Reports is our name for recording and controlling tasks, issues, communications and projects. Reports are part of our CRM Module (Customer Relationship Manager)
Common uses for Reports include:
•Program and Version control
The Reports tables can be on the local database, or alternatively in the Cloud so they can be accessed from different locations or multiple branches. The Cloud option also enables reports to be entered or viewed via our optional Web Portal.
There are many benefits to using this Reporting system including:
•Customer appreciation – Customers can see what you are doing for them. They like to be kept informed and this will help keep them loyal
•Staff appreciation – Enables management to see who comes up with the best ideas and who does what
•Better team work – Enables everyone to contribute in an efficient way and end up with a better result
•Reduce wasted time – It is amazing how much time is wasted, either because information was not shared and issues have to be repeatedly solved, a work is done on something that is never used because of duplication, poor planning or not being approved.
Each Report is based on a Subject. Subjects can be a Service, a Product or a Project.
If the Subject is large it can be broken down into an unlimited number of Subject Areas.
Subjects can have Versions or Stages.
We can set the estimated costs of a subject (or Area or Version/Stage) in both time and materials. We can also see how much has been done by looking at the sum of the individual completed reports for that subject.
Users can only view and issue Reports for subjects they have been given access to.
Each Report can progress though a series of Status. The progress of an Issue is mostly controlled by it’s status.
The statuses are:
•New – When a customer (standard user) creates a Reports on the web portal the status is automatically set as New. The New status flags it for the Manager(s) of that region to look at. When an Admin user enters an Issue they may change the status at the same time as the initial entry
•Help – When Help or Discussion is needed on a Report before a decision can be made. It is good if all staff frequently look at Reports marked Help and see if they can make any comments to help that Report to be resolved. When a new comment is added to a Help issue it is displayed on all other staff’s Action list so they can join in the discussion to solve the Report.
•Hold – When a Report is held to look at a later time
•Proposed – When a Report is subject to Authorisation. It will be flagged for the Authoriser of that subject to look at
•Rejected – When a Report is rejected for any reason
•Approved – When the Authoriser has approved a Report (or when you want to allocate an issue to someone else) the status would be changed to Approved and it will be flagged for the Allocated person to look at in their new Actions
•Acknowledged – When a Report has been Approved it will show on the Allocated person’s Actions. By marking it as Acknowledged, Started or Completed the Allocated person is signifying he has seen it and is dealing / dealt with it. When changing the status from Approved it will come off their Actions list, but will still be on their TODO list until marked as Completed. If you do not intend starting on it for some time you would set the status to Acknowledged, otherwise you would set it to Started (see below). It is also good practice to confirm the Estimated completion date
•Started – When the Allocated person has started on a Report. As the work progresses the Percent Completed should be updated
•Completed – When a Report has been completed
There are also some listing options that include a combination of statuses
•Action – Issues that are classed as a new action for the current person (eg: have not yet been seen at that particular stage). This includes issues that have been:
1.Approved for the Allocated person (but not yet acknowledged)
2.Proposed reports, but only for the Authoriser
3.New reports, but only for the Managers (for that region)
4.Unread Help Reports for any admin users
•ToDo – Reports that have been allocated to the current person with a status of Approved, Acknowledged or Started.
•Current – Reports for any person with a status of New, Help, Proposed, Approved, Acknowledged or Started.
Each Report can have an unlimited number of comments attached to it.
To Add or Edit a comment, highlight the report and select Edit. You can then select Add Comment or Edit Comment from the left menu
Users are the name we use for the people reporting, entering and being allocated to do Reports.
Users can be set to one of the following 'Roles' for each subject
•Standard User - This is normally the customer
•Team - This is normally the staff
•Authoriser - This is normally the person in charge
When a Report is entered on the Portal by a Standard user it is automatically marked as status 'NEW'. New Reports are managed by TEAM members of the Subject and are shown in their Action list.
In some cases a Reports need to be Authorised before any action is allowed, normally when a cost is involved or a program change has not been agreed on. In other cases you can change the status and allocated person yourself. If Reports should be Approved before work commences (eg: contentious or cannot be completed straight away), they can be marked as 'PROPOSED'. Proposed reports are managed by the Authoriser of that Subject and are shown in their Action list. The Authoriser may 'APPROVE' a report and allocate to a person to complete, or 'REJECT' it, or put it on HOLD, or set it to 'HELP' to get more opinions on it.
Reports can be set to Help and staff are encouraged to comment on these so the best solution can be determined. Each time a comment is added it will appear in your Action list until read.
It is a good idea to set an appropriate Priority, as this is a useful way to sort long lists.
Also set the Estimated Hours and try and set the Allocated to who will eventually do it. Also it can help to modify the Details to make it easier to understand and so that the wording suits when it is Completed and in the Changes list.
Note: The Allocated To can be set at any time, however the Allocation is not activated until the status is set to: Approved, Acknowledged, Started or Complete.
Showing Reports to be Read
There is a system of showing Users when Reports have not yet been read. These reports are highlighted by showing the text in a red when displaying them on the grid.
This is updated when a report is new or a comment has been added
To mark it as Read just select Edit and then select Save
Notifications of new Reports, new comments and changed status
There are optional email notifications that can be automatically sent to the appropriate persons.
You can turn the email notifications off for each user in the User Details.
The scenarios when the notifications will apply are
•When a Report is reported with a status of New – Notify the Managers of the subject (unless they are the one entering it). Also notify the user reporting it (unless they are the one entering it). Note this is normally only when a customer is reporting a new issue.
•When a Report status is set to Proposed – Notify the Authoriser of the subject (unless they are the one setting it).
•When a Report status is set to Approved – Notify the Allocated To person (unless they are the one setting it).
•When a Report is marked as Help – Notify all staff (eg: Account Managers and Admin users) apart from the person changing the status. (May be hard to figure out when the status has changed)
•When a Comment is added – If marked as Help Notify all Account Managers and Admin users apart from the person making the comment. If not Help send to Manager of subject, ReportedBy and AllocatedTo unless the person making the comment
•When a Report is marked as Completed – Notify the reporter of the subject (unless the person is the one changing the status). Maybe later we could have an option to just send one email even if a user had reported 20 issues in that version being published. See Bulk Edit below.
Working with Target Version / Builds / Stages
Priorities and Target Versions allow you to organise your work better.
We can set estimated time and costs of individual Reports.
If a subject has a Version or Stage, it can be broken down into manageable sections. For example with 2.04.133, the 2 is the major release, 04 is a minor release and 133 is the Build (known as sprints in Agile).
When you are organising new issues try to allocate them to a target Build eg; 2.04.008 or if you are not sure put a question mark eg: 2.04.00?, 2.04?, 2.05? etc. On a new entry the target can be set to just ? so we can see the issues you need to allocate.
When the issues have been organised with target versions, you can then use the ‘Group’ option to Group Propose them. The Authoriser can then Group Approve them. When the work has been done they can be Group Completed.
It is normally quicker to set the target version on issues and then use: Bulk Edit to bulk change a group of issues to Completed at the time of completion.
It is normally beneficial to get at least a few minor versions approved in advance so it can be validated and budgeted for.
If you want to see information regarding a specific user we can produce User Reports.
To produce User reports:
•Select CRM, select the Reports tab, and ensure the appropriate User is selected.
•Select Users from the left menu
•On the User screen select Reports from the left menu
•Ensure the dates are set and the appropriate report is set and click OK
You can also produce itemised list for: Reported By, Entered By, Completed By (allocated) and ToDo (allocated) in Issue Reports.
The Issue Reports are on the main Report browse tab under 3 options on the left menu.
Form - Print off a form of a single report with all the associated details including comments. Select Form from the List view. Alternatively Edit a Report and select Save & Print
Outstanding - This shows outstanding Issues. This will also filter by Subject if currently selected. There is also a Grid option which gives a report for the currently selected criteria, basically exactly what is shown on the screen grid (including the order by clicking on the column headers.
Completed – This allows you to produce for Completed reports (By Area or Version), Reported or Entered and allows you to set a period.
This gives a summary of what a user has been doing in the selected period and how their time has been spent.
It is normally helpful to go through this report with each staff member so that they can see how beneficial this is for the business. It can also help identify the people who do good work and help solve problems. For example this report shows:
Issues Entered by subject – This is when a Reports has been Entered by that user (not necessary reported by them). For example if ACME SUPPLIES reported a Report but the operator entered it then it will appear here. If the operator Reported and Entered it then it will also appear but will additionally appear in the next section. So this is just like passing on a message, in this case we give it a low estimated amount of time of 0.10 of an hour (6 minutes).
Issues Reported by subject – This is when a Reports has been Reported by that user (operator). This is much more valuable as it is normally the result of finding a problem or a great new idea. This time we use an Estimated Time, currently 0.35 of an hour (21 minutes) per entry. We can analyse these in more detail to appreciate staff who do good testing and come up with new ideas.
Customer Service Issues Completed – At the moment we have not said that staff need to record all customer service and support issues (Issues marked General or FAQ – eg: Not development issues). This is because we want staff to get used to the system first, and they will not probably like that they will need to record each issue, however to get the full picture of communications with our customers we will need to implement this when we have got it as streamlined as possible. It will also be interesting looking at the different subjects eg: How long we spend on General IT issues such as Printer problems or how many Courtesy calls we have made under Customer Service. These issues should be timed. The default is 0.25 of an hour (15 minutes) but if it took an hour it should be changed. We can then look at the issues that took a long time or we get a lot and see what we can do to improve things.
Total Customer Service Hours – Ok this is not complete at the moment but we will start looking at this more and more, factoring in time spent on tasks that are not recorded such as Admin, Sales and Management tasks
Development Issues completed – This shows the work he has completed on Development for this period. It shows he has fixed 1 issues on Evopos Desktop and 22 on Evopos Portal and has spent 10.5 Hours doing it. The default is 0.25 of an hour (15 minutes) but if it took an hour it should be changed. We also put a money value on it for both the time (@ 20.00 per hour) and any other costs he may have needed to spend. The idea is that the UK region should be reimbursed for any development work they have not done, so that the time is not seen as having a negative effect on the business
TO DO Approved issues allocated – This enables you to monitor each staff members work load. If one person has too much and another too little you can change the Allocated person
Users can see the full history of Issues they have reported.