In the last Pizza and Process webinar, our host and Nintex Product Manager, Jonathan Butler was joined by Nicole Vesser, Senior Solutions Manager at Nintex Partner, Abel Solutions. The two discuss the methodology behind a complex contract management solution that leverages Nintex for Office 365, Nintex DocGen®, and Nintex Sign® powered by Adobe Sign. The episode is now available to watch on-demand.
Pizza and Process is an educational webinar series ran by the Nintex product team. The goal is to provide attendees with new strategies for building automation solutions – featuring discussions with Nintex power-users and process automation experts around the globe.
Designer turned process expert
In the beginning of the episode, Nicole talks about how she was introduced to Nintex. She studied graphic design and worked as a designer on her marketing team for 6 years until her CIO asked her if she would be the company’s “SharePoint person.” When she accepted the opportunity, she didn’t have any experience with SharePoint or Nintex, and now she’s an expert with the entire Nintex Process Platform.
Almost everything she knows about Nintex and SharePoint was self-acquired, except for a short window of time each week that she was able to meet with her CIO to ask all of her questions.
Thank you Nintex help documentation
“Nintex help documentation is amazing. It was a life saver for me when I first started,” says Nicole.
Whether you’re brand new and cracking open the tool for the first time or if you’ve been using it for a decade, there is limitless help documentation to help you configure any action within the Nintex Process Platform.
Designate a point person for every department involved in an automated process
Nicole proposed that if you’re doing a project for the marketing team, it’s important to have a primary contact on the marketing team who can help from their side. For many projects—as she put it—she’s bringing an ancient, clunky, broken process into this century. Some of her customers don’t know what SharePoint is – this means that sometimes they don’t know what to ask for.
When this is the case, Nicole tries avoid the technical “weeds” so that they can quickly identify the requirements and find a solution.
White boarding sessions are super helpful for defining requirements. The quickest way to define project requirements is a meeting with one point-of-contact for every department involved. And it’s a huge component of a successful automation solution.
Contract management with 15 approvals
Nicole and her team at Abel Solutions are working with a customer to automate their entire contracting process. Whether that’s NDAs, capital expenditures, purchase orders, etc. Each of those individual parts of the contracting process have their own stage of approvals built within the process. And sometimes approvals are 15 levels deep – this is not an exaggeration.
One SharePoint list to update for complex approval workflows
Nicole and the Abel Solutions team strategically structure their automation projects with scalability in mind. For example, sometimes customers will be so focused on gathering Jim’s approval that they’re not considering how the process would break if Jim changed roles or companies.
Sure, Jim is the CFO, so he should be approving custom contracts for example. To avoid disruption if Jim moves on, Nicole creates one role-based SharePoint list to manage, define and document every stakeholder within a process. In the screenshot below, you’ll see a list of different job roles and associated to each is the current person in that role.
Your workflows can reference this dynamic SharePoint list and the maintenance is minimal if Jim decides to change roles. With this method, no one has to touch the workflows when there’s a change in contributors. Instead, they can simply update the SharePoint list.
Feature requests for the future
In usual Nintex Pizza and Process fashion, Jonathan closed the webinar by asking Nicole what feature she would you like to see added to the Nintex Process Platform. Nicole responded with two ideas where she would like to inherit features from Nintex for SharePoint on-premises. Both are in Nintex for Office 365, she would love to see more graphical display of every workflow’s status and history, and site level inventory lists to make logging and reporting much easier.
Jonathan hinted that one of these requests might be coming soon but did not specify which one.
The next Pizza and Process
In the next Pizza and Process on November 18, we will hear from Mickey Camarco. Mickey is a Nintex Solutions Engineer and process automation expert. Jonathan and Mickey will discuss a health tracking solution that documents employee vaccination records or health test results to ensure a safe working environment for everyone at your organization.
Register today for the love of process and pizza!
To learn more about how we can help your organization with process automation, get in contact with the Nintex team today.