Diary of a People Developer: Ripple Workflow

November 25, 2015

Diary of a People Developer

Ripple Workflow: The Journey of a Big New Feature

Summer 2014

I first started thinking about how we could help our customers automate the most boring and repetitive HR tasks in Summer 2014. The focus of our software has always been helping HR managers, business owners and company administrators to be really confident and ambitious with HR, and to make HR much easier and much more fun. But even though our system already automated lots of the dull stuff at this point, I knew there was always going to be some level of repetition… things like processing a company leaver, or bringing a new starter on-board. Why shouldn’t we automate the core elements of processes like these!? I just had to think of how we might add it to the software…

March – May 2015

It was a while before I put my ideas to paper, but in early 2015, I did – I wrote down everything I thought we should be doing in terms of the next level in automation, and then assembled a team of colleagues who helped me to go through user feedback and really hammer out what the deliverables should be (in other words, they helped me work out what our customers would actually want, instead of what my excitable brain thought we should have!).

June 2015

Thanks to help from my colleagues, I was able to prepare a really solid specification for this brand new automation feature, which I passed over to the developers in June. They immediately got to work on how the different screens might look, how the user interface would work, and the most efficient ways they might want to write the code for the best user experience.

September 2015

After checking in on the development team, we decided that the plans were looking really good, and that it was time to start cutting the code. Many people think that watching a team of techies type lines of symbols onto a computer screen is boring, but I find it quite therapeutic – behind those characters is hiding some really cool new functionality that we’re all really excited to share with you.

November 2015

That brings us to where we are now – the feature is ready to be shared, and you’ll soon be able to use our Ripple Workflow to automate almost any systematic task within People. I’m looking forward to the creative automation recipes you all come up with, and I really hope you enjoy the feature – the team has worked really hard to bring it to life, and we feel it will be an amazing addition to your existing toolbox.


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