Involving colleagues in tasks and documents streamlined

Even when you have a well-defined business process you may from time to time have the need to involve one or more of your colleagues in an ad hoc way. 

Reach out to colleagues to finalize a task in your task list 


During the final approval of a supplier invoice you may need a colleague to verify that the delivered model is 100% as specified. And if not, then another colleague can OK that what was delivered is a valid substitution. 

You can't OK the payment before you have their answer, and you can't simply delegate the approval to them - the responsibility is yours. Period. In the 'good old days', you would have handled this using e-mail. Now, you simply click Ask a colleague, select the colleagues and post your question. Everything is handled 'in process'. Next® knows that until they respond, the approval is not highly relevant to you, and hence it is paused to keep it from nagging you. Once the replies tick in, they are automatically logged to the approval and your approval task is automatically resumed.


Dedicated actions, delayed involvement, paused response, and extended processes

Ask a colleague - is the basic functionality we use when we involve our colleagues in resolving any task we have in our task list. If you often involve colleagues in resolving specific issues, you can have dedicated buttons to ask specific questions. 'Check if goods have arrived in full', may be such a standard question. The same question every time, and the same colleague to involve. Getting a dedicated button or action for this, may save you time and efforts. 

When we set up such specialized actions, you may also choose to delay the involvement of your colleagues. If you already by now know that the next shipment will not land until late next week, it is probably more efficient to ask them about it by then instead of already now.

Normally, you expect your colleagues to answer your questions promptly. But, depending on the nature of your questions, and your ability to schedule them, they may need more time. That is why we have made it possible to allow or disallow your colleagues pausing the task of answering your question.

Finally, don't forget. If in fact your business process is so that you always need to involve these people in the approval, you should consider modifying the process in Next® to reflect that fact.   


Out of process involvement

As described above, you often find yourself in the situation that you need to involve - or ask - a colleague to complete a task in your task list. As only a small selection of our daily tasks are mapped to a process that is automatized in Next®, you have exactly the same need when you are NOT processing a task in your task list, but simply want to involve one or more colleagues ad hoc in processing a document you have in Next®.

Reach out to involve colleagues on a matter originating from a document using Ask a colleague  


That is why, we have streamlined what was originally called Notify a colleague, then Involve a colleague, to become simply Ask a colleague. When you use Ask a colleague from a document it does exactly the same as when you do it from a task. Except of course, if there is no original task to put on hold, and automatically resume when answers come in. Instead, you may choose to be notified, whenever one or all answers have come in. 

When you use Ask a colleague from a document, you also have the option to start watching it (for updates or views). This allows you to be notified the moment any of your colleagues take action.  

You can involve more people in a group discussion


The original 'Involve a colleague' is preserved for now to cater for those rare cases where you want to 'ping' a colleague with a simple reminder. In the near future this will be replaced by the more generic Scheduled actions, where you for each document can set up actions to be taken in the future - including sending a reminder to a colleague. 


Future enhancements

In a future release we will add predefined process patterns to allow you to select predefined collaboration patterns for more advanced collaboration.  

For the techies

The processes are new.

Additional information

Please refer to the online product guide for additional information on this feature, once it is released.

Commercial terms and conditions

The enhanced feature is made available at no additional cost to anyone with a current license to Next® product. 

Any consultancy assistance will be invoiced.

Disclaimer

Despite our best efforts, we may be forced to change both content and expected delivery of future product updates without notice.


Details

Title:

Involving colleagues in tasks and documents streamlined

Type:

Enhanced feature

Status:

Released

Expected release:

March 2022

Affected products:

Next® Contracts
Next® Emails

Next® Enterprise Archive
Next® ExCustody
Next® Invoices
Next® Mailroom
Next® Processes

Audience:

End user

Classification:

Public

Responsible product manager:

Kim Hellum

Updated:

06.03.2022

By:

Kim Hellum