Solar Permitting Example: How to build a template

If you're brand new to CityGrows, you may want to learn about how CityGrows works before starting this tutorial.

Once you have a basic understanding of what CityGrows can do for you, you'll want to pick a process--something that you or your organization do on a regular basis--and build a template for it on CityGrows.

Getting started

For the sake of this example, lets pretend you work for The Department of Energy Conservation (DoEC). Among other things, your department is responsible for helping businesses install solar panels in exchange for a tax credit. Here's what that process typically looks like:

  1. A business owner submits an application and someone in your department records the information
  2. If the business qualifies, you send out a guy to evaluate their physical location and determine the approach needed
  3. Instructions are sent out to the applicant on how to proceed with installation
  4. Applicant indicates installation is complete
  5. Your department sends an inspector out to sign off on proper installation
  6. Your department head reviews the completed process and gives final approval

There are quite a few moving parts here. Let's get this process set up on a CityGrows template.

Create a new template

Before you can create a template, register for a free CityGrows admin account. Once you're registered, you'll be prompted to create a template. Give your new template a name in the top left corner.

Add some steps

Since the first thing we need to do is record information from an application, we'll add a Collect / Record Information step by clicking Add Step and selecting it from the dialog.

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Customize your step by adding a name, description, instructions, timeframe, and automatic email notification components (all optional, but often helpful).

Next, we need to tell our template what information we want to collect. For the sake of simplicity, let's pretend our application asks for Applicant name, Email, a description of what the business does, and a photo of the business.Click Add new section, then give it a title, then click the Add New field button, and fill out the field so that it looks like this:

You can also toggle whether or not the field is required, as well as whether it should appear publicly as open data. While we encourage our clients to keep as much data as possible public, some sensitive data (home addresses, phone numbers, personal emails) may be appropriate to redact.

We'll do that three more times to enter in all of the information we want to collect. We'll also add a second section for the business info.

And if you ever need help, you can click on the "chat" icon at bottom right and we'll do our best to answer your questions.

2. Review application

Next, we need to review the application to make sure the applicant qualifies. Let's pretend that's Bob Smith's job. We'll add a Require Review step and assign Bob as the reviewer.

3. Send out an inspector

There's a couple different ways you could go here depending on how your organization is run. Namely you could use either a Basic step and specify that an inspector is being sent out, or you could use another Review step and explicitly require that the inspector mark his inspection as reviewed before advancing.

For the sake of simplicity, let's create a basic step. We'll add a description to the step so that everyone knows what's supposed to be happening.

We'll also add a timeframe to this step since we want to make sure it doesn't take longer than a week to get an inspector out

4 - Build out remaining steps

The rest of this template can be build out using similar techniques to those above. For the sake of brevity, here's what the template will look like when complete.

Congratulations!

Your template is now ready to go. Next, learn how to launch a process.


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