How Nintex has Boosted Our Productivity

Understanding a return on investment can drive excitement through the organization about recent purchases, trainings, etc. Throughout my everyday work I don’t take much time to think about Nintex’s overall value to our organization, I just love working on the product and building. As an organization we have benefitted quite well from deploying the O365 Suite.

I sat down and busted out some numbers to give you an idea of what you can gain – in terms of the numbers.

To give you an idea of our organization:
– Approximately 400 employees – currently 85 are heavy Nintex automation users.
– 14 Departments – including Health Clinic, Court, Police, and Education.
– 5,500 citizens are serviced by the government to some capacity

To give you an idea of our SharePoint O365 Environment:
– Publishing Sites are all interconnected – all employees have capacity to some sort of information about each department
– All departments are provided with a team site to keep department centric content.
– All boards, committees, councils, and commissions have access to team workspaces in SharePoint
– Special project management groups utilize SharePoint
– Full automation has only been provided to 1 council

To give you an idea about our Nintex deployment:
– 25 Workflows and Forms
– 1/2 of these are complex processes – meaning multiple process brought together via site workflows.

To give you an idea of our current employee feelings on automation:
– Human Resources, Education, and Finance has been a large champions of the digital transformation.
– Current backlog of processes in need of automation is approximately 6 months out.
Here’s a numerical break down of our current processes:

Savings Per Request YTD
# of Requests Per Month 200
Cost per Request – for manual processing – average set based on time, cost of paper, and manual storage. $75.00
Total Cost Per Month $15,000.00
Total Annual Costs $180,000.00
Annual Savings – Reduction of employee time by 60% per transaction $135,000.00
Initial Nintex Investment $26,514.90
ROI on Requests 409.16%
Process Cost Savings YTD
# of Requests a Month 200
Average Minutes per Request 30
Total Minutes/Month 6000
Total Hours/Month 100
Average Labor Cost/Hour: For person(s) processing requests $25.00
Total Labor Cost/Month $2,500.00
Annual Labor Costs $30,000.00
Annual Savings $22,500
 
Productivity Gains YTD
Avg. Hourly Wage $35.00
Min. Productivity Gain(%): Estimate of time saved per employee through process automation. 5
Productivity Gain/Hour $1.75
Estimated Hours/Week 40
Productivity Gain/Week $70
Estimated Work Weeks/year 45
Productivity Gain/Year $3150
# of Employees Utilizing Currently 85
Total Productivity Gain/Year $267,750.00
FTE Saved YTD on 85 employees^ 4.4625
^ We are a nonprofit organization so our goal is give our employees more time to advocate for citizens. The savings of 4 FTE currently relates to departmental directors and mission critical employees having more time to coach front line employees on duties.
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Train Before You Buy, Why More Automation Platforms Should Offer Training

After spending the past week working through the intricacies of training on Nintex it is evident that more automation platforms need to take the time to train potential buyers. While offering a demo is a great way to get organizations introduced, it doesn’t give much overall value of understanding the nuances that each of the products carries.


Automation Platforms, much like SharePoint, are cumbersome to introduce most individuals to use. Many organizations have the hope of introducing these solutions as a way for departments to automate issues on their own, rather than bringing in the information technology or the enterprise systems departments. I beg to differ in this logic for a small organization. Many of the line of business employees, we encounter in small (500 employees or less) may not have an interest in learning Boolean logic or what a list query means. These skills ultimately need to be realized by the information technology/enterprise system departments. By starting with I.T. departments taking a look at platform based solutions the organization can make a call based on what I.T. can support rather than relying on consulting and solutions tech support to be the main contributing backbone.

Consulting is a great avenue to bring a new set of eyes in for a project that may be stalled out, needing more developer/programmer power, or a project that required an outside unbiased opinion. Yet, for smaller organizations it should not be the main structure supporting all the vital organs or building out a project. After evaluating Nintex at TekDog, I am comfortable the organization’s decision either way to acquire this platform or not. Empowerment leads towards an eventual goal of the self-sustaining I.T. Department.

As we move towards the online training facility age, I will still stand behind good brick and mortar classes. As adults, we loose an aspects of new friendship, uncertainty, and excitement that the first day of school provided everyone with. When attending brick and mortar training we, as adults, gain a tiny bit of that wonderment back. Those feelings aren’t all bad, since we have a tendency of being more engaged than just sitting in front of a monitor blankly staring. You sit with your coworkers 5 days a week… go out in the world and attend a class. Make a buddy that may either already own the product you’re training on, or looking to purchase. Turn those people into your support network… I met a couple great programmers this past week.. that I’m sure I may want to email and ask how the heck do I write some logical conditional statement or something of that nature.

If automation platforms took a step back and became less concerned with closing deals on the front end, I think we’d begin to see a trend of empowered purchasing for these sizable investments. If these companies took a few moments to look at how they can better excite potential buyers, it’s not conferences.

  • Conferences are merely a tease. They show you it’s easy, it works… Look this guy that sets up the same horse and pony workflow can do it in a matter of two minutes… I hope many of you aren’t wow’ed by this, if you are sorry… you’re a sucker.
  • Video classes are great, I love having on demand content. But it doesn’t force me to concentrate, I don’t have to absolutely use my mind… Yeah, I am kinda a rouge internet wanderer. If I’m not completely engaged, I’ll leave you and your online content. For all sorts of reasons color scheme, speakers voice, pace of content… This list could go on for days.
  • Online classes are great too, your all working in a virtual class room together with a live instructor. You get to ask questions then and there, but it’s lacking something. People don’t interact the same online as they do in person, I can read classmate/instructor body language… this drives me insane for some reason. I want to see people talking as if I don’t know them, possibly ask them questions about their jobs, compare my idea against theirs… These are all things that online just doesn’t facilitate well.

If you’re thinking about purchasing an automation platform or really any type of software/SaaS products go to a live class. Build something with it. Ask people who were already users… and not just the reference list the vendor will give you. Go out and scour LinkedIn to see if there are people using the products, message them, people always have opinions… doesn’t make them right or wrong. Generally speaking get your hands dirty with the product and see if you can live with supporting it.

I’d like to thank TekDog for the great week. Driving back to Michigan gave me time to reflect and think about issues with product sales and the approach currently taken. Coming in not knowing a single thing about Nintex products and walking away excited to dig in deeper was a great experience that conference and virtual training just can’t hit at 100%.

TEKDOG University Nintex Training

TEKDOG is a passionate little company based out of Columbus, Ohio. The newly renovated facility dons a great modern décor, giant televisions to see step-by-step instruction, and new desktops to work along on. Not to mention the pet friendly atmosphere, it’s nice to have dog interaction while being away from home.  I have had the pleasure of spending the past two days learning Nintex Forms with a great group of Ohioans.

TekDog Classroom - courtesy of www.TekDoginc.com

TekDog Classroom – courtesy of http://www.TekDoginc.com

Jason Keller, a die hard food lover, takes the time necessary to insure all students are on point with learning. I have felt comfortable navigating, creating, and automating various business use cases within Nintex and SharePoint. These are features that I have not been able to find from product sponsored courses in many instances… Either the instructor is dull or I get stuck watching some ancient slide deck, which who learns from either of those situations. Being able to realize the ROI during a class has been  a much different perspective, learning how software works prior to even considering a purchase grants an architect the ability to look at this from their everyday perspective and evaluate which functions would be easy for end users to adapt to.  Attending a class to evaluate a piece of software is a much better investment, even if it’s not purchased, than having buyers remorse at a later date.

TEKDOG University - courtesy of www.tekdoginc.com

TEKDOG University – courtesy of http://www.tekdoginc.com

With user adoption of SharePoint being a constant issue within every organization I see the value of investing into well prepared training materials.  It makes all the difference to have reusable reliable content with baked-in best practice.

Spending time at TEKDOG isn’t like setting at a classroom. It’s spending time getting to know other individuals who are passionate about SharePoint and SharePoint products. While working out in the field it isn’t an everyday opportunity we are granted. Sharing solution ideas, pains, and workaround has been a really great experience over the past two days, it has made me realize there are certain aspects of my organization that I absolutely love… and that is a good perspective to gain.

It will be exciting spending the rest of the week with Jason, Kerry, and the rest of the awesome TEKDOG staff. The verdict may still be out on if we want to introduce Nintex to our environment. But, I will say though that the verdict is in on TEKDOG – they rock.

Setting up Team Sites and Publishing Sites.

When I’m approached and asked to just “spin up a site” I stop and ask my end users a few questions. Many users may find themselves confused about what they are looking for. I find it difficult to also shut down someone’s enthusiasm to use SharePoint.  It takes some time to work through your end users wishes. I’ll include in my post these questions I like to ask, which I will follow with my rational for asking.


What do you envision on your new site?
Starting out with this question is going to quickly knock off people actually looking for a library. If they respond with “See we’ve noticed that we have X items, and they no longer fit in Y library.” They need a new library. If people are finding there area such as OneDrive or a library becoming cluttered with similar documents… they probably need a library.
Now when your approached with a rational… If they respond with “Well have decided that our three programs have become very large, and we’d like to see them in specialized areas so they can have calendars, contact lists, and placed to put X,Y,Z documents so it is organized to meet ABC organization’s reporting needs.”  You may need to investigate this need even deeper. A new sub site could be in their future depending on planning.

How do you see permissions on your new site? Who needs access to this information?
Understanding the rational behind permission an individual is looking to find may be a great way to direct them to look at one drive. If someone starts talking about “Well, I share this document with Joe, and only Joe needs it.”  This may be a great bridge to asking “Is this document important to the organization as a whole, if you and Joe were no longer with us?”
Depending on how the answer this second question… it could be this item is just something Joe and this person works on to add (copy/paste) to another report. At this point I’d advise Joe and company to consider keeping this one off on the One Drive for Business.  Now, if his answer is different and he starts explain the use, and who receives it, and who accomplishes what with this information we may need to look into a document library or a workflow possibility.

After receiving this bit of information I ask the requestor to grant me the time to assess the needs to see if we are looking at a bigger information architecture or business process issue. This time could include taking the liberty to ask other departments about their current interaction with this information. Taking time to investigate needs will lead towards a better information architecture.

Site Master Page Settings – A quick change to keep your sub-sites following your prescribe theme

Keeping your sub-sites congruent to the prescribed theme is an important way for your end users to keep track of where they at. Aesthetically, end users will begin to associate certain colors and themes with the work area they are visiting.

This change is easy to accomplish and can be done in a matter of a few clicks.


 1. Browse to site your wishing to edit.

2. Copy and paste the following: _layouts/15/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx” to the end of your SharePoint Page.
So your page should look something like this “https://yourcompany.sharepoint.com/testsite/
_layouts/15/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx

3. You’ll want to inherit from the parent page.

The following is an example of how you’ll inherit from the parent site page. It’s as easy as selecting the following three options.

Screenshot of how to complete this task.

Screenshot of how to complete this task.

Inheriting the theme is important to remember, otherwise your site will inherit the feature but will not have the same stylistic feel as the site your inheriting from.

4. Click “OK”
Your changes may take a few seconds to load. Your new page should have that same look and feel as your parent site.

Hello, World!

Hello! My name is Ashley. After spending many years working around various careers I’ve stumbled upon a great topic (SharePoint) that I can get excited about to teach people about, and find myself spending countless hours trying to learn more about.

In the spring of 2015 I was invited to begin attending meetings with my current employer. During this time we covered topics that were very vague for the SharePoint Strategy team. Assisting the team grasp these concepts using insights I’ve gain through my Master’s of Public Administration program I began assisting our consultants in the process of clearing out the fog of uncertainty. We worked for many weeks answering tough questions, building sustainable policies, and creating a strong structure for our SharePoint platform moving forward.

Currently as an organization we are setting forth to build out the road-map that had been charted earlier this year. As this process continues, I have found many treasures of knowledge that I would like to share with other small companies (250 – 500 employees) using the SharePoint platform. Since I wear many hats on a daily basis you can expect to see topics such as SharePoint 2013, Project Management, SharePoint Administration, Requirements Gathering, Building a Users Group, SharePoint Policy, Data Migration, Workflows, Taxonomy, O365, K2, and more.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or topics you’d like to see posted.