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5 Ways to Define a Workflow in SmartSuite with SOPs

5 Ways to Define a Workflow in SmartSuite with SOPs

10 minutes

April 12, 2023

Congratulations on defining your workflow—that's a real milestone! But here comes the challenging part: remembering each step of your process in the right order, every single time. If you're like me, this is often where the plan starts to unravel. That's why we're diving into SmartSuite, a spectacular tool for organizing processes and integrating SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) into your workflow management software, making things clear and actionable for you and your team.

Step 1: Finding the Perfect Spot for Your Process

The journey of embedding your process into SmartSuite begins by determining where to house it. Having worked with over 1200 teams to enhance their work management software, I recommend starting with SmartSuite's general solution for a robust task integration area. If you're well-acquainted with SmartSuite, you might prefer a specialized zone tailored to solve specific problems, such as content campaign planning, service offerings, or HR protocols.

For those new to SmartSuite, look for a general area where all tasks are pooled. This acts as your capacity defense zone, a term we use at Process Driven. But for the seasoned users, a specialized solution within SmartSuite could unlock bespoke features to structurally organize your respective processes.

Remember, before proceeding further, ensure you have a designated spot in SmartSuite to embed your workflow.

Step 2: Clarifying Your Process

Next, scrutinize your process to ensure it's clear enough for a seamless transition into SmartSuite. Use tools like flowcharts, whiteboards, or a simple numbered list to detail each step. Assign meaningful names or phases—aim for less than five—to encapsulate key sections of the workflow. This helps in systematically understanding each component of the process, making the mapping into SmartSuite more intuitive.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Structure in SmartSuite

Now, the meat of the matter: translating the identified phases of your process into SmartSuite. Here’s where you can get creative with structuring:

  1. Subitems per phase: Best for when each phase has unique details to track.
  2. Checklist item per phase: Ideal for clearer visibility and accountability of each phase.
  3. Unique field per phase: Utilize for processes requiring tailored solutions for each phase.
  4. Linked record per phase: Recommended for complex projects where you want to link two databases.

Each option has its virtues, and your best bet depends on the complexity of the process, as well as the need for flexibility and task management. If options seem overwhelming—no stress—I'll guide you through!

"Choose the SmartSuite structuring option that best aligns with the intricacy of your process for an optimized workflow experience." - Layman's SmartSuite Tip

Step 4: Armoring Your Process with SOPs

Arming your process with relevant Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs is your next move. Whether it's detailed guides, templates, or brand rules, establishing a repository for these documents is essential. Consider creating a dedicated area within SmartSuite for all SOPs, which can then be networked through the platform, providing automated access and instruction that empower you to execute each process phase effectively.

Step 5: Bridging Your Process with SOPs in SmartSuite

Lastly, it's all about seamlessly weaving your SOPs into your process structure. SmartSuite grants the flexibility to approach this connection using methods like URL fields, linked records, help text with references, formatted Smart Docs, or checklist embeds. Your choice should reflect the frequency and volume of your workflow:

  1. URL fields for simplicity
  2. Linked records for aesthetic clarity
  3. Help text for non-obstructive guidance
  4. Smart Docs for detailed instruction
  5. Checklists for in-task SOP visibility

Adopt the method that suits your needs and complements how your team engages with SOPs. Don't hesitate to consult the accompanying chart from the video to decide which linkage style fits your process best.

In essence, by meticulously integrating your process into SmartSuite, you instill structure into what was once just an idea or a scribble on a notepad. This becomes a cycle; creating a template, constructing the framework, and fleshing out each step, ready to be initiated. And remember, if you need a nudge starting with SmartSuite, a variety of resources and support options are available—including our affiliate perks and free SOP templates.