Workflow Tips for Efficient Catalog and Curriculum Management

July 28, 2022

When utilized correctly, workflows can improve efficiency and lower the number of errors experienced in managing your institution’s catalog and curriculum. Here at Clean Catalog software, we can integrate workflows into any type of project, whether it's catalog, curriculum, syllabi, or a combination of the three. Here are a few ways you can leverage our different workflow features to make catalog management painless for your staff.

Draft Approval Process Flows

We suggest sketching out workflow pathways prior to integrating them into your catalog. Take time with your team to discuss the most logical sequence content should flow, from content editor to final approver, prior to it being published. Workflows can be as basic or intricate as you’d like, but you’ll want to make sure each step in the workflow is necessary to avoid adding needless work for your staff. It is also helpful to have revisions flow through multiple department heads or managers rather than just one individual for final approval. This prevents content updates from being backlogged and keeps the content management process running efficiently. If you’d like to explore common curriculum workflows that academic institutions frequently use, check out our blog post on Sample Workflows for Curriculum Management Software.

Keep Permissions Sensible

One key step in setting up your workflows is to decide how detailed you’d like the permission settings to be. We’ve worked with smaller community colleges who prefer to give all admin users full-access to edit the entire catalog and publish their revisions immediately. Other larger universities typically set granular permissions and only allow admin to edit content within their department. Permissions can be as meticulous as you’d like them to be. We recommend first determining how permissions will be organized and delegated within your institution. You can leave these decisions up to each department, or choose a method to implement across the board. Once permissions are set for each user, they can be edited as needed or adjusted to be more nuanced.

As a general rule, we recommend keeping permissions broader, not more restrictive. This means that some faculty and staff might be able to edit things they're not supposed to, but if that happens — which is extremely rare — someone in the approval process can reject the change. The benefit is that no one will run into the frustrating experience of not having permissions to edit something they're supposed to.

Progress Tracker

Once content edits enter into the workflow, you will be able to track its progress in the approval process. This feature can be extremely helpful in identifying any bottlenecks or roadblocks in having content quickly reviewed and published. It also holds staff accountable and clearly displays what steps are required from them to push content into the next step of the workflow. Our progress tracker is a great tool for managing content updates and helps to eliminate the dreaded back-and-forth emails about content status.

Utilize the Revisions Portal

All Clean Catalog software comes with a revisions portal, which allows admin users to view past versions of content and revert back to those versions if needed. No content is ever fully deleted, which provides a safety net in allowing your staff to make their own edits. In conjunction with workflows, the revisions portal allows your staff to work more efficiently and in confidence that there’s nothing they can do that can’t be fixed. This feature is especially beneficial as your staff edits your catalog for the upcoming academic year. Changes to a course or degree can be tracked over each calendar year, or easily referenced when preparing for an accreditation review. The revisions portal serves many purposes, and highlighting its benefits to your staff can save many admin hours.

Workflows can help your institution’s catalog management process operate as a well-oiled machine when they are implemented correctly. Since workflows are fully customizable within our software, there are endless ways to tailor them to the exact needs of your institution. If you’d like to learn more about what’s possible with workflows, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.