With the shift to remote work combined with digital transformation, your team has more tools, processes, and changes to keep up with than ever before.
To successfully navigate this complexity, employees must unlock the full value of your company’s investments—in them, your tech, and your processes.
Spekit can help.
Flows, Spekit’s interactive walkthrough capability, guide employees through your tools and processes so they always know what to do and why.
This guide walks you through (see what we did there??) Flows best practices to help you maximize the return on your investments, ensure process compliance, and build a resilient workforce that thrives through change.
When to use Flows
There are plenty of ways to share information with your employees. But, not every option is well-suited for the information you need to share. We recommend using Flows to:
- Orient employees on a tool’s UI.
- Show employees how to follow and complete
a process in a tool.
Visual guidance goes a long way when learning a new tool or process. Flows are a powerful way of doing that. However, you want to ensure you use Flows where they have the most impact. We recommend using Flows for mid-size processes that don’t change too frequently.
This will help:
- Minimize ongoing maintenance.
- Prevent walkthrough fatigue.
PRO TIP: For processes that aren’t in the mid-size range, embrace Speks!
- Very short processes: Embed a GIF of the process in a Spek.
- Long processes: Embed a video overview in a Spek.
Supporting internal initiatives with Flows
Flows support key internal initiatives like onboarding, internal training, and tech adoption.
Onboarding usually feels like drinking from a firehose. Employees are confronted with documentation and training around tools and processes they won’t need or use during their first few weeks or may be brand new. Flows can speed up onboarding and reinforce key learnings.
PRO TIP: When building Flows for new hire onboarding, ask yourself: What are the first actions an employee is expected to take in a tool? What are the most critical processes to master for success? Then, focus on building onboarding Flows for those tools and processes.
To achieve true adoption, your employees must consistently use your tools and processes how they were designed to work. This is easier said than done. Many employees get frustrated and stuck in processes that they’ve forgotten or that have since changed. At a time when speed is critical, employees often see the process as a barrier to—not an enabler of—success.
Tying your Flow back to the context of your employees’ day-to-day work and how it will fuel their results connects the process to how it benefits them—not just the business. When employees understand the value they’re getting, they’re more likely to remember the process and consistently put it into action.
PRO TIP: Put yourself in your employees’ shoes and ask: What are the processes they rarely need to do but often get stuck in? Where are they as a user when they’re triggered to start?
6 Ways to Set Your Flow Up For Success
You know what you want to capture in your Flow, so now you’re ready to hit record, right? Not so fast. To set both your Flow—and yourself—up for success, follow these six best practices:
- Familiarize yourself with the different step types.
- Plan and practice your Flow before you record.
- Consider the starting point of the Flow.
- Keep your Flow short, focused, and easy to follow.
- Create an overview Spek before recording your Flow.
- Measure your Flow’s performance.
1. Familiarize yourself with the different step types
With Spekit’s Flows, you have a few different options for how someone moves from one step to the next. Review the step types in advance to select the best step type for each stage of your Flow. Check out the graphic for a quick overview of each step type.
PRO TIP: Select elements that don’t take up the window’s full width. This makes it easier for you to reposition your step and for your viewer to see it.
2. Plan and practice your Flow before you record
Even if you know the process you’re documenting by heart, it’s still worth planning and practicing
your Flow in advance. This helps you confirm that your Flow includes all necessary steps and content…but doesn’t get so long that employees abandon it halfway through. Plus, it’ll make the recording process quick, easy, and (dare we say) fun!
PRO TIP: Include the step types in your plan to minimize revisions during the recording process.
3. Consider the starting point of the Flow
You always want to start your Flow on the page the employee should begin on. Obvious, right? Eh, sometimes you need to account for variables.
For example, if you want to show someone how to update an account in Salesforce, you might think to start your Flow from a single account to walk them through the process. But, if you do that, your employees won’t be able to use the Flow as a guide to work on the accounts they actually need to update.
To account for the variable (which account your rep wants to update), you should instead start your flow
on the “Accounts” overview page. This way, the first step of your Flow directs the rep to select the specific account they want to update, so they can follow the Flow and get real work done.
Considering the starting point of your Flow ensures it’s user-friendly, so employees are more likely to use it.
PRO TIP: For Flows that start with a search, break it down for your users: Step 1: Instruct users to click the search bar using the “click specific element” step type. Step 2: Instruct users to conduct their search and move onto the next step by clicking the “next button” step type. P.S. Avoid starting a Flow from a modal. Modals don’t have unique URLs and may not appear for viewers.
4. Keep your flow short, focused, and easy to follow
The longer your Flow, the less likely employees are to complete it. Keep your Flow focused and concise to improve completion rates and increase retention. We recommend:
- No more than eight steps in a Flow. After this point, people start dropping off.
- Limit Flows to one page on one application to avoid unnecessary complexity for your employees.
- Keep text to 1 or 2 sentences. Longer explanations can go in supplementary materials for deeper learning.
PRO TIP: Select elements that are visible to all viewers and that don’t change visually when you hover over them. This keeps the Flow experience consistent and easy to use.
5. Create an overview Spek before recording your Flow
Flows + supplementary materials = success. Combining a Flow with additional resources allows employees to review the steps and encourages a self-serve approach to deeper learning and reinforcement.
Before recording your Flow, create an overview Spek that includes:
- A video showing the process from start to finish.
- A bulleted list that documents all of the steps.
- Links to additional relevant resources.
Once your Flow is live, add the link to your overview Spek!
PRO TIP: If your Flow includes a step requiring additional decisionmaking (like a set of picklist values), create a separate Spek that you can embed at that stage.
6. Measure your Flow’s performance
Don’t forget about your Flow once it’s out in the wild—regularly check its performance. Key data points to review include:
- Total audience: How many people can engage with your Flow?
- Percent completed: What percentage of those people completed it?
- Error count: Is an unexpected error preventing people from completing your Flow?
PRO TIP: To boost engagement with a business-critical Flow, share it in a Spotlight! Add the Flow’s published permalink as the Spotlight’s destination URL.