When working with any data or information, there is a constant battle to locate it, collect it and keep it up to date. Three of the most rapidly developing features of OrgVue are the interfaces: webforms, surveys and task forms. Each of these “sit over the top” of the main OrgVue Workspace, acting as a simple, user-friendly layer that allows users to interact with their data.
Because they are more streamlined than Workspace and present only a limited amount of data, interfaces are a great way of increasing involvement from people across the business, even if they aren’t comfortable with new technology or haven’t received OrgVue training. They can also be viewed on mobile devices.
Webforms are online forms that can be generated from any OrgVue dataset with the click of a button. They provide a simple and streamlined interface for updating specified information. This is extremely useful to crowdsource information from across the business on an ad hoc basis as people can provide information without engaging directly with the OrgVue workspace.
A colleague of mine recently conducted performance appraisals using webforms designed around the client’s process. They sent them to all the organisation’s managers and employees before aggregating the results. Using webforms made this process successful because they are:
- Configurable: Choose what fields will appear on the screen and how to display them
- Versatile: Make use of a range of input types, including calendars, dropdowns and number sliders
- Secure: Use email addresses to restrict access to only the nodes they have permission to see
- Multi-purpose: Generate several webforms from a single dataset by tagging properties
- User-friendly: Employ rich text formatting and HTML to customise the standard template
Surveys are similar to webforms in that they act as an additional layer on top of the Workspace and allow easy input of information. However, surveys contain a number of features that webforms do not:
- They don’t require respondents to have an OrgVue account
- They have convenient add-ons like email circulation and header/footer/thank-you messages
- They allow admins to send out invites en masse and track responses
These features make them ideally suited to gathering data from large numbers of respondents. A few months ago, I used an OrgVue survey to register expressions of interest from employees in an organisation undergoing transformation. It took a couple of minutes to send out personalised emails to 700 employees in batches so the transformation team and I could address different language regions.
Adding messages to the start and end and customising the formatting to the client helped gain buy-in from employees. In addition a key benefit was that we were able to track the progress of surveys from being “Sent” to “In Progress” (when an individual had edited and saved their answers) to “Complete” (they had submitted the survey). Once all respondents had completed the survey, it was easy to use a lookup to pull their responses into the current employee state dataset to inform the next phase of the project.
Task forms are the newest interface that has been developed for OrgVue. Unlike webforms and surveys, tasks are custom-designed by Concentra to fit the particular needs of a client, and all the tasks within a particular tenant can be accessed via a single URL.
Tasks help users to input data following a pre-defined process. Each task guides the user through a series of input screens and writes the information they enter into OrgVue. There are 3 main features that make tasks ideally suited to managing processes:
- They are dynamic, meaning that the information you enter effects the screens you see
- They allow for workflows, meaning managers can review and approve data entered
- They are able to extract and write data from/to multiple different OrgVue datasets, allowing them to be used to manage complex processes fed from different sources of information
Individual users cannot configure the structure of task forms themselves but there are some configuration options available – e.g. defining dropdown lists and default options from datasets in OrgVue Workspace.
Tasks are also a rapidly evolving area of the product. In the last 12 months, we have developed tasks for: objectives management, building your organisation hierarchy, conducting 360 reviews, managing employee recruitment, consultation and retrenchment, and validating changes to the structure of departments. Alongside each of these releases have been an array of new formatting and features, including using tasks to send emails and print PDFs.
The various OrgVue Interfaces are fairly new – task forms have only existed for 18 months – and yet they are being used in a variety of use cases, from succession planning to OD. The near future will see even greater use – with a complete update of the webform UI, increasingly flexible formatting options for surveys, and continuing advancement of task form functionality. Watch this space!
This article was authored by Ben Marshall from the OrgVue Consulting Team