Let's use a simple Business License workflow as an example, that has the following steps:

  1. Provide instructions to the applicant

  2. Collect information from the applicant

  3. Staff review/ approval of the application

  4. Accept license fee payment

  5. License issued

In a traditional setting, the applicant might have come into City Hall or mailed in an application and a check. And then if something was in error, they would have had to wait for a mailed response requesting a correction. Someone would have to take the check to finance where it would be processed. The application might get stuck in an  inbox on someone's desk to review, and then another staffer might have to do data entry and print out and mail a business license. Let's see how moving the process to CityGrows speeds things up and makes it easier for everyone involved.

Before you can create a workflow, register for a free trial CityGrows admin account. Once you're registered, you'll be prompted to create a workflow.  

Add a title:
Give your new workflow a name in the top left corner.

Workflow title change

Add each step- first, add a Basic Step:

Since the first thing we need to do is give some information/ instructions to the applicant, we'll add a "Basic Step."  Add steps by clicking Add Step and selecting a step type from the options. 

CityGrows Add Step Pop-up

All steps have the same basic customization options, You must name the step, and may add description, instructions, timeframe, and automatic email notification components (all optional, but often helpful). Learn more about the settings options for each step here.

Basic settings for each citygrows workflow step

Add a Collect Information step to create an online form:

Next, we need to tell our workflow what information we want to collect.

At the top of the right side of all Collect Info steps you'll see several configuration options including whether you want to collect a signature or auto-advance the step if nothing within it is required.

For the sake of simplicity, let's pretend our application asks for Applicant name, Email, a description of what the business does, and a photo of the business. Click Add new section, then give it a title, then click Add field.

You can also toggle whether or not the field is required, as well as whether it should appear publicly as open data. While we encourage our clients to keep as much data as possible public, some sensitive data (home addresses, phone numbers, personal emails) may be appropriate to exclude from Open Data. There are also advanced settings for each field (such as default values).

CityGrows Sample Collect Info Page

Learn more about Collect Info steps here.

We'll do that three more times to enter in all of the information we want to collect. We'll also add a second section for the business info.  You may want to add some Logic to your form so it displays certain questions only to some applicants based on their previous answers.

Add a review step:

Your team will want to make sure everything was completed correctly before accepting a payment and issuing the license, so you can add a review step and add a team of reviewers. Review steps will automatically notify the applicant about the progress of their application. You can set up default approval/ rejection messages to make staff reviews go even faster. And you can even build conditional review steps using logic.

CityGrows review step

Add payment step
In order to collect a license fee, we'll add a payment step. We can set the amount to be collected, and multiple other options, including whether to accept cash and/or check payments and whether to pass the transaction fee on to the applicant (almost all our governments do). You can use a Formula to automatically calculate a fee. Before you begin accepting payments, you'll also need to configure your payout account.

CityGrows Payment Step

Configure the workflow settings
You have a lot of options for each workflow - identifier fields, completion messages, custom ID numbers, document exports. Explore them all!

CityGrows Settings tab

Add other admins
Is there someone else who will help manage the processes for this workflow who hasn't already been added as a reviewer? Add them via Permissions under Settings.

Test and then go live
You'll want to see what the workflow is like for applicants, so Publish the workflow and then create some sample applications and preview how it will look by clicking on the View tab and then Use Workflow.

When you're ready to go live, you add the workflow link to your government's website. That's it!

Or start from a Template!

If this seems like a lot, see if we have a template for the workflow you're looking to launch. And if you don't see one listed, use the chat function to connect with our team, who can usually find something that already exists on our system that you can use.

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