Defining and Customizing Workflows for Your Organization
Operations | Connections Editor | May 19 2020
Patty Andree, operations manager at Johnson Financial Group, led a webinar to help insurance professionals understand the difference between workflows and procedures within Applied Epic in order to maximize efficiency in their business. Continue reading for some of the top tips covered during the session.
First, let's address the difference between "Workflows" and "Procedures".
A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information. It is a series of action steps necessary to complete a task.
- Dialing your voicemail (i.e. "press 4, press 1, press 1")
- Mailing a policy to the client
- Where and how an agency tracks client communication
A procedure is the official or established what of doing something. Examples would include agency guidelines around out of office messages on your Inbox or voicemail greeting.
- Returning calls within 24 hours
- Sending endorsement requests within a specific time frame
- Using Real-Time
When writing a workflow, the key is to start with the end in mind: what are you going to want to see, track, or know about this process? Where will you store collateral materials such as emails, voicemails, attachments?
Sample Workflow #1: Endorsement
The first step in Epic ist to navigate to "Actions, Endorse/Revise – Existing Line". This is an "Event". With an Event, users can choose to track a stage of the process. Adding an activity here will track when an "Endorsement" has started. Decisions here affect everyone who uses Epic, so if CL wants to track, but PL does not, you will need to create activities for both. Note, you cannot make one "Hidden". You can configure the unneeded activity to automatically "Close Successfully".
Users will need to finish up the rest of the steps: "Actions, Submit Change Request" and "Actions, Issue/Not Issue Endorsement". Remember to document your naming convention and all steps. Add decision boxes as needed and note who is responsible for which step.
Additionally, do not forget about "Further Actions". If your "Procedures" call for you to acknowledge change requests via email, you could add an activity that has further action or send an email.
Sample Workflow #2: Issue Certificate
Note, a good workflow details every single choice/field that needs to be decided or filled in. Please see example outline below:
The only way to ensure "Workflows" and "Procedures" are being followed is through auditing. To Audit, you will need to run reports on the "Activities" you have created. A quick, easy way to get your data is to use "Categories". Using "Categories", you can tie together a number of activities, which will make it easier to run your audit reports.
Other types of auditing include:
- Job Shadowing
- Observation/One on One
- Peer Auditing
In closing, once your workflows are written, you will need to make sure they are kept current. This can be done annually or during an upgrade process. Overall, understanding the difference between "Workflows" and "Procedures" will better set your team up for long term success.
Don’t miss the next Applied Client Network webinar! Visit our store to access Webinar Replays, including the May 2020 session on “Workflows and Procedures.”
Tags: Operations , Workflows , Procedures , Business Insights