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A Simple 3-Step Approach To Better Workflows
A Simple 3-Step Approach To Better Workflows

Create greater visibility over your client work, spot bottlenecks visually, and eliminate constant, time-consuming reviews.

Ron Gorodetsky avatar
Written by Ron Gorodetsky
Updated over a week ago

Many of the workflows that we see new users import today are long and complex. These often take the form of single, run-on task lists with over a dozen steps, that we know you dread to use.

When loaded up with numerous clients, traditional workflow tools get really busy, making it impossible to see an overview of what needs your attention at a glance.

Despite establishing a somewhat repeatable experience for your clients, by and large, dreadfully long and complex workflows do more harm than good:

  • Providing little visibility over a “funnel” of clients — requiring time-consuming reviews (and sync-ups with your team) to fully grasp how far along each of your clients are and what can be prioritized next.

  • Making it more difficult to customize an individual client’s experience by re-ordering or editing individual steps to match a client’s unique needs and immediate priorities.

Here at Hubly, we recommend taking a simple 3-step approach to planning key processes based on best practices that we’ve seen work time and time again for hundreds of users.

  1. Plan the stages — think of these as gates that you move a client through.

  2. Plan the tasks — getting the level of detail right is tricky, and we recommend always starting simple until you’ve driven at least one real client through a workflow.

  3. Sprinkle on automation — there are many ways to automate Hubly workflows, but the only helpful automation is the one that actually saves you time.

1. Planning Stages

We think of a Process as a funnel or a Kanban board, with each Workflow acting as a stage in the Process:

Clients usually start in the Workflows on the left side of the screen, and then get moved through the different Workflows to their right:

You do not have to move every client through every Workflow in the order that they appear on your screen:

When planned well, these Workflows represent stages in your Process that make it easy to see where every client is at, and spot what work needs to be prioritized:

Now It’s Your Turn

  1. Choose an area of your business (ie. New Prospect Workflow) and start by reviewing your list of tasks and identifying logical groupings

  2. Now create a new workflow in Hubly, give it a name, and add in the tasks from that grouping

  3. Now repeat for the rest

Now that you’re done, you can connect each Workflow in Hubly so that clients will flow through by indicting the Next Workflow:

Hit Done to save your changes.

You can see that all of your newly created Workflows have been added to the Workflow Menu, which is a library where you will find these Workflows individually listed:

You can also group these Workflows into one Process, which is like a folder that allows you to select all grouped Workflows at the same time to be displayed in your Hub.

Select the + Process button within the Workflow Menu:

Give it a name:

Select the Workflows you would like to include and hit Save:

2. Planning Workflow Tasks

To keep things simple, we generalize all Workflows into two distinct types:

  • High volume, high frequency — these Workflows are used for many clients, frequently throughout the year. Individual steps are nearly memorized.

  • Low volume, low frequency — these Workflows are only used for some clients, infrequently throughout the year. Individual steps can be easy to miss unless they are properly documented, and the cost of making a mistake can risk cost or reputation.

Workflows that see a high volume of clients and are used frequently throughout the year should be kept brief:

Tasks should be documented in a way that allows the user (you or a team member) to simply indicate where they left off, like a bookmark:

Additional details or instructions should be documented as Descriptions on those tasks:

Otherwise, unnecessarily long task lists in highly used Workflows will become a burden to complete.

Workflows that see a low volume of clients and are used infrequently through the year can be well documented with longer task lists:

Now It’s Your Turn

Start by reviewing your first Workflow — is this high or low volume? Are there too many, or not enough steps to guide a user through it?

  1. Key details, such as known missteps or complex 3rd party requirements, should be documented as distinct tasks

  2. Task names should still be kept brief, as their purpose remains to track progress

  3. Descriptions should also be used to document additional details or instructions to the user

Proper documentation, in this case, will help ensure accuracy and efficiency, helping you and your team avoid unnecessary delays due to known issues or the need to research the procedure every time.

We recommend always starting simple until you’ve driven at least one real client through a Workflow.

3. Sprinkle On Automation

There are many ways that automated actions can save you time in Hubly. From setting smart reminders for your Workflow Tasks to categorizing Clients into Streams and Tags as they move through a Workflow.

However, the only helpful automation is the one that saves you time!

For this reason, we always recommend waiting until you’ve driven at least a couple of real clients through a Workflow.

Automations, like adjustments to your Task lists, are best added retroactively.

Find yourself always setting the same reminder for a Workflow Task?

Try pre-configuring a sequential task reminder that Hubly will automatically schedule upon your completion of the preceding Task:

Adding clients into a Workflow whenever they schedule a call or submit an interest form?

Try adding a Zapier trigger that monitors the form and adds the client to a specific Workflow automatically in Hubly:

Manually adding or removing clients from a Stream or Tag?

Try adding an Add or Remove Stream/Tag Rule to trigger when the client is added or completes that specific Workflow:

Running and re-running CRM reports to identify which clients are turning a specific age?

Try adding an Age-Based Rule to monitor clients and add them to that specific Workflow when (or before/after) they turn a specific age:

Adding the same clients to Workflows every month/quarter/year?

Try adding a Repeating Rule to add specific groups of clients to a Workflow on set frequencies:

Struggling to stay on top of long-term topics, such as insurance and estate plan reviews? Tired of manually identifying when it’s time to schedule check-in meetings/reviews based on the previous meeting date and client service level?

Try adding an Important Client Date Rule to monitor a group of clients and add them to that specific Workflow a set amount of time before/after an individual client date:

The goal is not to foresee and plan for every possible scenario — the trick is again to keep it simple. Automated actions can save you time, or just as easily burry you in a tidal wave of clients.

Start by sprinkling on automated actions to prop up your existing work, instead of introducing new (sometimes aspirational) touchpoints into the client service cycle.

Now It’s Your Turn

Test these out, see how they work, and iterate.

Hubly makes it easy to adopt a mindset where you plan, test, and improve over time — making your operations more efficient with every passing cycle of client work.

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