Woodforest Bank is a regional bank in the South with 5,000 employees serving customers in 15 states through 700+ branches. They recently created a Contract Management Approval Process using CorasWorks. In this article, we’ll take a look at their solution and at their actual end-user documentation that they have provided to us.
Most of the resources that CorasWorks provides, be it documentation, articles, videos is targeted towards people that are deploying, building, or supporting applications. We don’t typically go deep into end-user training. However, our customers often do. They create more detailed end-user facing documentation and/or videos to make the apps successful with their end-users. The documentation from Woodforest Bank is a good example of a best practice.
About the App
Woodforest Banks’ app is to manage the process of requesting, submitting, and getting approval for contracts with external vendors. It is part of their Portal. It is a classic CorasWorks business process. It’s got the main request form. Its got the displays. It has the end-user actions to automate the work, such as emailing and approvals. And, it has the workflow. These elements are the keys to any business process.
About the Documentation
They have provided us with documentation of their application. There are two documents. The Overview document provides a high level overview of each major part of the process. The Procedures document details each step. This is where documentation really meets the end-user. It is nicely done and a good standard for these types of apps. Each document has the workflow diagram for the app at the end.
This type of documentation is important for a business process app. For collaborative team sites/apps, end-users pretty much figure it out – by its nature it is ad hoc. However, a business process app is, well, a process – and details matter. The very process of documenting it sets your standards.
This level of documentation is most important at the initial introduction of the app. First, as above, it documents the process. It is then reviewed and debated. This is the most time consuming part. Second, this documentation gets the first time users up to speed quickly and effectively.
In speaking with Victor Chataboon, Senior Architect, Infrastructure Platforms that drove this app “The app from start to finish was about a 3 week process. About 2 weeks was spent figuring out the data and the process, involving end-users and getting agreement. It took just a few days to build it out. Then, a few more days to document it. We did some training and rolled it out to production. Its worked very well for us.”
The Next Step
According to Victor the next step will be to integrate the Vendor “lookup” with their external systems. Right now it is a list in SharePoint. Using the Toolset they plan to hook up the app with vendors in an external system so that they maintain their single source of truth across the organization. This is a classic next step. First, you build the app to get the process right. Then, you do a bit of integration with external systems. (See our white paper Enabling Application Evolution that tells the story of how one app evolved through 5 stages).
Well, thanks to Woodforest for sharing. If you’ve got some apps to share, ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org.