Task Manager: Using Zingtree for Business Processes

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  • The Zingtree Task Manager is a dashboard for guiding your coworkers through decision-tree-based processes created with Zingtree.  This makes it easy to create and follow standard operating procedures.

    Here's what Task Manager looks like:

     

    Here's a quick 2-minute video overview:

    ‌‌‌‌

     

    End-user Demo

    You can use a "sandbox" demo version of Task Manager to see how it works for end-users. This is a simple procurement process where an employee asks to buy something, and a manager needs to approve the purchase.

    Try the Task Manager demo here.

    The Task Manager

    The Zingtree Task Manager was built with full-team functionality in mind. Anyone involved in a work process can use standardized decision tree workflows to navigate through the procedure. Certain steps can only be completed by specific people, and once you reach a step where it’s no longer your responsibility, that task is assigned to someone else.

    Here’s a diagram of a simple purchasing process:

    In this case, if the item is under $100, then the request is approved automatically. Otherwise, a manager needs to approve the order.

    Setting Up Agents and Task Manager

    To enable your organization to use Task Manager, start by going to Account > My Agents. Select Task Manager for agent logins, like this:

    Next, you’ll need to add agent logins – one for each person who will be using the system. Click Add One New Agent, then enter the agent’s name, a login (usually their email), a password, and what groups they are assigned to, like this:

    The groups will be used later to determine who is allowed to act on each step of the workflow. In the above example, Joe Smith is assigned to the employee group.

    Groups

    Each person involved in a process (an “agent”) can belong to one or more groups. You can configure people and groups via Account > My Agents.

    So for example, a small team with two employees and one manager is set up like this:

    Note that “Bill Zing” belongs to both the manager and employee groups.

    Assigning Decision Trees for Agent Groups

    Each tree you create can be assigned to one or more groups. Any agent in the assigned group can start a new project using that tree as a business process workflow. This is done via the Settings tool.

    For example, if we want Joe Smith to be able to run a procurement process decision tree, we would assign that tree to the employee group, as follows:

    1. Select the tree from My Trees.
    2. Open the Settings tool.
    3. Under the Groups tab, enter the group or groups to assign to this tree.

    Here we entered the employee group:

    Be sure to click Update All Settings when finished!

    Assigning Steps in the Process using Tags

    Each node of your business process tree needs to include the Agent Group(s) allowed to act on that step of the process. You can see how our procurement process tree’s groups (outlined in red) are set up here:

     

    The initial request step (node #1) is tagged with “employee”, so only people in the employee group can initiate a request. Node #6 – the Manager approval step – is tagged as “manager”, so only a manager can approve the purchase.

    Assigning Agent Groups to a node is done using the Groups tab when editing a node. Here’s how node #1 is set up for an employee group:

     

    Project Status: Success, Failure or In-Progress

    At the end of a workflow, a project is either successful or a failure. When building your process tree, you can assign a result to each node in the node editor – like this:

    Once a node is reached with a success or failure result, the process has ended.

    Notifications

    A notification can be sent when any node (process step) is reached so that the next person can be alerted and step in for their task. Notifications can be sent in a few different ways, including:

    • A text message
    • A simple email notification
    • A Slack notification
    • A customized email (using an email node)

    Task Manager Operations

    Your agents – people involved in your processes – can perform the following operations on each task:

    • Start: Begin a new task, and assign it a name.
    • Take: Take over the next step of a task. Only one person at a time can move a task to the next step.
    • Release: Release a task so another person can complete the step.
    • Resume: Continue with a task that you have previously taken.
    • Revisit: Go back to a previous step in the task you have permissions to act upon.
    • Reclaim: Take back a task from someone who has taken it.
    • Kill: End a task early, without following all the steps to completion.

    Starting a Task via Webhook or Remote URL

    Zingtree has an endpoint URL you can use to start tasks outside of Task Manager. For example, you can add a webhook to one of your trees, and when the node with the webhook is reached, a task is started.

    The URL looks something like this:

    https://zingtree.com/tasks/remote-start.php?pid=123456789&started_by=Remote%20Test&task_title=New%20Remote%20Task&apikey=1234567890

    The parameters are:

    pid: The tree ID for the task.

    started_by: Who or what started the task (as it appears in Task Manager)

    task_title: The title for the task (as it appears in Task Manager)

    apikey: Your API key (to add an extra level of assurance). You can locate your API key from here.


    You can also include merge variables in this URL. These are variables and their associated values sent into the task session. Add to the above URL like this example, which sends a name (Bill Zing) and email (billzing@zingtree.com) to the session):

    &variables=name|email&values=Bill+Zing|billzing@zingtree.com

     

    If you add this URL as a webhook, you can trigger a task when the webhook is reached. This also returns a Zingtree variable called remote_task_status into your session, so you can use this to determine if the task launch was successful.

    Note: If you have spaces in the task_title, started_by, or values, use %20 or + instead.

    Task Manager Variables

    When in a task, these variables are available for authors to insert into emails or node contents:

    • #organization# – Inserts the name of your organization into the script.
    • #started_by# – Shows the login of the agent who started the task.
    • #started_by_name# – Shows the name of the agent who started the task.
    • #current_agent_login# - The login of the current agent.
    • #current_agent_name# - The name of the current agent.


    Starting a New Project

    1. From Task Manager, click Start a New Project.

    2. Click the Start button next to a business process workflow. The Start New Project screen appears:

    3. Give the project a name, and click Start New Project.

    You can now click through your task steps in the project.

    Taking or Resuming a Task

    The task manager shows you tasks which require your attention, under My Tasks Needing Action.

    Click Take It to act upon the task. If you’ve already taken a task, you can click Resumeto continue the task you’ve taken.

    Releasing a Task

    If you’ve previously taken a task, but now you want to let someone else in your group act upon it, you can Release it. In the above example, if you click Resume, your task screen will have the option to release the task via the orange Release Task button in the upper right:

    Reclaiming a Task

    If someone else has taken a task, and you want to act upon it and override them, you can use the Reclaim option. Here’s how to do it:

    From Other Projects in Progress, click the info button to the right:

    This opens the project info pop-over:

    Click the Reclaim button to give yourself access to this task.

    Killing a Project

    Sometimes a task will get started, and it turned out to be a bad idea. Using the same process as above, you can click the red Kill button to kill a project.

    Killed projects will appear under the Completed Projects tab in Task Manager.

    Revisiting a Task

    There may be times when you want to go back to a previous step in a project. For example, in the PC Purchase project, the manager may have declined a purchase and then changed her mind.

    When a task is opened, the Task Progress accordion shows the steps taken previously. Click the brown Revisit button next to a step to go back to that part of the business process workflow.

    Viewing the History of the Project

    The Task Progress accordion also shows each step in the project, who acted upon it, and when (see above). You can get even more history by selecting Show Click Detail at the bottom of the Task progress area. This shows you EVERY operation on the project, not just the summary.




  • The Zingtree Task Manager is a dashboard for guiding your coworkers through decision-tree-based processes created with Zingtree.  This makes it easy to create and follow standard operating procedures.

    Here's what Task Manager looks like:

     

    Here's a quick 2-minute video overview:

    ‌‌‌‌

     

    End-user Demo

    You can use a "sandbox" demo version of Task Manager to see how it works for end-users. This is a simple procurement process where an employee asks to buy something, and a manager needs to approve the purchase.

    Try the Task Manager demo here.

    The Task Manager

    The Zingtree Task Manager was built with full-team functionality in mind. Anyone involved in a work process can use standardized decision tree workflows to navigate through the procedure. Certain steps can only be completed by specific people, and once you reach a step where it’s no longer your responsibility, that task is assigned to someone else.

    Here’s a diagram of a simple purchasing process:

    In this case, if the item is under $100, then the request is approved automatically. Otherwise, a manager needs to approve the order.

    Setting Up Agents and Task Manager

    To enable your organization to use Task Manager, start by going to Account > My Agents. Select Task Manager for agent logins, like this:

    Next, you’ll need to add agent logins – one for each person who will be using the system. Click Add One New Agent, then enter the agent’s name, a login (usually their email), a password, and what groups they are assigned to, like this:

    The groups will be used later to determine who is allowed to act on each step of the workflow. In the above example, Joe Smith is assigned to the employee group.

    Groups

    Each person involved in a process (an “agent”) can belong to one or more groups. You can configure people and groups via Account > My Agents.

    So for example, a small team with two employees and one manager is set up like this:

    Note that “Bill Zing” belongs to both the manager and employee groups.

    Assigning Decision Trees for Agent Groups

    Each tree you create can be assigned to one or more groups. Any agent in the assigned group can start a new project using that tree as a business process workflow. This is done via the Settings tool.

    For example, if we want Joe Smith to be able to run a procurement process decision tree, we would assign that tree to the employee group, as follows:

    1. Select the tree from My Trees.
    2. Open the Settings tool.
    3. Under the Groups tab, enter the group or groups to assign to this tree.

    Here we entered the employee group:

    Be sure to click Update All Settings when finished!

    Assigning Steps in the Process using Tags

    Each node of your business process tree needs to include the Agent Group(s) allowed to act on that step of the process. You can see how our procurement process tree’s groups (outlined in red) are set up here:

     

    The initial request step (node #1) is tagged with “employee”, so only people in the employee group can initiate a request. Node #6 – the Manager approval step – is tagged as “manager”, so only a manager can approve the purchase.

    Assigning Agent Groups to a node is done using the Groups tab when editing a node. Here’s how node #1 is set up for an employee group:

     

    Project Status: Success, Failure or In-Progress

    At the end of a workflow, a project is either successful or a failure. When building your process tree, you can assign a result to each node in the node editor – like this:

    Once a node is reached with a success or failure result, the process has ended.

    Notifications

    A notification can be sent when any node (process step) is reached so that the next person can be alerted and step in for their task. Notifications can be sent in a few different ways, including:

    • A text message
    • A simple email notification
    • A Slack notification
    • A customized email (using an email node)

    Task Manager Operations

    Your agents – people involved in your processes – can perform the following operations on each task:

    • Start: Begin a new task, and assign it a name.
    • Take: Take over the next step of a task. Only one person at a time can move a task to the next step.
    • Release: Release a task so another person can complete the step.
    • Resume: Continue with a task that you have previously taken.
    • Revisit: Go back to a previous step in the task you have permissions to act upon.
    • Reclaim: Take back a task from someone who has taken it.
    • Kill: End a task early, without following all the steps to completion.

    Starting a Task via Webhook or Remote URL

    Zingtree has an endpoint URL you can use to start tasks outside of Task Manager. For example, you can add a webhook to one of your trees, and when the node with the webhook is reached, a task is started.

    The URL looks something like this:

    https://zingtree.com/tasks/remote-start.php?pid=123456789&started_by=Remote%20Test&task_title=New%20Remote%20Task&apikey=1234567890

    The parameters are:

    pid: The tree ID for the task.

    started_by: Who or what started the task (as it appears in Task Manager)

    task_title: The title for the task (as it appears in Task Manager)

    apikey: Your API key (to add an extra level of assurance). You can locate your API key from here.


    You can also include merge variables in this URL. These are variables and their associated values sent into the task session. Add to the above URL like this example, which sends a name (Bill Zing) and email (billzing@zingtree.com) to the session):

    &variables=name|email&values=Bill+Zing|billzing@zingtree.com

     

    If you add this URL as a webhook, you can trigger a task when the webhook is reached. This also returns a Zingtree variable called remote_task_status into your session, so you can use this to determine if the task launch was successful.

    Note: If you have spaces in the task_title, started_by, or values, use %20 or + instead.

    Task Manager Variables

    When in a task, these variables are available for authors to insert into emails or node contents:

    • #organization# – Inserts the name of your organization into the script.
    • #started_by# – Shows the login of the agent who started the task.
    • #started_by_name# – Shows the name of the agent who started the task.
    • #current_agent_login# - The login of the current agent.
    • #current_agent_name# - The name of the current agent.


    Starting a New Project

    1. From Task Manager, click Start a New Project.

    2. Click the Start button next to a business process workflow. The Start New Project screen appears:

    3. Give the project a name, and click Start New Project.

    You can now click through your task steps in the project.

    Taking or Resuming a Task

    The task manager shows you tasks which require your attention, under My Tasks Needing Action.

    Click Take It to act upon the task. If you’ve already taken a task, you can click Resumeto continue the task you’ve taken.

    Releasing a Task

    If you’ve previously taken a task, but now you want to let someone else in your group act upon it, you can Release it. In the above example, if you click Resume, your task screen will have the option to release the task via the orange Release Task button in the upper right:

    Reclaiming a Task

    If someone else has taken a task, and you want to act upon it and override them, you can use the Reclaim option. Here’s how to do it:

    From Other Projects in Progress, click the info button to the right:

    This opens the project info pop-over:

    Click the Reclaim button to give yourself access to this task.

    Killing a Project

    Sometimes a task will get started, and it turned out to be a bad idea. Using the same process as above, you can click the red Kill button to kill a project.

    Killed projects will appear under the Completed Projects tab in Task Manager.

    Revisiting a Task

    There may be times when you want to go back to a previous step in a project. For example, in the PC Purchase project, the manager may have declined a purchase and then changed her mind.

    When a task is opened, the Task Progress accordion shows the steps taken previously. Click the brown Revisit button next to a step to go back to that part of the business process workflow.

    Viewing the History of the Project

    The Task Progress accordion also shows each step in the project, who acted upon it, and when (see above). You can get even more history by selecting Show Click Detail at the bottom of the Task progress area. This shows you EVERY operation on the project, not just the summary.

  • Throughout 2022 Zingtree will be migrating customers to our new faster and more modern user experience! Here's how to tell which experience your Zingtree Authors are currently using.

    Log in to your Zingtree Author account and navigate to My Trees. How does your current My Trees page look?

    Zingtree Classic

    2022-02-25_12-24-51.png

    New User Experience

    2022-02-25_12-26-39.png

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