Therefore Strategic Technology Services

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Therefore BPMS Version 4 Changes

Every week we make between 10 and 20 small refinements to the Therefore BPM Suite. In a year that amounts to about 780 refinements. The Therefore BPMS has been under continual refinement for the last 13 years, which translates into some 10,140 refinements. What would you expect if you refined something 10,140 times? 

What follows is an overview of the core enhancements made during the course of the development of the 4th release of the Therefore BPMS application, which should give you an idea of the type of value that we are continually adding to the Therefore BPMS. 

Pending Notification notice
  • Introduce an option to display pending Notifications on the Classify / Allocate screen
  • Introduce an option to display pending Notifications on the close Acknowledge screen
  • Add the above options to the Review and Utility Screen Options screen
  • Revise Review and Utility Screen Options Instruction text
Duplicate check
  • Resolve Short Description duplicate check error
  • Resolve Document Number duplicate check error
Task Summary
  • Move Flag and Change Log buttons to the bottom of button listing
User Groups
  • Add a Security Group option to User Groups screen
  • Revise User Groups instructions given the above change
Change Log
  • Add Notification element to the Change Log
  • Revise Change Log instructions to dynamically address Notifications element
Public Pages Error Management
  • Public failure advice cleared on Sign in reattempt
  • Public failure advice cleared on Change password reattempt
  • Public failure advice cleared on Forgotten password reattempt
Spaces management
  • Space management on all data capture fields, i.e. trim and extra / all spaces, both create and update
  • Introduce variable space management on Short Description field (i.e. extra and all options)
  • Introduce variable space management on Short Text field (i.e. extra and all options)
Data input Styling
  • Restyle data input fields for authenticated pages
  • Restyle data input fields for public pages
  • Change the Rich Text Editor such that it is a fixed height
  • Implement new Subordinate Report Personalisation Variables
  • Revise Manage Reporting instruction text
  • Implement a set of Created by Notification variables
  • Correct Notifications sent on Reclassification error
  • Revise Data Layer so that Notification templates are held in memory
Priority Type / Thread Type Allocation Screen
  • Fix “alpha in weighting field” button disappearing error
  • Fix “alpha in Percentage of Resolution Target field” button disappearing error
  • Revise Priority / Thread Type Allocation instructions
Document Type / Thread Type Allocation Screen
  • Implement a Document / Thread Type allocation screen
  • Insert new screen into the Options menu structure
Options Menu Structure
  • Make various revisions with respect to “Classification & Thread Type Setup” menu items
Client table updating / population
  • Implement various ThreadBuilder configurative options to define Client table updating rules
  • Implement Client table record create on task closure
  • Implement Client table record update on task closure
  • Add disable dormant Client records script to the System Admin Scripts screen
Communication Cycle Emails
  • Correct contents of task closure email’s Review PDF attachment
  • Correct error whereby Reclassification email sometimes lists multiple reclassifications
  • Add an Option selected option to the Communication Types screen’s Task / Query Detail Object Options section.
Multiple Record Select to Edit Errors
  • Correct various User Groups select to edit errors
  • Correct various Security Groups select to edit errors
Smart Search
  • Revise Smart Search refresh to make it more intuitive
  • Revise stage Smart Search keyword to accommodate open / closed tasks logic
  • Resolve Smart Search Clear Search facility error
  • Strip out multiple spaces when doing a Smart Search
  • Implement a Touch keyword
  • Implement a Department keyword
  • Implement a Major keyword
  • Implement a Minor keyword
  • Revise Smart Search Welcome text / styling
  • Correct Enter Search Text heading text case
  • Revise styling of search box
Discontinued functionality
  • Discontinue Fax functionality
  • Discontinue advanced Reassign functionality
Error encountered screen
  • Revise text on Error encountered screen
  • Error encountered screen to automatically redirect to public landing page
Database Version Management
  • Implement various database version update scripts
Classification screen
  • Revise classification screen headings
    Code Version Number Management
    • Increment web / ThreadBuilder / service version number to 4 
    Contact List
    • Correct Enter Search Text heading text case
    • Revise styling of search box
    Quick Search
    • Revise styling of search box
    Show Disabled
    • Revise styling of Show Disabled dropdown
    Thread Type ID Visibility
    • Add Thread Type ID to various Thread Type listings
    • Add Thread Type ID to various Thread Type select dropdowns
    • Various aesthetic refinements to the ThreadBuilder
    • Various miscellaneous web instructions refinements
    • Various resource file tidy ups

    Wednesday, 4 September 2019

    Using the 80 / 20 Rule to your advantage

    The Pareto principle, often referred to as the “80 / 20 Rule”, states that roughly 80% of your results will be the consequence of 20% of your efforts. Likewise, in business it’s pretty safe to assume that about 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your clients.

    Management consultant Joseph Juran suggested the principle and named it after an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto had noticed the principle in play when he discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

    The Pareto principle has been found to be a useful tool in a broad range of disciplines such as economics, computing, sport and business.

    My interest in the Pareto principle is perhaps a little less academic and a little more practical than that of Joseph Juran. Over the course of my career, I have noticed that I achieve the vast bulk of my results (the 80%) from a relatively small portion of my efforts (the 20%) and I have learned to use the principle to my advantage.

    Using the 80 / 20 principle to your advantage is actually surprisingly simple. Here’s how I do it, presented on a step by step basis! The starting point for my methodology is the humble paper-based “to do list”. Everything that I need to do, irrespective of how trivial, gets recorded on my to do list. You can download a to do list template at the footer of this article.

    My 80 / 20 recipe follows:
    1. Every morning I redraft my to do list, omitting the items that I closed the day before. 
    2. After having redrafted my to do list, I skip through with a green highlighter and mark the items that I believe will get me 80% of my results. It stands to reason that, given that we are following the 80 / 20 Rule, in the region of 20% of your tasks should be highlighted green. By way of example, if you have 20 items on your to do list, you would expect that approximately 4 of them would have been highlighted green.
    3. Next, I step through my to do list looking for “zero value” items. During the course of popping things onto my to do list, I often find items that “seemed like a good idea at the time” but actually hold no value when I look at them later. In short, if you find an item on your list that on further evaluation doesn’t add value, and hasn’t been promised to a colleague or a client, it may be a good idea to close them off as “no longer required”.
    4. I then use a blue highlighter to mark trivial items that I can close out quickly, to de-clutter my list.
    5. I then skip through my to do list and mark the items that I can pass along to colleagues. Once an item has been handed off, I make sure to jot down the initials of the colleague to whom I have allocated the task. The items that I have retained for my personal attention get marked with a “Me!” As a general rule, I hand off highlighted items as a first priority.
    6. During the course of the day, I tackle the highlighted items as a matter of first priority. Obviously, new items get added to your to do list on an ongoing basis and you may want to highlight some of the new items as you go along. Should I have handled all of my highlighted items prior to close of day, I bring out my trusty highlighters and select the next set of green and blue tasks.
    7. At close of day, I do a roundup with my colleagues to see how they have been fairing with the tasks that I handed off to them, and update my to do list where items have been closed.
    8. The start of the following day sees me start the process from the top.
    The above “to do list” process will probably take you 20 or 30 minutes a day, but it is guaranteed to pay dividends. Give it a try … and let me know how it goes. 

    [Download To Do List]