Process Wizards 101

Introduction

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 our Process Wizards, Wizard Roles, and Wizard Groups articles for more advanced information on Process Wizards.

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 Loan Management System 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.

Rules and Validations

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.

Process Wizards that do not qualify for a loan cannot be opened.

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. 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 statements 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.

Rules and Validations are incredibly 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 preferred 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, and these act as our map. Action Workflows consist of broad steps that the user needs to complete, and 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 describe what the user needs to do while on that page.

These are customizable, too; 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're a good way for a user to check their work on a step.

Categories and Groups

Once you have created your Process Wizards, it's a good idea to organize them into categories. You can do this easily with Wizard Categories. The idea of Wizard Categories is straightforward—they allow you to create sections of Wizards for processes like servicing, fraud, or bankruptcy. These are merely used to tidy up your list of Process Wizards.

Wizard Groups, on the other hand, allow you to determine which users within your company have access to which Process Wizards. If you have specific personnel that you'd like to restrict a group of Process Wizards from using, Groups will help you do so. For example, if you'd prefer to revoke access to fraud Wizards specifically from your servicing team, creating a Group is the best option. Each agent user within LMS can be assigned to a Process Wizards Group, and any Process Wizards that are not categorized within the assigned group will not be viewable by the user.

User Roles can play a part in Process Wizards as well. Some users prefer to create "Wizard Only" roles that grant users access only to making changes to accounts while within a Process Wizard. A user role like this is useful for personnel that are still becoming familiar with the software or personnel who are expected to make only specific, minor changes.

The access that a Process Wizard provides supersedes the access granted by the user's assigned role. In other words, if a user is denied access to information by their user role, a Process Wizard that accesses that information will grant access to the user within the Wizard. For example, a user may be denied the access to view sensitive customer information. But if the same user opens a Process Wizard that has access to that sensitive customer information, the user will be able to view it while within the Process Wizard.

This Feature Is Not

As with any feature, getting the most out of Process Wizards requires you to understand their limitations. Here's a few things that Wizards are ill-suited for:

  • Wizards are not total automation. Wizards make it easy for your agents to service their loans, but human input is still required. Though, wizards do work well in tandem with our main automation tool, Rules Applied.
  • Wizards are not failure-proof. Wizards help your agents navigate through the software, but it's still possible for an agent to make a mistake once they get there. Good training and clear instructions can help mitigate that risk.

What's Next?

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, and 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 Creating Process Wizards article is a great source of information. We also have additional material on creating Process Wizard Groups and creating roles specifically for Wizards.


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