Revenue Operations

jspencerdav
Contributor | Diamond Partner
Contributor | Diamond Partner

How do you document workflows?

Workflows is arguably the most powerful feature in HubSpot. Regardless of skill level in HubSpot, users create workflows to automate valuable work.

 

However, without good documentation, workflows quickly become a black hole of confusion and wasted time trying to figure out why something is happening (or not!). 

 

The solution? Documentation.

 

How do you document workflows? Here are the core things I believe every workflow needs documented (what would you add?) :

  • Link to workflow
  • Change control notes (if workflow is affected by external changes)
  • Triggers
  • Workflow settings / goal criteria
  • Business goal / objective solved by workflow
  • Expected outcome(s)
  • Properties set
  • Dependencies with other workflows
  • Internal email / tasks sent
  • Core logic defined by each workflow step

And, just as important - how do you keep your workflow documentation up to date?

12 Replies 12
ztbyrnes
Participant

How do you document workflows?

I have a slightly different idea that I think would truly support workflow documentation in the same spirit HubSpot typically provides solutions for us. I would like to see something like a record simulator tool to help visualize the string of workflows that would be triggered by a property change. Imagine the same workflow user interface, but instead of seeing actions, it displays the following chain of workflows after certain properties are selected. You would be able to add events like a property change to trigger the next workflow. This functionality would be great for planning a customer journey and for testing processes, and help to see around corners where unexpected workflows may be running. Would anybody else benefit from a tool like this?

0 Upvotes
Jnix284
Guide | Partner
Guide | Partner

How do you document workflows?

@jspencerdav are you using google sheets, excel, or some other application to track your documentation for workflows? A quick google search for "HubSpot Workflow Documentation Template" resulted in 0 relevant results (hello, SEO opportunity)... lots of documentation for workflows, just nothing about documenting a process. Also tried "HubSpot Workflow Process Documentation Template" - anyway, I was just curious what type of format you use for your documentation.

jspencerdav
Contributor | Diamond Partner
Contributor | Diamond Partner

How do you document workflows?

Oh, yes blog post is pending! 🙂 We are using Google Docs for the creation... tracking changes is a whole 'nuther beast. The Google Doc includes a document-specific style guide which helps keep the process documentation itself a bit cleaner. 

HBirtcher
Participant

How do you document workflows?

I think this is a great idea. I would love if HubSpot had a notes section in the workflow for us to do alot of this documentation. Then the ability to export the workflow list with the notes. In our system we have myself (the CRM Admin) and an external marketing agency that have the ability to make workflows. It would be great if we could see the thought process, goal, etc when reviewing the others creations. 

amber-square2
Contributor | Diamond Partner
Contributor | Diamond Partner

How do you document workflows?

There is a Comment section now (in the bar on the right) but I don't know that anyone knows to look there! 

JenBergren
Guide | Diamond Partner
Guide | Diamond Partner

How do you document workflows?

I was going to say, you can add comments to each action in the workflow, in the visual area itself and then refer to them in the sidebar yes, though no comments can be added to the trigger.

It is progress anyways over no notes inside workflows! 🙂


Thanks!
Jen Bergren
Sr. Operations Manager
Remotish -- A HubSpot RevOps and WebOps Agency
HBirtcher
Participant

How do you document workflows?

AHHH This is fantastic! Such an awesome addition. 

MrBean
Contributor

How do you document workflows?

This is great! Curious though, what do you mean by "goal criteria"?

 

Also, to your last question-- maybe a workflow that assigns a task to whoever creates that workflow asking that they document it. Or an email questionaire (say a google survey) that is automatically sent to the user who changes/updates the workflow. 

 

Currently this is not something we are doing... but seems like a must-have process as we scale.

 

Very thoughtful post... i'm curious what other ideas people may have

jspencerdav
Contributor | Diamond Partner
Contributor | Diamond Partner

How do you document workflows?

Hey, @MrBean - good question! That is simply the Goal set in the workflow settings. In a recent itteration of this documentation outline, I've separated 'Settings' and 'Workflow Goal' as separate bullets.

amber-square2
Contributor | Diamond Partner
Contributor | Diamond Partner

How do you document workflows?

Goal criteria helps gauge success: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/workflows/use-goals-in-contact-based-workflows

 

And for Contact workflows you can use that to unenroll contacts from a workflow when they meet a set goal. 

 

I think a big piece of keeping documentation up to date is being able to lock down permissions for editing workflows...seems like a lot of users have Super Admin access and mess with things they shouldn't. 🙂 I would love to start seeing HubSpot Super Admin seen on the level of Salesforce Admin - where a process needs to be followed to request a change from the designated person, who would then know to document their changes.

HBirtcher
Participant

How do you document workflows?

When I took over as Admin for our company this was the first thing I did! We went from having 10 SuperAdmins to only having myself as the CRM Administrator , our external marketing team and a backup in our IT department. I can then give rights as needed to edit workflows if I am out, but otherwise it is just me and our outside marketing team. It still gets a little tricky as I have a system I use and the marketing team has a different process, but it is a HUGE step in the right directly. 

MiaSrebrnjak
Community Manager
Community Manager

How do you document workflows?

Great tips, thank you for sharing @jspencerdav!

 

 


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