The Inova application allows you to create a workflow or process through which an opportunity or project can be tracked and evaluated. Whenever you create a new opportunity or project, the system automatically adds this workflow in the form of a list of milestones for that object, as defined in Administration.
In the latest version of the system, there are two key ways a user can view and manage a project's workflow: In the workflow ribbon at the top of the page, or in the workflow tab.
Data from milestones can be fed into dashboards for an accurate and more visual viewing of your product pipeline.
You can also review milestones in the activities tab, an older representation of the milestones. But this tab is not recommended as it does not include many of the usability improvements introduced in version 6.1 of the system.
The workflow ribbon displays a project's workflow at the to of the screen, as shown below:
The ribbon can be displayed or hidden using Page Settings for the related object type.
- If you decide to display the ribbon, it's recommended that your application administrator use Page Settings to move all object tabs below the Overview tab, so that it's easier to view the ribbon and the essential opportunity details without having to scroll down the page.
- The ribbon renders best when the milestones are few in number (4-6 stages) and have shorter labels. Otherwise, the ribbon may wrap to a second line. If this is the case, you can choose to hide the ribbon or talk to your Inova customer success manager about how to streamline the workflow and shorten the milestone names.
The colors in the ribbon change as you initiated or complete milestones and child activities:
(1) Completed milestones are green and (2) initiated milestones are orange. When a milestone has child activities and you begin completing those activities, the color of the milestone darkens by degrees (3) to reflect this progress and mouseover text gives additional details. When all child activities under a milestone are completed, the entire milestone is displayed in the darker tone (4).
The Workflow tab
The workflow tab is a new tab available as of v6.1.22. It displays the milestones and activities in a list and includes various tools and usability features that allow you and your team to efficiently track each opportunity through a defined business process. It is recommended that clients use the Workflow tab and hide the Activities tab, as this new tab has greater usability, better features, and requires fewer clicks and screen refreshes.
- When the project is first created, the milestones are grey and change color as they are initiated and completed. When you open an opportunity, the milestones that are In Progress are expanded by default, whereas the other milestones remain collapse to save space on the page.
- The name of each child activity is color-coded to reflect the status of the activity. Icons next to the name of the activity tell you whether there are any contacts or documents linked to the activity.
- The initiate and complete buttons are replaced by the date when the milestone or activity was initiated or completed.
- To create a new child activity, click New Activity. A modal window is displayed:
Enter the Activity Name, then as needed enter a due date, persons associated, and comments, click the Associated Documents to link files, or Reminders to create a reminder for the task. Click save when done. You can always edit the activity later by clicking the activity name in the workflow tab.
Note that in the Workflow tab, it's not possible to create a child activity without a parent milestone. Depending upon when you implement the Workflow tab, some existing activities without a parent milestone may appear in the tab under a section called "Activities to be moved". These activities should be moved under a parent milestone. You will not be able to edit these activities until they are moved.
- Click Initiate to initiate a milestone or activity.
- Click Complete to complete a milestone or activity.
When completing a milestone, note that the next milestone in the process will be initiated by default.
- On the right, you can see indicators when a milestone has child activities and the status of those activities.
- Additional options are displayed when you click the additional actions button on the right.
Use this feature to (1) go to the Overview page of the milestone, (2) see the history of changes to the milestone, and (3) push a milestone back one step.
On a child activity,
Use this feature to (1) change the ordering of activities or even move a child activity to a different parent milestone, (2) go to the Overview page of the activity, (3) assign the activity to another person on your team (must be an application user), (4) link a document, (5) set a reminder, or (6) delete the activity.
This tab is available on the acquisition, in-licensing project, out-licensing discussion, and R&D collaboration objects. Note that default milestones can also be used in out-licensing projects and governance bodies, but milestones in these objects can only be displayed in the Activities tab (see below).
The Activities tab
You can record and track the progress of the opportunity through this workflow in the following ways:
- Manage a sub-task of a milestone by creating a child activity, assigning it to the person responsible for completing it, adding a due date, and configuring reminders for it. See more details here.
- Click Initiate to indicate that a milestone has started. This will automatically change the milestone status to In Progress and populate the Initiated Date field (as shown in the screenshot below).
- Click Complete to indicate that a milestone is completed. This will automatically change the milestone status to Complete and display the Completed Date. If no Initiated Date was previously entered, both the Initiated and Completed dates will be populated (see screenshot below).
- To adjust milestone dates, link documents to it, or configure reminders, click the milestone, then click Edit.
Note that when you edit a milestone to remove a completed date, the Status of the milestone is not automatically updated as well. To change the status of the milestone, you must remove the completed date AND change the milestone status back to In Progress or Not Started.
To find out more about activities, click here.