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From Beginner to Expert: 3 Ways Automations Can Save You Time on Project Management

Written by Willie Gregory, Application Support Specialist for RoboHead

One of the key aspects of Project Management is time management. Automations are a powerful tool that can you save a lot of time. At RoboHead, our automation tool is called RoboScripts. These automations are beloved by our customers and are known to save thousands of hours each year!

 RoboScripts are a set of powerful and ever-growing options that let you automate portions of the workflows you create in RoboHead. These automations allow you to customize exactly when they are triggered during a project and what action you want them to take. Roboscripts not only save you a little bit of time every time they are used, but they give you even more control of your team’s workflow.

Beginner: Automatically Archive a Project

To demonstrate this, we’ll start with something simple and useful that saves you a few clicks at the end of a Project.  The following RoboScript will automatically Archive a Project once its Project Status has been changed to Complete. By archiving the project, it is moved off of the active project list and into your completed work, so you can still access the files and use the data to report on your team’s overall performance. 

The automation in RoboHead would look something like this:

Since we have the example here, let’s take a look at the makeup of the RoboScript.  It has a name that is short but descriptive, “Archive Project When Complete.”  Then we need a trigger, what action is being taken that might cause it to go off, in this case, we want it to check when a “Project Status is Changed.”  Next, we narrow down that condition a bit more with the “If” statement.  There are lots of Project Status updates going on, but we only want this to happen when the Project Status is changed to one of the ones with a Complete attribute.  In the end, if all of that is true up to this point, then we’ll have it do its action, Archive the Project.

With the RoboScript enabled, now when a Project Manager gives a final look at a Project and changes the Status to Complete it’ll trigger the RoboScript that Project will then be Archived and moved out of the Active Projects list.  These clicks saved add up to big time savings across your projects but also build in greater consistency throughout your processes.

Intermediate: Automatically Archive the Project and Deliver Files

As was mentioned, that example is pretty simple and similar to one of the defaults we had set up in the accounts.  But let’s add to that one a bit and have it do a bit more for us. For the net example, we can automatically mark the project as complete, but also automatically send the final version of the files to the original person who requested the work. This way, no one is left waiting and wondering when their projects will be completed.

 So, let’s take a look at the following:

This one follows the same basic setup, it’s still going to trigger off of a Project Status being changed, and that change is to set the status to Complete.  We’ll still have the Project Archive when that happens as well.  What we’ve added is another thing for it to do when the Project Status is changed to Complete and that is to send out any files marked as Final Deliverables.  

For this automation to work, some of the files in your project will need to be tagged as “final deliverable. You can do that manually by Tagging the files with that yourself, or you can set up a RoboScript to copy the Review files to the Files tab and tag them automatically when a Review is Completed.   

When we choose to have it email the Final Deliverables we can then choose who to send it to.  There are options for specific email addresses or there are checkboxes below to send the Requestor of the Project, the Reviewers on the Project, or both.  We can set up a Subject Line and Body for the email and choose how to send the files, either as an attachment to the email, a link for them to download the file, or both.  There’s also an expiration date if you want a time limit on the download link.

With this addition, now we’re not just saving a couple of clicks per Project.  Now we’re saving the whole process of setting up and sending out an email.  There’s no need to look who requested the Project, get the files, write them an email, attach the file, and send it out.  The work is all done by just changing the Project Status to complete.

Advanced: Automatically Archive the Project, Deliver Files and Request Feedback

You can add even more value to your automation by sending a survey to request feedback with the click of a button.    If we click the + button one more time, we can add in the following to it as well:

In much the same manner as sending out the Final Deliverables, we can have the RoboScript send out a Survey.  In the same way,  you can choose specific email addresses to send it out to, but the more common use would be to just have this sent to the person who requested the Project and/or the people reviewing the files.  The simple survey is easy to fill out and allows them to say whether the experience was good or bad and leave some comments or give Kudos to people they worked with that they thought went above and beyond.

With the more complex automation, the Project Manager changing the Project’s Status to Complete we get the following chain of events.  The Project is automatically Archived.  An email is automatically sent to the Requestor with the Final Deliverables from the Project that was just Completed.  Along with that, another email went out to the Requestor asking them for feedback on the process.  That’s quite a bit to accomplish with just a click of the mouse.

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