Process Wizards 101
This article explains Process Wizards in basic terms. If you are new to the concept of Process Wizards, this article is for you. However, if you already have a foundation of knowledge that you would like to expand upon, feel free to skip to our other articles that dive into greater detail. Check out Process Wizards, Wizard Roles, and Wizard Groups for some advanced application.
What is a Process Wizard?
A Process Wizard guides LoanPro users through actions on accounts with a low possibility of error.
LoanPro's Loan Management System (LMS) is a powerful tool. But with great power, sometimes comes great complexity. Process Wizards are meant to eliminate some of that complexity: we understand it's a bit daunting to expect every member of your team to master both loan processes and the LMS software itself.
You've likely used a wizard before to install an application. Without wizards, you'd need a background in computing just to set up a new printer or internet browser, and that would just be annoying. LoanPro's Process Wizards are just like the installation wizards you have seen before, but they exist entirely within LMS and walk users through your own loan servicing processes.
Let's consider an analogy. Imagine a fantasy world where there is a group of dwarves beginning a journey to reclaim their homeland. The journey is treacherous, and there are possible missteps along the way. The dwarves decide it would be helpful to be accompanied by a wise, grey wizard; the wizard knows where to go, what to do, and what to avoid. He keeps the dwarves on the right track so that they don't stray from the path. The dwarves also decide that they need some ground rules. First, they decide a strict rule that the whole company must join in on the journey or else it won't start—no way around it. Then, they set some preferred ground rules but know they can still complete the journey even if they can't keep them, such as sticking together and feasting every night (accompanied by song, of course).
The dwarves begin their journey when all members of the company have joined. With their map and the wise wizard who accompanies them, they travel far whilst avoiding dangerous setbacks. The journey is long, but it would have been much longer without the aid and planning. The dwarves reclaim their homeland and conclude their journey safely and successfully.
That story is nice, but how does it apply? Any LoanPro user interested in completing a complex process is the group of dwarves in our story. They know what they need to do but may just need a little help with the task. The treacherous journey is the process the user is trying to complete, a customized process that your company's managers have outlined. Like the journey in the story, a process can be unsuccessful if the wrong steps are taken. The wise wizard in the story is, as you may have guessed, a Process Wizard.
How Process Wizards Work
Like we discussed above, Process Wizards are set up to guide you through a complex process. Some processes, such as changing a loan status to fraudulent, require multiple steps on different pages within LMS. Process Wizards simplify this process notably. If implemented properly, the Process Wizard will not only explain how to complete the required steps but also take you to the right pages to do so.
Validations and Rules
We also mentioned above that Process Wizards help eliminate process missteps and mistakes. Process Wizards make it easier to follow the correct steps, but you may be wondering, "What if a user opens a Process Wizard on an incorrect loan and ruins something?"
LoanPro uses what we call Rules and Validations as a solution to this problem. Rules and Validations work in tandem as a team of fail-safes.
Rules determine if a loan qualifies for a Process Wizard before it's opened. These run in the background of LMS and eliminate the chance that a user can use a Process Wizard on incorrect loans. If a loan doesn't qualify for a Process Wizard due to the Rule that you set, the Process Wizard cannot be opened. Each Process Wizard requires a Rule, and you can only set one on each Process Wizard. As an admin, you determine these—they're customizable.
Validations are similar to Rules but vary slightly. While Rules run before a Process Wizard is opened, Validations run as soon as you open a Process Wizard. Validations are set up to give your personnel a bit of flexibility. These can be required but, unlike Rules, don't have to be; instead, you can decide to set specific Validations as "not required" to give users some discretion based on the loan situation. Validations also offer the chance to add some clarity on why a loan may or may not qualify for a specific Process Wizard. At least one Validation is required on a Process Wizard like Rules, but you can set as many Validations as you'd like. Validations also offer a chance to add some clarity on why a loan may or may not qualify for a specific Process Wizard. As an admin, you get to determine these as well.
Rules and Validations are created using determined criteria, such as, "the loan must not already be paid off". They are written as Clojure equations and look a bit like the following:
(not (= loan-status "Paid Off"))
If this string of text looks intimidating, consider reading our article on Rules Applied.
It is important to note that Rules and Validations are highly customizable. You can create your own set of Rules and Validations based on your lending model and the trust you have in the personnel using the software.
Where do Rules and Validations fit into our analogy from earlier? Process Wizard Rules are the strict rule that the dwarves set. The journey can't even begin if this rule is broken. Validations are the preferred rules they set. The dwarves would prefer to keep these rules intact but know that the journey can be completed if the rules are broken.
Workflows and Checklists
Let's expand upon our fantasy adventure analogy in another way. The dwarves had a long journey, so they needed a map to keep them on track. Process Wizards also have maps because, like the dwarves' journey, they can be long as well.
Process Wizards use what we call Action Workflows—these act as our map. Action Workflows consist of broad steps that the user needs to complete. Within these steps are how you can set up the path the Process Wizard takes. You determine what page within LMS the Process Wizard takes the user to and describes what the user needs to do while on that page.
These are customizable too, and you can decide how much or how little detail you'd like to include on each step. Each process varies in length, so you may decide to use one Workflow step, or you may decide you need ten.
You can also add checklists to the steps within an Action Workflow. Checklists aren't required, but they are a good way for a user check their work on a step.
Groups and Roles
Once you have created your Process Wizards, it's easy to organize them. The idea of Wizard Groups is straightforward: they allow you to determine how your Process Wizards are categorized.
Groups also serve the purpose of allowing you to determine which users within your company have access to which Process Wizards. If you have specific users that you'd like to restrict a group of Process Wizards from, you can do so. Each user within LMS can be assigned to a Process Wizards Group. Any Process Wizards that are not categorized within the assigned group will not be viewable by the user.
Process Wizard Roles are just like user roles in that they can provide and restrict access to certain areas of LMS. As user roles determine access to the pages within LMS, Process Wizard roles determine access to pages within Process Wizards. Process Wizard Roles are a great way to expand upon user roles. For example, if you'd prefer to restrict certain pages to users but want to allow access to them if the users are using a wizard, Process Wizard roles will let you do so.
If you have made it this far, you have a great start on creating and using Process Wizards. The information in this article is basic, however; the topics discussed here are discussed in greater detail in other articles. If you would like to learn more about how to create Process Wizards, our Process Wizards article is a great place to start. We also have additional material on Process Wizard Groups and Process Wizard Roles.