PowerClerk Support Center

Program Design
Automations
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Automations feature
Creating an Automation
FAQs
Communication Templates
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Communications feature
Creating Communication templates
Feature reference
FAQs
Deadlines
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Deadlines feature
How to create Deadlines
Feature reference
FAQs
Forms
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Forms feature
How to create and edit Forms
Adding data fields
Configuring Forms
VersaForms
Sensitive Data Fields
Feature reference
FAQs
Roles
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Roles feature
How to create and edit a Role
Feature reference
FAQs
Workflow
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Workflow feature
How to create and edit the Workflow
Transitions
Changing a project's status
Feature reference
FAQs
Advanced Program Design
Channels
Locating the Channels feature
What are Channels?
Channels Checklist
3-Step Publishing Process
Channel Type A: Mark As Child
Channel Type B: Make Successor
Channel Type C and D: Create/Submit Related Project
Sending Signals
Document Templates
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Document Templates feature
How to define a new Template
Feature reference
eSignatures
DocuSign template tags
Mapping eSignature tags
FAQs
Formulas and Calculated Fields
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Formulas feature
How to create a Formula
Formula Data Dictionary
FAQs
Front Page
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Front Page feature
How to edit the Front Page
FAQs
Incentive Design
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Incentive Design feature
How to design an Incentive
Incentive Options
FAQs
Single Sign On (SSO)
Azure AD
Okta IDP Configuration
SP Configuration
PowerClerk API
Custom API IDs
FAQ
API Documentation for Developers
Application & Process Automation
Getting Started
Common Usage Scenarios
Using Custom IDs
API Method Reference
Code Samples
Administration
Business Days
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Business Days feature
Setting up Business Days
FAQs
Dashboards
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Dashboards feature
How to create widgets in your Dashboard
Other Dashboard Actions
Data Import
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Data Import feature
How to validate a Data Import
FAQs
Duplicate Check
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Duplicate Check feature
How to use Duplicate Checks
FAQs
ePayments
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the ePayments History feature
How to add ePayments
FAQ
Import From V2
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Import From V2 feature
How to Import From V2
FAQs
Operation Status
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Operation Status feature
How to use the Operation Status feature
FAQs
Program Info
Project Inquiry
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Program Info feature
How to edit the Program Info menu
Notification Banners
Billing Info
FAQs
Program Statistics
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Program Statistics feature
How to use Program Statistics
FAQs
Reports
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Reports feature
How to setup Reports
Multi-instance reports
Integrate scheduled Reports
Cross-Program Reports
FAQs
Test Environment
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Test Environment feature
How to setup a Test Environment
FAQs
User Administration
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the User Administration feature
How to work with User Administration
FAQs
Web Adapter Factory
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Web Adapter Factory
What are Web Adapters
Input and Output Fields
Connecting, Testing, and Enabling
Maintenance and Alterations
Web Adapter Message Format
FAQ
Program Reporting
Data Fields
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Data Fields feature
How to work with Data Fields
Custom Lists and Data Field Groups
Table form element
PV System + batteries element
FAQs
Milestones
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Milestones feature
How to define a Milestone
FAQs
Project List Columns
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project List Columns feature
How to use Project List Columns
FAQs
Project Summary
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project Summary feature
FAQs
How to edit the Project Summary
Project Views
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project Views feature
How to edit Project Views
FAQs
Settings
My Account
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the My Account feature
How to use the My Account feature
Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication
MFA Recovery Guidelines
FAQs
FormSense
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the FormSense feature
How to use the FormSense feature
FAQs
Grant Access
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Grant Access feature
How to Grant Access to users
FAQs
Integration Guides
Integration Guide 001: How to configure a Web Adapter – ArcGIS Implementation
Integration Guide 002: How to configure Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) DRIVE Connect software with PowerClerk
PowerClerk Video Guides
New User Video Guide
Setting up Business Days
Dashboards
Edit Forms - Tutorial #1
Edit Forms - Tutorial #2
Configuring Forms
FormSense
Build A Formula
Automation with Formulas in Action Rules
Formulas and Advanced Visibility Rules
Calculated Fields
Milestones
Project Summary
Roles and User Administration
Visualize Workflows
PowerClerk User Group Sessions (UGS)
PowerClerk Responsive Admin View

Workflow

Visualize Workflows to masterfully design program flow and control project statuses.

Workflow feature


Questions to ask yourself about the Workflow:

What are the steps in my application process?

Do we have an existing workflow diagram (in Visio, for instance)?
Who has control of the application in each status?
When should control be handed off?
Which statuses should be reachable from which other statuses?

Locating the Workflow feature

Anyone in a Role with the Edit Workflow privilege can navigate to the Workflow by opening the PROGRAM DESIGN menu and clicking on the Workflow button.

 

Locating the Workflow feature

Figure 1: PROGRAM DESIGN >> Workflow

 

How to create and edit the Workflow

We recommend picking one section of the Workflow to tackle first. When building out a program in PowerClerk, it is important to break down the program design work into manageable pieces. This could help a single Program Designer more easily scope out their work and maintain focus, or a team of Program Designers to work concurrently without encroaching on each other’s responsibilities.

Questions that need to be answered to build this single section of the Workflow:

  • What status(es) are the focus of this piece of the Workflow?
  • What kind of data will be stored about the project before it enters this step in the Workflow?
  • What kind of data should be obtained and stored after for each completed step?
  • What tasks need to be completed in this area of the Workflow?
  • Who is in control of the project in this Status?
  • Who needs to make changes, submit Forms, and attach documents in this Status?
  • What handoffs have to be made?
  • Do any email notifications (Communications) need to be sent out in this section of the Workflow?
  • If so, in which statuses should they be sent, and to whom?
  • Are there any Deadlines that need to be triggered by statuses in this section of the Workflow?


The next step in defining this section of the Program’s process is actually configuring the Workflow with the Workflow tool. Understanding the Workflow is key when managing a program in PowerClerk. The Workflow is the backbone of operations –the process defined in this tool will support many other aspects of the Program, including user behavior, Form configuration, and Actions like automatic Communications and Deadlines.

Although this feature is very visual and easy to use, any configuration work performed in the Workflow tool actually drives changes in the program’s code. This is one of the many ways PowerClerk is designed to be configured self-service, and without the need to be a computer programmer.

To create a new status within the Workflow scratchpad, click the Create New Status button in the upper left section of the Workflow screen. You will be asked to name your new status as shown below:

 

Name new status

Figure 2: Name the new status


Your new status is now visible on the Workflow scratchpad:

 

Create new status

Figure 3: Creating a new status

 

For the purposes of this introductory guide, we will create a very simple section of the Workflow of what could eventually become a more complex Workflow. For now, we will only focus on three common statuses: Application Submitted, Application in Review, and Application Changes Needed.

STEP 1: Rename your previously created new status to say just “Application Submitted” by clicking on the Rename Status button:

 

Rename new status

Figure 4: Rename new status


STEP 2: Create two more statuses and name them “Application in Review” and “Application Changes Needed”:

 

Simple Workflow

Figure 5: Simple Workflow

 

Transitions

Status transitions are easily configured by dragging and dropping. To create a new Status transition, hover over the right-hand-side node (dot) of a Status rectangle until the cursor changes to a 4-way arrow symbol. Then, left-click and hold while dragging to any other Status’s left-hand-side node. When the left-hand side node of the second Status enlarges, you can release your left mouse button, and a new Status Transition will appear. Note that green Always Available statuses can be entered from any other status, therefore the left-hand-side node does not exist for Always Available statuses.

 

Creating a transition

Figure 6: Creating a transition


Statuses can be rearranged by clicking and dragging, and the view can be zoomed in and zoomed out using the buttons in the top-right of the screen. Combining these two actions can help make the Workflow more visually appealing.

 

Arranging statuses

Figure 7: Arranging statuses


To delete a Status or Status transition, simply select the object and click the Delete button (found near the bottom of the screen). After you are done making changes, click the Save button to commit the updated Workflow to the program.


Think about the Status Transitions that are likely to be needed. The description above may have provided a sneak-peak at how this section of the Workflow should be configured. In our experience designing programs with numerous utilities,the following process steps are quote common:

  • Once an application is submitted, that project should automatically move into the Application Submitted status
  • Once an administrator starts the task of reviewing an application, the project should move to the Application in Review status
  • If the application needs to be updated by the applicant, the project should be placed in an Application Changes Needed status
  • Once the applicant has made their changes to the project, they should resubmit their changes to the administrator and their project should automatically move back to the Application Submitted status
  • Once the Administrator starts their second review of this project, the project should be moved to the Application in Review status again

It is important to note that PowerClerk is designed to make the Status of each project visible to the pertinent stakeholders for that project (including administrators and applicants). Therefore,thoughtful naming of Statuses and thoughtful Status flow design will lead to happier applicants who intuitively understand what action is needed for a project, and when that action needs to be taken. Additionally, PowerClerk automatically saves a date-time stamp each time a project enters a Status, making it straightforward for the administrator to report on time spent in each Status or Workflow segment.
 

Changing a project’s status

A common task for an Administrator is to update a project’s status by selecting a project on the home screen, clicking Admin, and then selecting the Change Status function on the Admin screen. Note that a typical Administrator changing a project’s status can only select the statuses that follow the rules of the Workflow’s status transitions. However, if you have the Edit Workflow privilege, you can change a project’s status to ANY status –whether that transition follows the normal Workflow rules or not.


See below a complex example of a Workflow that can build within PowerClerk to reflect the requirements of your utility program:

 

Complex Workflow example

Figure 8: Complex Workflow example


The above Workflow is composed of statuses and status transitions. Each status is represented by a rectangle. The text inside the rectangle is the status name, which can be changed at any time by selecting the status and clicking the Rename Status button (1).

The status’s color can represent one of two things (2): if the status is blue, the status is considered conditionally available, and any project that needs to enter that status must follow the available paths in the Workflow to get there. If the status is green, that status is always available, which means any project can enter this green status from any other status, even if there is no status transition between the two.

The lines with arrows between statuses represent status transitions. These form the rules of the Workflow, which will be translated into PowerClerk’s code anytime the Workflow is saved. As can be seen in the screenshot above (3), if there is no transition between the Awaiting Documentation and Set Meter Request Pending, an application reviewer cannot skip over the Inspection Pending status – they must follow the allowable paths represented by status transitions. To create a new status, use the Create New Status button (4) and type a new status name. Note that each status must have a unique name.

Feature Reference

Workflow

Administrators have self-service control over the workflow for each program in PowerClerk, and each program can have a unique workflow. Using the graphical workflow editor (Figure 9), the administrator can create new statuses (Figure 10), delete existing statuses, and control the process flow between statuses (Figure 11). For simplicity, any status may also be defined as always available, which adds convenience as a few common terminal statuses (Cancelled, etc.) may become relevant at any time during the lifecycle of an application.


The administrator has the freedom to make changes to an existing program’s workflow at any time as requirements evolve. If a status is deleted by an administrator and any applications remain in the deleted status, they will still show as being in that status until they are moved to some other active status.


Thoughtful naming and configuration of the workflow can greatly aid in streamlining and organizing a program as Communications and Deadlines can be automatically triggered on a status change using the Actions tool. A representative workflow for an interconnection program has been mocked up in Figure 9 below. See “Communications”, “Deadlines”, and “Actions” sections for additional detail.

 

Sample Interconnection Program Workflow

Figure 9: The Workflow Editor Displaying a Sample Interconnection Program Workflow.

 

Creating a New Status

Figure 10: Creating a New Status

 

Drag and Drop Status Transitions

Figure 11: Drag and Drop Status Transitions

Video Guides

Visualize Workflows

This video will demonstrate how to build a workflow through our visual design surface. Align key Workflow statuses with stages in your business or technical review process.

 
A full list of all Video Guides can also be found here.

FAQs

Q: I am running out of space designing my Workflows, what can I do?
A: statuses can be rearranged by clicking and dragging, and the view can be zoomed in and zoomed out using the buttons in the top-right of the screen. Combining these two actions can help make the Workflow more visually appealing. To delete a Status or status transition, simply select the object and click the Delete button(found near the bottom of the screen). After you are done making changes, click the Save button to commit the updated Workflow to the program.
Workflow Zoom
Workflow Zoom
Q: Can I set the length of an incentive program to something other than 5 years?
A: Within PowerClerk please click on Program Design and choose menu option Incentive Design.
If you click Edit Design for an editable existing incentive or create a new Incentive Design, you will see that the Incentive Length field is editable and can have any value from 1 to 30 years.
In this same dialog you can also set other fields, such as Annual System Degradation. As the note on the page explains, that is a value indicating the percent by which the system production calculation should be reduced each year in calculating the estimated incentive amount. The default for this input is 0.0% -- no reduction. Note that it is a measure of the amount of reduction each year; so a value such as 0.5% would be typical.
Q: I am done setting up our program in the sandbox environment - how can I release our program to production?
A: Clean Power Research will take a snapshot of the program you want to move and then set that up on the production environment. We normally reserve 5 days just to give us some leeway in case there’s a problem and a hard deadline. You can keep using the sandbox environment during that time, but any changes you make there will not be reflected in the snapshot we took and hence any changes will need to be repeated in the production server.
Outside of that, the production server is just like the sandbox – nothing is set in stone, or needs to be final-final before going to the production server, you can make changes before and after you open it to the public.
Q: I added, enhanced, or improved an existing application Workflow, but have several unsubmitted applications. Is it possible to do a mass promotion on the Interconnection Request Application form?
A: We recommend not to utilize mass promotions for customer-facing forms, for the following reasons:
  1. If an application isn’t yet submitted and you’ve added fields, those pop up towards the person filling out the form out of the blue, potentially on pages that were considered completed and now are not
  2. Applications that have been submitted and got new required fields added now make an admin go “how did this get submitted without the field being filled out? It’s required after all!”
  3. Applications that have been submitted and are being viewed by the user that filled it out now have fields, conceivably with values that an admin filled in later, that the user never submitted.
To help out utility customers that have a form that’s effectively faulty, we can target certain form versions and promote those. That is typically used for utility-internal forms (usually those that guide the admins through the process – if there’s a mistake on that, the form needs to change for all projects). If we used that, yes it would apply to the Unsubmitted applications.
Q: Is it possible for an Applicant to be in more than one status at a time?
A: A project can only be in one status at a time. An applicant (typically an installer/contractor) may have more than one project open in PowerClerk at the same time and these projects can be in different statuses.
Q: If a status in our Workflow leads to multiple other status options, can I manually select which status to move the Applicant to next?
A: Admins with access to the Admin View can manually select which status to move an applicant (see screenshot below).
Change status dialog
Screenshot: Change status dialog

Formulas and Automations may also be utilized so this occurs automatically. For example: If Applicant A, should be placed in Status B because their system size is greater than 5 kW you would create a formula (system size is > 5 kW) which would then be combined with an Automation triggered by the submission of a form and an Action Rule that puts the project in Status B when the formula is true.

Have additional questions? Contact us to nominate your FAQ and help others find answers to your own questions concerning this feature.

Create A Support Ticket

Not finding your answer here?  Submit a question to our support team at the PowerClerk Ticket System and leverage the PowerClerk team’s expertise.