There is an important distinction between tasks and to-dos as well as between processes or workflows. These distinctions are actually somewhat important. If you are going to identify points of failure or places for measurement and improvement, you need to differentiate between these different aspects of your business processes.
It’s my contention that all to-dos are tasks, but not all tasks are to-dos. Tasks are definitive, they are things that need to get done whether they are documented or tracked at all. To-dos are something written down or typed into your phone or computer (or otherwise captured) that act as a register or reminder that a task has to be completed. I know that this definition may not be one that everyone agrees with, but it’s the one I am using.
Whether they are to-dos or not is actually just about how an individual structures their work. For example, I have a task scheduled for later today that I need to pick up my daughter from school. I don’t have it in my app of choice (in my case, Notion) as a to-do because I don’t personally need to track that. I pick her up every single Tuesday, so though it’s a task, it’s habitual enough for me that I don’t need to track it as a to-do.
So that’s the difference between tasks and to-dos. There is also a big difference between processes and workflows. And this is a bit less controversial than my tasks versus to-dos explanation. In short, all business processes are about the steps necessary to complete a significant corporate goal. Workflows are ordered collections of tasks to complete as part of a corporate objective or goal. Their completion is not a strategic item in isolation; a group of workflows often make up a business process. Many workflows are repeated and procedural and are often recurring things like invoicing or sales.
Most people aren’t interested in these distinctions. I am a process dork, so I think about them a lot. In short, I think of it this way:
-To-do are tracked tasks.
-Tasks are assigned pieces of work to finish in order to complete a workflow or process.
-Workflows are collections of tasks
-Processes are collections of tasks and, often, workflows.
And, with the advent of automation, we can pre-schedule to-dos and tasks relative to whether they should appear after a given step in our workflows or processes.
In Evolved Metrics CRM we’ve decided to build some workflow automation that takes all of these differentiations into account in a little bit of a different way than traditional CRMs. In short, Evolved Metrics CRM will now allow you to trigger to-dos based on where you are in your sales process. You can schedule them ahead of time or have them show up as soon as you finish a specific task in your process.
Check out a quick how-to document on our FAQ to set this up in your Evolved Metrics CRM account right here.
In the future, we plan on adding machine learning-derived automation to task creation. We plan to use anonymized data (via opt-in only) to inform an algorithm to set certain follow-up to-dos based on optimized success likelihood. For example, if the preponderance of data tells us that your chances of closing a deal increase if your follow-up call on a proposal is 7 days rather than 4, the system will recommend those changes to you.
We are excited to have taken the first step in bringing our CRM clients’ workflow and process automation to leverage data and experience to optimize the tasks and to-dos to help our clients close more deals. All in three clicks or less.