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How our District Improved Decision-Making Efficiency with Enhanced Approval Workflows

By Eric Zigler, Business Systems Analyst, Kirkwood School District

K-12 school districts are complex organizations, and reaching consensus on critical decisions often involves a lot of back and forth. In my role at the district, I actively identify and enhance our operational processes — because it’s all about working smarter, not harder, right? Since implementing Incident IQ’s Enhanced Approval Workflows (EAW), we’ve found unique ways to streamline the intake process for a wide variety of tasks. This has resulted in significant time savings for multiple functional teams, and I’m pleased to share a few examples of how EAW has changed the way we work.

One of the most striking improvements has been in the management of parking permit requests. Historically managed by our high school secretaries, it meant navigating through a large binder of paperwork, permission slips, and placards. The first time I saw the hoops they jumped through, I knew this was a no-brainer for EAW. Ditch the paper forms full of signatures — instead, we adopted a digital-first approach, enabling students to initiate requests online via Incident IQ. It’s here that EAW triggers a streamlined series of approvals involving guidance counselors for academic verification, the principal’s office for attendance, and finally, the security team for availability and issuance of the permit. This workflow boosts our administrative efficiency and transparency, giving students (and their parents) the satisfaction of knowing where we’re at in the process.

The Workflow in Detail:

When planning for projects like retrofits or renovations, interactive facility maps provide needed visibility. All asset information is documented in a single location, including maintenance history, preventative maintenance schedules, warranty information, and manuals. Plotting information on a map illustrates better the relationship between them, such as how close they are to each other. 

Centralizing information also helps in the event you have staff turnover. Lack of documentation is a consistent issue for the maintenance industry. The maintenance tech who has been around for twenty years and memorized the location of everything may be ready to retire. When that day comes, he takes vital knowledge with him unless it’s documented for the next person. Interactive maps stored digitally mitigate that knowledge loss by ensuring information is easily accessible to whomever needs it in the future. 

Interactive asset maps are just one of the many features of a CMMS that can help streamline your facilities management and simplify your job.

Student Submission: Initiating the process is as simple as a student logging into Incident IQ and submitting their request.

Guidance Counselor Approval: Automatically, the request is sent to the guidance counselor, ensuring the student meets our district’s academic standards for a parking permit.

Principal’s Office Verification: Following counselor approval, the principal’s office takes over to review the student’s attendance and validate the request further.

Security Team Finalization: The security team gives the final nod, checking availability of spots and issuing the parking permit to the student.

This new approach saves time for everyone involved and streamlines the process. For example, the student no longer needs to bounce between offices to get the required signatures. Additionally, with EAW, guidance counselors can approve or deny the request straight from an automated email — no need to be an iiQ agent. And this allows for better visibility into how many parking spaces are available. 

Further, you can look at parking spaces like assets — each has an “asset tag” in the form of an individual space number, and we can use Incident IQ’s asset management functionality to “check out” those spaces to students, once the approval workflow has been completed. Game changer.

Streamlining Social Media Post Approvals

Another area where EAW has made a significant impact is in the submission and approval of social media posts. From athletic events to spring musicals, there’s always plenty to publicize. Using EAW, we identified a workflow that allows students and staff to contribute content through a structured approval process. This ensures that everything submitted aligns with our district’s values, standards, and style guide — all while allowing students to be engaged in the process and experience something they might be doing in the “real world.”

The Workflow in Detail:

Content Submission
: Anyone wishing to post content starts by submitting their request through Incident IQ, complete with necessary details and media.

Principal Review: School principals review the submissions for appropriateness, ensuring they adhere to district policies.

Communications Department Approval: With the principal’s approval, the communications department conducts the final review before scheduling the post.

By collecting all the necessary details right from the start, this process not only streamlines content approval, but also engages our students and staff and gives them a voice in our digital narrative.

The Broader Impact

Automating and refining our processes with EAW has led to quantifiable improvements in efficiency, transparency, and stakeholder engagement. It’s a leap into modern, digital solutions with the potential to touch everything across our district’s operations — from parking permits to social media posts and more. The increased efficiency and more accurate data mean we can now make critical decisions with ease. EAW has become an integral tool that further enhances the Incident IQ platform we already rely on. Now if only it could prevent students from nabbing my parking spot in the mornings.

Find out more about Enhanced Approval Workflows or schedule a demo with us to see our tools first-hand.