Advanced Training: Admin

Setting Up Your Workflow

In the previous section we had you review core motivations, objectives, goals, and metrics. As part of these "pre-implementation" processes, we highly recommend you create or chart your workflows.

Visualizing the actual flow tends to be incredibly valuable

Most companies have formal process elements clearly defined and in place—employee manuals and handbooks, manufacturing design schemes, etc. As an Sysadmin, you'll be expected to mesh your company's formal process elements with the often unspoken "rules" employees follow day-to-day. As a result, even if your company has a well-defined workflow process in place, review it and make notes about where you expect to fit within it.

If you don't have an existing, or well-defined workflow, use your system deployment as an opportunity to create one, or create a better one.

Sample Workflow Chart

Click for larger image.

Whether your workflow is part of a 500-page manual or written on the back of a napkin, the point is to take the time to map out the process. Mark specific moments and actions where you'd like to see improvement. Link your goals to those areas. Make a list of data, activities, sales collateral, or anything else pertaining to them.

Unifying Change

Some Sysadmins get caught up during their deployment process thinking, "Wow, we can push the utility of this system in five different ways." While the intent is positive, such thoughts often lead to problems. A new piece of software requires investment and "buy in" from users. Without it, even the best software will fail to get any traction.

When more than one department is involved, more than one group of managers is forced to be involved. More "moving parts" have to be accounted for, more processes and existing technology systems are potentially affected.

We're not saying you shouldn't try to maximize the value of your investment; that's just prudent business practice. What we are saying is get one solid "win" out of the system first, then think about expanding. Make it work with one department, for one specific purpose before moving on.

Some features and benefits of the system will not directly alter your workflow, but may interact with other systems to have an impact elsewhere. Talk to your implementation manager to help identify these areas.

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