Automating Follow-Up Execution

Nathaniel Sheetz
Senior Product Manager – Task & Communications Management

One of the reasons for implementing a task management solution is to maintain and track adherence to best practices, as discussed in a previous article. Such tools facilitate the documentation and organization of best practices, and then promote the execution of these practices by maximizing visibility of that execution throughout the organization.

But inevitably, for a variety of reasons, execution will in some cases prove to be inadequate. Conditions will be found to be outside the expected guidelines, particular employees will require additional training, and perhaps even the evaluations themselves will not be completed in a timely manner. In such cases, a task management solution can expose these deficiencies – but can it do more than simply increase visibility?

Furthermore, when execution is inadequate, visibility into the lack of execution and resulting consequences may not be available across the organization – whether it is at the store level, district level or corporate level. This presents a challenge to organizations as far as retraining or redesigning these best practices and processes, as there is no way to know what corrective measures were taken or when they were completed. So, in addition to potentially critical processes not being completed, the compliance deficiency may be lost or go uncorrected.

In Logile’s EC5 task compliance system we address these challenges through a feature called triggers. When triggers are enabled for a particular task, an out-of-compliance condition reported on a store walk or compliance audit will cause a new task to be generated. Similarly, if the task itself isn’t completed, a follow-up task can be automatically sent.

These follow-up tasks can be sent to anyone in the organization – to the original assignee, to his or her supervisor, to the creator of the task, or to a custom recipient. More than one follow-up task can be generated for each out-of-compliance condition, enabling multiple complementary responses to the same problem – such as the original task’s recipient correcting the immediate problem, and a store or district manager investigating the root cause.

Triggered tasks sent to the original recipient can also be marked as “immediate” triggers – that is, in order to complete the original task, the follow-up action must be completed first. So, an employee might identify an out-of-compliance condition, and then immediately be told to complete an appropriate follow-up. This helps ensure that the employees performing these audits are resolving problems, not just recording them.

All the while, these triggered tasks can be monitored and tracked by supervisors and corporate employees. They can be reported on separately, making it easy to see not just which stores are identifying out-of-compliance conditions, but also which ones are addressing such conditions. Finally, reporting on trends surrounding these out-of-compliance conditions and subsequent lack of addressing trigger tasks can show the organization on an underlying deficiency in the process or best practice that must be addressed.

At the end of the day, sometimes store conditions and practices won’t be where they should be. But follow-up tasks triggered within a system like Logile’s EC5 encourage quick and appropriate resolution when such problems are found.