May 2016 updates to Skore app

This is the first announcement on updates to Skore app since February 2016 and we’ve packed in a few improvements since then. The main areas we’ve looked at this year are:

  • More updates more often
  • Improvements that make your life as an analyst easier
  • Improvements that make the experience for your audience better

More updates more often

While this is the first announcement since we released version 3 of Skore app you have probably noticed there have been a number of updates since then. With version 3 we implemented a new system of release that allows us to deploy updates and bug fixes more quickly.

That means some releases specifically fix bugs while others may include other improvements too. This post covers all updates since February 2016.

Improvements to make your life easier as an analyst

Printing – as well as bug fixes we have added more page size options such as better support for Letter as well as A3. You will also find it’s now possible to print multiple diagrams at once. For example you can print the currently visible diagram as well as all the detailed views beneath it.

More zen like experience – a handful of users commented that they enjoyed the new ‘fun’ background image a little too much. Some said they were often asked to move the canvas so others could see the background in its full glory. To avoid this distraction we’ve added an option in settings to hide the background for when you want 100% focus on process mapping.

You can now also hide the left bar which is especially useful when working on older projectors where screen resolution is an issue.

Spell Checker – is now available for US English in the desktop app.

Improvements that make the experience for your audience better

Bring all step related information into one place – as a user following a process I would like all related information to be instantly available and in the same place. To achieve this we have improved the attachment panel in a number of ways.

  • The Whatbox text is automatically added at the top of the panel so that you can easily see which step in the process it belongs to
  • The panel is always full height so that it doesn’t disappear when there is only a small amount of information in there
  • It is now possible to move the canvas to see whatboxes previously hidden by the attachment panel
  • The panel is resizable which makes it easier to view content such as embedded videos or larger images

 

Make processes easier to read – we continue to make the processes created in Skore app easier to read, often with feedback from customers and through our own tests. Here are some recent improvements that will help:

  • More icons are available to use in diagrams from the collection linearicons.com
  • Items can be ordered back-to-front or front-to-back. If you are using images over which you want to place notes, or other items, you can add them to the diagram in any order, then re-order them to get the image under the note
  • Images will now default to fit inside the object they have been placed in. So an image in a note will resize with the note. If you want to always display the full image size simple add ‘noresize’ to the image tag
  • Make the difference between what and who clearer by adding a line between them (see how>>)
  • Use custom colors for the background of notes

 

Improved support for Internet Explorer (and Edge) – previously the html view would open in compatibility mode meaning not all features were available. We now tell Internet Explorer to use the latest settings for the best experience.

If you would like to know more about Skore app and our latest improvements please email us [email protected]

Further success drives partnership and Sharepoint integration

SPRINGBOARD-IT-logo-header-x2We’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Springboard IT. We will be working with Springboard IT to develop our Sharepoint integration. This will bring together the content management capabilities of Sharepoint, and Office 365, with the rapid process capture and analytical capabilities of Skore app.

We see a growing need in our customer projects to make better use of existing infrastructure rather than introducing even more tools. Many companies have years invested in the Sharepoint platform which has really come of age since the release of Sharepoint 2013.

The integration will make it much easier to manage, control, share and collaborate on interactive process content. It extends our current capabilities in process capture and analysis into process knowledge management.

Who are Springboard IT?

Springboard IT are a leading consulting and development agency that specialize in maximizing the value from your existing Sharepoint infrastructure. They provide advice, configuration and development of customer apps and workflows.
“Working with Skore app is an ideal partnership. It makes it much easier for companies to identify, develop and improve existing processes. Skore app processes form the requirements for custom forms and workflows allowing any Sharepoint owner to maximize their investment in the platform.” – Steve Bloomer, founder of Springboard IT.

How do I get the integration?

We already have a number of early adopter customers but we’re always looking for more. Early adopters will get the chance to influence the direction and capability of future developments.

If you think adding Sharepoint integration is something that will make a significant difference to your organization then please do get in touch. [email protected]

The Scrum Process

The scrum process is one that we see more and more often. It may go against what many agilists believe but in larger organizations, defining a process is important.

We see many versions of this same process, the words change often but the main steps are almost always the same, in the same order.

the_scrum_process

View the interactive process here

Building the scrum process

The key to this process is representing the iterative nature of scrum. In this example we show the sprint in a group containing the main iteration.

To create a group in Skore app, simply select all the items you want to include in the group and click the Group button at the bottom of the selection. In this case there wasn’t room to display the Group title at the top. Instead I left it blank and added a title at the bottom using a Note.

We also highlight the fact that most products are, or should be, driven by a strategy and the external environment. These external inputs are highlighted using icons. So the icons indicate where the process flows out of scope.

Let us know what you think.

Use Skore app for free with justskore.it

Justskore.it is our web based demo of Skore app. More than that it’s an almost fully functional version of the desktop app. And what’s more it’s completely free to use!

So what’s the catch? Justskore.it is designed as a demo so that means some features are not available, mostly to do with exporting… but not all! the first question you might ask, after putting a lot of work into creating the perfect process, is how do I save my work?

Saving with justkore.it

Whenever you work with Skore app all the data is stored in something called XML. When you create a skore file with the desktop app it saves this XML into that file.

We make Skore app very open and flexible and that means we make this XML data available to any user, including users of justskore.it.

Saving the work you’ve done in Skore is as simple as saving that XML data somewhere. So how do you do it?

Saving online

The easiest and quickest way to save your work is to use the justskore.it option in the Export menu. When you click this your data will be stored anonymously online. Skore will return a web link that you can use to open that version of the data.

You can share that link with anyone you want but you won’t be able to change it. When it comes to updating your process simply click justskore.it again and it will create a new link showing your updates. As simple as that!

The downside to this approach is that your information is always public. Although not easy to find without the link it’s still open to anyone that can find it.

Saving offline

A safer way to save your content is to copy it to another file! When using justskore.it (or Skore app) simply click on XML in the Export menu. Here you’ll see all the raw data for your process. Simply copy and paste that data into a text editor, such as NotePad or TextEdit, and save it as a plain text file.

To re-open your process browse to justskore.it, click XML in the Export menu and copy and paste your data into the window. When you click Apply your process will be displayed in justskore.it and you can edit it. Just remember you’ll need to copy it back to your text editor when finished.

Getting the most out of Skore app

Of course the best way to save files is to use Skore app desktop, you can download it for free and you’ll be able save files directly for 30 days. With Skore app desktop you’ll also be able to:

  • Save processes as webpages to share on your intranet
  • Use offline
  • Export processes to image or PDF
  • Export reports to MS Excel
  • Save your favorite colors and styles

New Investment in Skore app

It has now been 2 years since we first launched Skore app as a rapid process mapping and analytics tool. In that time we have been steadily growing a fan base and developing the application based on keeping things simple and fast.

In most cases we have tried to deliver what you have asked us for but our team and resources are limited. We know that a number of key requirements have been most obvious by their absence.

Well we hope to change that with this announcement. Thanks to your stunning support so far we are now in a position to start investing more in the application and really take it to the next level.

gray_whithout_-we-do-digitalThis week we signed an agreement to work with Dorset Creative, a UK based digital agency with years of development experience. We’re proud to invest in this UK team and we’re more than happy to spend time with them onsite in the stunning seaside town of Bournemouth.

The team at Dorset Creative are very experienced and have delivered a number innovative software products around productivity and project management. Their customers include universities, hospitals and local councils which shows they can build products that scale.

“The whole team are really excited to be working with Skore app. We think it’s such an interesting product and one that we’ve seen makes a real difference to all their customers. We’re very motivated by the fact we’ll be making such an impact on some very important companies.” Dorset Creative’s Director, Nathan Revill.

Over the coming months we’ll be bringing you more updates on our progress. We hope you’ll soon start seeing the benefits of this partnership. Please keep the feedback coming.

Signup on our website now to make sure you’re notified when important updates are released.

 

Add visual cues and buttons to your process

In Skore app V3 we introduced a library of over 500 icons for you to choose from. Drag icons directly onto your process, or add one to your text, to help tell the story of your process and use visual prompts to clarify.

Icons can help provide additional context for activities or make them easier to recognise at a glance.

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They help to show the transformational effect of an activity by highlighting inputs and outputs.

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Use icons to highlight important steps in the process such as decisions points or business rules.

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Highlight important links and documents by placing an icon inside a link. Clicking on the icon will launch a linked document.

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Or use icons as buttons on a contextual landing page that link to different places in your process model.

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Learn more about how to add and use icons in this video.

Make your processes your own

We recently announced the release of Skore app V3 and continue this series of articles outlining the new features. In this episode we explain how you can improve engagement through ownership and branding.

Make your processes your own

There’s a lot to be said for ownership. You’re much more likely to invest time and effort ensuring something you own is kept in the best condition.

In every process someone somewhere is responsible for every activity no matter how small that is. We’re all invested in some process somewhere so it’s important to create a collective ownership of your business processes.

There are many ways to achieve that; involve as many as possible in the design, use a common language and give process models a look and feel that the team are familiar with.

A familiar look and feel

In Skore app V3 we bring stylesheets so you can customize the look and feel of your process models and diagrams. Change the colours of the lines, fill, text and icons.

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This means you can start to use corporate colors, or your team’s favourite colors in your models. Make them bright so they stand out from the rest.

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Perhaps you have specific steps in a process you want to emphasise. There is a Go/No Go decision, or important business rule you want everyone to see, easy. Simply select that step, or any other item in the process, and apply a specific style to it.

Add a logo to a process to show who it belongs to.

Use text formatting in all text fields to emphasise text or organize thoughts and ideas.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 08.03.14

Want to know how? Watch this video.

Skore app gets a personality

With the release of Skore app V3 the software had a makeover, here’s why.

We talk a lot about process being easy, simple, fast and engaging. Process is such a powerful tool for simplifying, communicating, saving money, improving profits and creating kick-ass customer experience. And yet most people still see it as stuffy, boring, complicated and uninspiring.

When we work directly with customers we often get complimented for making the process of process fun and engaging, as well as valuable. We want Skore app to say that about us too and we felt that the look and feel of the product didn’t quite deliver.

So we got in touch with our friends over at Mad Co and they really helped us bring Skore app to life. We LOVE what they’ve done, we can’t get enough of it and we hope you will too.

Create

Use this menu to drag and drop what and why boxes onto the canvas or add notes. You can also access the Icon library and the useful formatting help.

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Learn

Access the guided tutorial, web based learning material and videos. Or get inspiration from the included example content .

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 08.49.48

Export

Share content online anonymously on Justskore.it. Copy or save as an image or even straight to PDF. Print your processes and stick them on the wall!

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 08.49.54

Customize

Edit the stylesheet for the whole process or just one item on the page. Change settings such as page size, enable RACI/RATSI and handover analysis.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 08.50.06

Icon Library

Instantly choose from over 500 icons. Search for the icon that best describes your input, activity or output. Drag it onto the canvas or use in directly in your text.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 08.50.37

See these videos for more information on using Skore app.

Simple, quick process mapping

You have been given a project, or task, that requires you to create flowcharts, a business process or visualize how stuff works in your company. You’ve not done this before so where do you get started?

There are loads of tools out there, free tools, paid for tools, software as a service but which one should you use? The answer to these questions depends what you are trying to do. Here’s what makes Skore app stand out from the crowd, if your requirement fits any of these why not give Skore a try by clicking the link on the right. The demo is free and includes full functionality and a built in tutorial to get you up and running.

Structured

When you start out you will need to consider what sort of approach you are going to use. This will help you structure the flowchart in a way that helps you solve the problem you’re looking at. There are many approaches out there such as UML, BPMN, EPC and many more. Most software tools will support some, or all, of these to some extent. So it means you’re going to have to learn both the approach and the tool to get the benefit. Ultimately they all provide a way to describe and analyze activities in your organization.

With Skore app we have built our approach straight into the tool so there’s only one thing to learn. And what’s more, compared to other approaches ours is…

Simple

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 17.10.31
Simple structured approach

Our approach is easy to learn, easy to use and easy to explain to other people. And this is going to be key, especially if you’re going to create this, or share it, with other people. If you are using visualization to help solve a business problem then you need to ensure that you all share a common understanding every step of the way. Having a simple approach means there is less chance the approach itself is going to trip you up as you go.

And because it’s simple it’s also…

Fast

Map_at_speed_talking
Map at the speed of talking

A key part to reaching a shared understanding with your colleagues, and successfully solving that problem, is keeping everyone engaged. There’s nothing worse than making your colleagues sit around while you wrestle with a complex notation, or can’t find the right shape in the palette.

With Skore app that does not happen due to the simplicity of the approach and the shortcuts we’ve built into the tool. Your colleagues will be amazed at how you can capture processes at the speed of talking.

So it’s simple and fast but it’s no less…

Detailed

Another concept that sets Skore app apart from other tools is its native support for process deconstruction, or hierarchical mapping. One of the reasons you choose a software tool over a whiteboard is because you want to preserve and share your work, or even analyse it further. However you loose the ability to be able to see the whole thing in one go while still being able to read what’s written on the diagram.

Deconstruct
Deconstruct steps to reveal more detail

With Skore app you can map a high level process describing the whole process in a few steps that fit on the screen. You then take each of those steps and break them down into more detail, and more detail, and so on until you’ve captured the detail you need. In fact this lets you focus on the detail while still retaining the context of the big picture.

And with the detail comes…

Important information

attachment
Add supporting information

It’s also possible to attach important supporting information to every step in the process. You can add extra text to describe the step or you can add links to other documents and web pages.

And with all this you can perform some powerful…

Analysis

Skore_reporting
Analyze with reports

With the structured approach and Skore app’s reporting capability it’s easier than ever to analyze your processes, roles, responsibilities and any other information you choose to attach to the model. And you can export the reports to a spreadsheet for further analysis if you wish.

 

 

One powerful little package

So instead of wasting any more time learning a new approach AND a new tool jump 4 steps ahead and start solving your problems today with Skore app!

Try it now!