the All view but filtered to My Cases. 

With these 5 views, all Cases in the system are in one of those views. All cases that require immediate action are in one of the Action views. 

If you have any other statuses then make sure there is a view to match that Status and an Action View to ensure those Cases are not missed. 

For a more detailed Case scenario see Building a "Simple" Case Management Process

 

So, each and every day, as all staff are in Salesforce all day long anyway, they know that they must check on the Action Views to process the records through the system. Some tips here is bookmark the URL to the Action View so they can quickly click on it each day. 

But, people are lazy, or get busy and forget to check their views. (Just like they ignore their tasks).

So, this is where Report Alerts come in.

Report Alerts

A report alert is similar to an Action View - the report is structured in a way that it should always be empty. 

Name the report ALERT: New Cases for example. 

You may want Report Alerts to be for escalations - eg ALERT: New Cases older than 1 day (Status = New, Date Created > Today()-1). 

See https://help.salesforce.com/htviewhelpdoc?id=reports_notifications_home.htm&siteLang=en_US for how to set them up. 

 

NOTE: To see who is subscriber to what, login as the user, go to Reports tab and there is a drop-down on the right of the screen where you can select: "Items i'm subscribed to"


The issues are:

  • You can not subscribe users to them - so log in as that user and subscribe them - they won't do it themselves. 
  • You can not subscribe to more than 5 reports - so you might have to make a generic report for all Cases that are at a stuck stage. 
    • Use formulas to create a heading for the stuck stage = eg If Status = New and Date Created > Today()-1 then Stuck Stage = "New Case Not Actioned". 
    • Group by that Stuck Stage field in the report. 



 

Summary

So, people are not bombarded with tasks, they know they have a job to do, they can with one click open the Action view and start working on the highest priority records, and if they miss something then they (or their boss, if needed) will get an email saying there is work to be done. 


 

 

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