People, teams, and businesses all gain efficiency and reduce costly errors when repeatable processes are documented and followed. Additional time and cost savings are realized when processes are automated. To achieve all these benefits, use master process templates to document your processes and workflows. Then, use those same templates to generate and run individual, automated processes as needed.

Watch the video below to see all the steps to create a repeatable process with step-by-step workflows, assignments, roles, relative due dates, forms, and more...

In this article, you'll learn how to create master process templates for your repeatable processes. Here are the topics we will cover:

  • The difference between a Process and a Process Template

  • How to create a Process Template

  • How to start new Process from a Template

  • How to update, share, and delete Process Templates

What's the difference between a Process and a Process Template?

Process Templates give you a way to create and share a "master process" for your repeatable processes.

Once published in the Template Library, any Manager in your Account can view the Template and use it to start as many new process-driven workflows as needed. This makes Process Templates an ideal way to drive process consistency and make sure things get done right. 

An Example

Imagine you want to create a repeatable onboarding process for new team members. That process involves the new employee, their manager, and people from HR, facilities, and other teams. You want the same official process to be followed every time and you want the Process Template to handle the fact that task assignees, due dates, and other content of the process (e.g. their desk location) will be different each time.

Here's what a Template for your process might look like. The Process Template looks just like any other written process outline or procedural checklist you might create in TeamworkIQ, except there's significantly more use of placeholders for roles, relative due dates, and other content that might need to be different each time a new Process is made from the Template.

How To Create a Process Template

1. Go to the Template Library

Access the Template Library from the Templates link in the Main Menu. 

The full set of Template related features is available to any member of the account with Manager level feature access. If you need access to these features, ask the Account Owner or an Account Admin.

Within the Template Library you'll find several lists of templates:

  • My Templates tab lists all the templates for which you are an Author. As an Author you can make revisions to these templates, publish updated versions, or remove the template if needed.

  • Account Templates tab lists all the published templates for the account. The name of your account will be shown in the name for the tab.

2. Create a New Template

There are several ways to create a new template:

  • Start with a Blank Template
    To create a template from scratch, go to the Template Library and click the + New button in the top-right corner, or, from the Main Menu click + New then select Process template from the list.

  • To create a template from an existing process, go to the process that you want to turn into a template, open the ... menu and click Save as new template.

Once the template is created, add some content, save your work, then publish the template.

  • Create the contents of the template. Authoring the contents of your template is just like authoring a process. Simply type up who needs to do what outlining and indenting items as needed. Remember it's best to assign tasks to Roles instead of individual people and to use text variables, date variables, and relative due dates where needed. More on that in sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 of this article below.

  • Save your template. When you do it gets saved as an "Draft Revision" and is not yet visible in the All Templates listing. You, and anyone else you have added as an Author of this template can find it in the My Templates list.

  • Publish your template. When you are ready for other people to discover and use your template, click Publish. As soon as you publish the template, it will appear in the All Templates list within the Template Library for all Managers in the account to see and use.

    Your published template will look like this...

3. Use Roles to Assign Tasks

When creating templates it is best to use Roles to assign tasks to various job functions rather than directly to a person. Why? When you use a Role, you can assign different people to the Role later.

Use Roles to assign work to any job function. Simply type @ and the name of the job function, then select the role from the list to create the role assignment. Roles can be named anything. For example: Account Manager, Sales Rep, Director, CFO, Controller, HR Rep, Bookkeeper, CPA, Supervisor, Inspector, etc.

4. Use Text Variables as Placeholders for Content

Text variables are placeholders for text that will be entered later and merged into a new process created from a template. As shown below the text variable {New Employee} will eventually be replaced by the name of a new employee. 

To create a text variable, type a { then type the name of the variable you want followed by a }. The { and } are called opening and closing curly brackets. They signify the start and end of your variable. You can also press the {..} icon in the toolbar to create a new variable.

As you type the variable name, you'll see other variables appear in a menu. This lets you pick and reuse existing variables.

If you want the variable you are creating to hold a date rather than text, select "value will be a date" from the menu. However, there's an easier way to create Date Variables. Read on...

5.  Use Date Variables as Placeholders for Due Date Values

Like Text Variables, Date Variables are used as placeholders for values that can be set when a new process is made from a Template. Date Variables however are for dates.

In the example below {hire date} is a date variable. Everything the @Manager needs to do is due by the {hire date}, the first day of work for the new employee.

6.  Use Relative Due Dates to Dynamically Set Due Dates

Imagine you want certain sections of your process due several hours or a few days before a key event. Or, perhaps due weeks or months after a key event. Use Relative Due Dates to do that. Here's how...

7.  Consider Adding a Launch Form and Launch Settings  

If you want to start your process by having someone fill out and submit a form to capture some information up-front, then use that info throughout the rest of the process, then add a Launch Form.

You can also generate custom Process Titles and Process Tags from the Launch Form data or other data about the process, like the date or time the process was started. Generated Process Titles help people quickly identify both the nature of the process and who or what it is specifically for. Tags can do the same by allowing to categorize and subcategorize processes. Both Titles and Tags are used to power searches.

Checkout this video on these topics:

How To Start a New Process from a Process Template

  • To start a new process from a template find the template you want to use in the Template Library and click to preview it. Then from the Template Preview, click the Start Process button, or select the same from the ... menu for the template. 

How To Share a Template

  • When a Template is published to the Template Library, it becomes shared with every Manager in the your Account. That way other Managers can find and use the Template. 

  • If you want to share the template so that other people can help author it and keep its content up to date, then Edit the master Process Template and add other Managers to the list of Authors in the top-right of the Template Info panel on the right.

How To Update an Existing Template

  • To update an existing template, go to the template, then press Edit. On smaller screens, screens select Edit from the ... menu instead.

How To Delete a Template

  • Delete a template or a draft revision by selecting the appropriate option from the ... menu for the template.

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