As a project management tool, Podio has been distinguished for a long time in its ability to bring flexible data structure together with collaborative communications into a unified, immersive interface. Combined with GlobiFlow in the Podio Premium package, Podio’s workflow automation makes it the “triple threat” in project management tools, combining flexible data structure, collaborative communication, and workflow automation together in a package that is unrivaled in the market.
In my business, I build customized Podio-based systems for my clients. No two systems are identical. That being said, I build a lot of the systems from some common building blocks. In this blog post I am sharing one such building block that I have made freely available on the Podio App market. The App Pack I have shared is called “Project Task Lists Automation”
No matter the type of business or organization, I find that projects tend to have standard task lists. Without automated creation of these tasks lists, managing projects can be a cumbersome, manual effort—and prone to human error, such as forgetting to set a task, or incorrectly assigning the task owner or due date.
I will illustrate an example using a real estate property management company. In a property management scenario, events are associated with extensive task lists. “Move in” and “Move out” events are good examples. The tasks are often delegated to several different people, and everyone needs to be able to see and communicate about the tasks. Timing and due dates are critical.
The app pack has two apps to support the workflow: 1) Projects, and 2) Task Lists.
The Projects app included in the app pack is pretty simple–and of course this can be extended and customized to your own needs.
You’ll notice that there is a field in the Projects app called “Ask Podio To…” with two buttons that trigger the creation of the task lists for the Move Out or Move In event.
When you click the button, GlobiFlow looks at the tasks that are set up in the Task Lists app. Below is some sample data for each Task List. By storing the tasks in an app, it enables flexible updates by any authorized user of the system—with no requirement for access to GlobiFlow to update the task lists.
The GlobiFlow automations include some useful features such as:
- Checking for existing tasks to prevent duplicates, so that if you click one of the “Ask Podio To…” buttons twice, it won’t create any duplicate tasks.
- Updating the Project Status field to “Complete” automatically, once all tasks are marked complete
Installing the App Pack is easy. From your workspace, click on “Add App,” Go to the App Market, and search for “Project Task Lists.” Then click “Get Pack” and the apps will be installed into your workspace. Immediately after you install the App Pack, you’ll want to go to Globiflow–before you make any changes to the Podio apps–and refresh your workspace to get the included automation flows. GlobiFlow will notify you of the flows that need to be updated with your own Podio user account(s).
Just as I have done with my clients’ systems, there are a ton of opportunities to take this building block and customize Podio to your own business workflow. Some example automations you can build include:
- Using a “Roles” app to enable flexibility in the assignment of tasks. For example, if someone is on vacation, any assignments during that time would be assigned to a different person
- Assigning tasks based on rules, such as physical proximity or existing workload for that person
- Triggering additional task assignments or automation after a pre-requisite task is completed
- Enabling due dates to be assigned based on “x” business days, Instead of calendar days
I hope you will pursue this type of workflow automation with Podio to streamline your project management efforts, and enable Podio to be the triple threat for your own organization: combining flexible data structure, collaborative communication, and workflow automation together into a single package.