The Concept of Activity Use

When you work in a group or company, several people are usually performing activities all at the same time. Some of these activities apply to only one person, such as when you create a reminder to call someone on Friday. Other activities apply to several people. For example, you might ask a co-worker to give you a call when a report is finished, or you might schedule a meeting with several co-workers about the finished report. Similarly, others can create activities for you as well as themselves.

Activities are a core feature in ActionWare. You use activities to accomplish your goals. You communicate with other users using activities. You set your own schedule and our activity ToDo list details your pending activities. You might even modify the ToDo list of other users who are working for you.

For explanation purposes we can narrow the range of activities by focusing on those activities that concern only you, the user. These are activities in which you are involved. For example, you might want to call someone by the end of the day, or someone might want you to call them in an hour. You are involved in both activities: In the first case, you generate the activity; in the second case, someone else generates the activity for you. Every activity has one author and at least one target. The author is the person who creates the activity. The target is the person who is supposed to perform the activity. We use userID's to express both author and target.

You can create activities for anyone enrolled with a userID in ActionWare, including yourself. You can create an activity for yourself or someone else. In most cases, the author and the target are different people. An example of this is when you create an activity for someone else who is supposed to complete it. You are the author, and the other user is the target. The target can be more than one person. This means you can create an activity that targets several people, for example, when you want to get a group of your co-workers together to make a conference call to a person for a particular contact record.

When that call needs to be made you will select that planned telephone activity on your ToDo List so that you are viewing the contact record for the person who is to receive the call. You will record the telephone call while it is happening using our Dial feature that automatically starts a timer (to keep tract of the duration of the call) and updates the pending activity to INPROG (in progress). You will want to create an activity note to detail what takes place during the conversation. Once you are finished with the call you will complete the activity note and use another ActionWare feature, Hangup, to complete the in progress activity and post the duration of the call in a field created just for that purpose. You may also be required to update a response code field from a listbox to denote why the call was made, for example, SLS, SVC, etc. You now have a contact record that details all telephones calls by date and time along with several other pieces of data to help you know what the call was about and how long the conversation took. This detail stays on the contact record for future use and reports.

The value of having all telephone, document and visiting type information on individual contact records means that you can speak to say a prospect or a customer with a wealth of knowledge at a moments glance. Imagine talking to a customer with the data available that they had recently had a problem that was resolved quickly by customer service, or that they had called just days before and spoken to another department looking for sales information. You have the name of the person calling from your customer site, their phone number, the dates and times they spoke with anyone in your organization and with detailed activity notes, what transpired or what might be pending from those conversations. You would be in a position to impress a prospect by knowing all details of any prior contacts, letters written, brochures sent, calls made, who spoke to whom and when. What had been discussed, what needed to be clarified, any problems that the prospect perceived in closing your sale. All there just with a quick review.

In fact one of the grand features of activities is the ability to consolidate the screen view on the Activity Panel (Panel 7) so that you can in chronological order review all pending and completed activities for an entire PID group. The feature is a toggle on and off, on you are looking at all activities no matter who has them pending in your organization or who has completed them or off you are only looking at activities for one contact record.

Another valuable tool with activities are related activities. These are initially unrelated activities that have been created and linked together as multiple activities to express one event. You can even use a function key specifically for related groups of activities to view them on a single screen display.

Of course it is typical for you to create an activities for yourself on contact records for prospects or customers. Using ActionWare activities provides excellent customer service and really allows you to manage prospects in a informative manner. It is also a great way to make sure you do something (complete an activity) at a future time and date that you might otherwise forget. All pending activities form an electronic ToDo list. The ToDo list is sorted by data and type and than alphabetically by contact record PID data. Since activities have 3 pre-defined A,B and C priority values the ToDo list is also sorted by priority with A first, than B and C.

On the activity panel screen (Panel 7) the top activity is always highlighted until you select another activity. Every activity contains a bar that defines the activity.  

The initial display of the activity bar displays a subset of the activity fields. To see all the fields you must expand the activity. Using a function code on the highlighted activity you can expand the display of the activity labels and all activity fields.

There are default values for most of these fields. When you create an activity, you can use the default settings, or you can change the values to suit your purpose. Defining the activity time and code are optional. ActionWare will insert and update data for date, time, author, SID, original status, and version whenever the activity is created or completed.