How to Use Conditional Logic to Simplify Your Processes
Published: September 29, 2020
If you give a mouse a cookie, then he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. We’ve all heard that story before, right? Well, that’s an example of conditional logic. Learn more about conditional logic and how OnTask can help you simplify business processes.
What is conditional logic?
Simply defined, conditional logic is the idea that you can set rules, or conditions, that cause your process to change based on input. The above statement relies on the “IF/THEN” conditional statement. IF you give a mouse a cookie, THEN he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. If the mouse is not given a cookie, the condition for the milk request is not met.
Branching conditional logic occurs when there are options based on the input for different conditions. If you give a mouse a cookie, then he’ll ask for a glass of milk. But, if the conditional statement includes that if you give a mouse a pizza, then he’ll ask for a soda, that creates a branch in the conditional logic.
Conditional logic is applied in a lot of different ways, from the essentials of logic to advanced computer programming. In business processes, it can be used to streamline workflows and forms.
How does OnTask implement conditional logic?
OnTask allows you to use conditional logic in your forms and workflows by providing a variety of options for field types and conditions.
OnTask’s field types include:
- Single-line text
- Multiple choice
- Date picker
The conditional logic can be customized depending on what the field type, or input, is. For example, in the text field, the conditional logic is checking the actual text in that field. If the field type is a checkbox, the conditional logic is checking if the box is checked or not checked. After choosing the field, if the field meets this condition, you can create a new branch for that conditional logic.
3 common conditional logic use cases in OnTask
There are a number of ways to apply conditional logic in OnTask. These three are common across our clients as a way to get started with conditional logic and branching to improve processes.
1. Expense approval form
For a rental agreement or other approval form involving a fee or expense, conditional logic can help when there is a threshold for additional approval being required. For example, based on a fee field, you can create a conditional branch for greater than $1000 or less than $1000. So, if the input is greater than $1000, it has to be approved by another person, like a manager, before it goes to the client or other stakeholder. The manager approval is required before the document is sent to the next party. If it is less than $1000, it goes directly to the next party.
2. Employee hiring & onboarding
For interviewing and onboarding different employees, you can set up different branches based on what position the person is applying for. The first form, which is the same for everyone, can be filled out by the HR professional, and then the workflow branches off based on details of the position, such as department, title, hourly vs. salary, etc. For other common hiring paperwork, the workflows can branch back together, providing one clean, dynamic workflow.
3. Report review and approval
Reports often need to be reviewed, revised and approved by different departments and different stakeholders depending on the team. For example, a fire department might establish conditional branches to model the approval levels for their chain of command. If the submitter of the special report is a firefighter or paramedic, the first approver is a Lieutenant and then it is sent to the Battalion Commander for approval. If the requestor is a Captain, it goes straight to the Battalion Commander for approval. This could be applied to any organizational hierarchy for a process that requires the review, editing and approval of a report.
Best practices for conditional logic in OnTask
Link your branches together
In most workflows, you don’t have to build out two completely separate processes. Instead, they can join at the end if the ending segment is the same for all participants.
For example, in our approval form use case, if the number is less than $1000, you can just skip over the additional approval steps and go straight down to the final action. The two branches can join at the end and link up.
Use reminders & escalations for conditions
The more conditions you have, the more the workflow can get stuck. So, it’s important to build in reminders and escalations to help stay on track.
When there is an additional approval branch, you can set reminders. Set a single reminder or repeating reminder depending on the urgency of the request and the likelihood that it will be forgotten. That way, the follow-up can be automated and the task cannot get stuck. For example, if something requires a manager to review it, and they forget, the contract could be delayed, which means it’s not sent to the customer, and no one gets paid. Adding in a reminder will help the manager remember to approve the contract so it can move forward.
In addition to the reminder, you can add an escalation. For example, if the manager keeps forgetting to review the contract despite repeating reminders, after a certain time period or number of reminders, the contract can be escalated to the next manager or their boss. That way, you can ensure that the approval — or any other condition — gets completed.
The benefits of conditional logic with OnTask
There are many benefits to using conditional logic in OnTask, including:
- Saved time: Instead of having to design a form or workflow for every individual scenario that may occur, you can use conditional branching that will show only the one, dynamic process you need.
- Automated branching: By setting conditional branching in your workflow, it’s possible to automatically sort participants into branches based on inputs, thus eliminating redundant data entry as well as the need for people to see steps that don’t apply to them.
- Required and hidden fields: With conditions, you can require fields from certain participants, show more information depending on input, and hide fields that are not relevant to others depending on roles and permissions.
- Streamlined processes: You can hide irrelevant tasks and redundancies, keeping your workflow organized.
- Automated notifications: With the ability to set reminders and escalations, you can automate confirmations and notifications depending on input.
- Reduced error: Since you can control who fills out what, it’s easy to prevent user error, as participants can only access what relates to their inputs.
Conditional logic with OnTask
Conditional logic is a powerful way to streamline your documents, forms and workflows. The ability to create automated branching based on conditional inputs can make a huge difference in streamlining your processes and putting workflows to work for you.
Want to learn more about how our conditional logic works? Start your 14-day trial and see how you can improve your workflow.