What does it take for an established technology company to rethink everything and release a solution that allows customers to do more than ever before?
Through the development of FormAssembly Workflow, our most impactful and dramatic improvement yet, the FormAssembly team uncovered the answer to this question firsthand. Building a solution of this magnitude took insights from years of customer feedback, combined with a clear executive vision and unprecedented cross-departmental communication.
It wasn’t always easy, and it didn’t happen overnight, but the result is a solution that’s built for our customers and that will only improve with time.
Part 1. Customer-driven innovation
We do everything with our customers in mind, and the development of FormAssembly Workflow was no exception. Since 2006, customers have been using our platform to create web forms and build processes, and the need for a powerful workflow feature has become more and more evident over the years.
“Our CEO and founder Cedric Savarase and the rest of the organization have been observing how our customers use our forms on a daily basis, and as a result, the evolution of our company vision is informed by many, many years of seeing how customers use our product,” said Erik Dasque, Vice President of Engineering.
For years, customers have used the legacy workflow capabilities plus workarounds such as using redirect links and multiple forms in clever ways to essentially create Workflow functionality. The creation of Workflow recognized the creative ways people were already using FormAssembly and made this functionality native and central to our platform.
“A lot of the use cases that customers were talking about when using FormAssembly involved multiple forms, multiple processes, and the linking of many different services and features together that we already offer,” said Asuka Goya, Product Manager. “A workflow product was needed to provide that glue between the different aspects of FormAssembly that people are using.”
With customer needs in mind, Cedric established the clear vision of an intuitive Workflow Builder that would lead our product and engineering teams forward into development.
After the initial ideation but still pre-launch, we continued to involve our customers throughout the creation of Workflow, working closely with a pilot group to gather their thoughts and feedback on the developing solution.
“We wanted to understand what they liked, what they had difficulty with, [and] what they were missing so we could continue building on that plan,” Erik said.
Asuka also explained that a key focus of early customer feedback was to make sure all the new feature concepts resonated with our pilot groups.
“We needed folks to see working prototypes, and we needed to garner that feedback and compile and analyze it in order to provide insights into user-facing features that were being worked on. The Workflow builder itself, the visual elements, and how steps were being organized and rendered in the product were all very important to us,” Asuka said.
Part 2. Unprecedented teamwork and collaboration
Workflow wasn’t just the release of a new technology—it was a fundamental turning point in the evolution of FormAssembly.
“It’s even bigger than it looks like on the outside,” Erik said. “Not only did we build Workflow, but we also completely rebuilt form processing with more modern frameworks and more modern concept ideas.”
Making changes of this size required a larger team than ever—nearly 25 product and engineering team members worked together on this release. This development also called for greater alignment and collaboration across the entire company.
“You have to get really organized. We had to scale, advance, implement, and document processes as they changed to accommodate a bigger unit of work, new technologies, new people, and a much bigger team in general. Almost everything has changed in our process since before we started Workflow,” Erik said.
The launch of Workflow brought together the efforts of every department, from Product and Engineering to Marketing to Sales to CS, into what was one of the most methodical and thought-through releases yet.
“We’ve never had anything like the size of Workflow before, and I think it’s really forced us to reevaluate and mature a lot of our processes,” Asuka said. “The entire product and engineering organization along with multiple other departments were involved in this project, so we were all committed to this one single goal of making sure that we deliver on a really transformational product like Workflow.”
Part 3. A feature built to evolve
Even now that Workflow is available to new Enterprise, Compliance Cloud, and Government Cloud customers and being rolled out to existing customers, the work isn’t done. If anything it’s just getting started.
“Workflow is not a one-and-done,” Erik said. “It’s one first release and then many after that. We intend to keep taking in customers’ feedback and iterating on Workflow.”
One such feature is Workflow responses—a high-priority improvement that will deliver a centralized view of submissions through a workflow.
Final thoughts: A new direction for FormAssembly
With the recent release of this feature, we’re beyond proud to be able to share the results of our nearly two-year product journey. The release of Workflow is changing FormAssembly in a fundamental way, and we hope you’ll take it back to your organization to ignite even more innovation.
If you’ve been with FormAssembly for years, we welcome you to this new face of our platform and hope to see you continue to apply the same creativity and ingenuity to this solution that you have to our web form platform in the past.
If you’re new to FormAssembly, we urge you to dive right into Workflow, get to know it inside and out, and push it to its limits.
Workflow was built to grow and evolve based on your needs and goals, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it.
Let’s get to work.
— The FormAssembly Team