Detailed Review of Flowdometer Salesforce App

Flowdometer Salesforce project management app

Flowdometer is a neat tool for measuring the elapsed time of standard process or project steps.

Summary of Findings

Flowdometer is a specialized free app for measuring the time elapsed for a Salesforce object to be updated. It is intended to be used for standard processes like customer installations to measure performance to goals or service level agreements. The key here, is that it needs to be used for a standard flow or process. It isn’t very applicable to custom projects like an internal re-engineering effort or software development project.

Flowdometer would be a very useful Salesforce app for any organization wanting to measure the performance of their sales force, customer service or their install/implementation projects. In the case of sales, you can measure the time to qualify or convert a lead, or the time to qualify or close an opportunity. For customer service you can measure the time to close a case. For product installations you can measure the time to complete the standard installation steps/stages.

I don’t think you’d be able to use the tool to measure standard cycle times for tasks in a project plan/schedule. I built a project development solution for a solar developer that used standard project templates with standard task IDs. You might be able to use Flowdometer as a design guide for building a similar solution to measure cycle time of such standard tasks in a project plan.

Flowdometer Pricing

Flowdometer is free. If you would like help customizing your Flowdometer solution, Muse Operations provides Salesforce development services.

Flowdometer Scoring Methodology

I didn’t perform my typical scoring methodology for Flowdometer, because it is a specialized tool and not a broad project management software solution. So, scoring it against 200 project management requirements wouldn’t be relevant. Flowdometer would fall under the Integration Management/Monitor and Control Project Work part of the PMBOK project management process. I’ve added a new requirement to my spreadsheet to measure standard stage cycle times.

To review Flowdometer, I reviewed the demo and the available documentation. I also installed Flowdometer into a sandbox environment to review the custom objects and flows. I also performed some tests by creating and updating opportunities.

You can perform your own assessment by loading Flowdometer into a sandbox:

How Does Flowdometer Work?

I must be stupid, because it took me a little while to figure out how Flowdometer worked, but once I did, it was pretty obvious. There are two main objects: flows and steps. Steps are detail (child) objects of the master (parent) flows. Every time you create a record of an object that is being tracked, a Salesforce record-triggered flow creates a Flowdometer flow record. Child step records are created every time the field being measured is updated, along with a time. For example, if you are measuring opportunities: a Flowdometer flow record is created when the opportunity is created. A step record is created every time the stage field is updated (prospecting, qualification, etc.).

Flowdometer also has functionality which creates a standard goal for each step record. And it has detailed reporting functionality built to present all the step and flow measures.

Can Flowdometer be Used for Custom Projects?

Yes, but for the custom projects I typically work on (re-engineering, software development, Six Sigma, product development, etc.) it would have limited usefulness. There are standard stages for the various custom project types, so you could measure the time to complete the standard stages based on the type of project. It would probably be most useful to measure the early stages of the projects to ensure projects aren’t being blocked or aren’t stuck in analysis paralysis. The build or implement stages are going to vary too much between projects to yield useful metrics.

How Would I Use Flowdometer to Measure Projects?

First, you need to have a custom project object which stores information about your individual projects. You could build your own project object or use one of the various Salesforce project management apps: Mission Control, Milestone PM, Project Lifecycle Pro, etc.

Next, you need a standard status or stage field for your projects. So if you were a home builder you’d need stages like: land purchased, designed, land cleared, foundation, framing, etc. And, you need to make sure people update these status/stage values in a timely manner. Flowdometer measures when the status/stage field was updated, so if your production supervisor doesn’t get around to updating the status/stage for three days your data is going to be incorrect.

Finally you need to setup Flowdometer to measure the standard status or stage field in your project object. Flowdometer provides detailed documentation on how to setup measurements for a custom object. Basically, you would create a Salesforce record-triggered flow off your custom project object to create the flow and step records. You can create the new Salesforce flow using the Opportunity flow as a template. Then you simply change the fields assigned to the subflow variables to match your custom object. The varCurrentFieldTracked would equal your project status/stage you want to measure.

Sample Flowdometer flow
Flowdometer Flow Template
Flowdometer Subflow Variables

In Conclusion

Flowdometer should be considered by any company wanting to measure standard cycle time for the various stages of: the sales process, customer service cases, or installation projects. Unlike many of the free apps on Salesforce AppExchange I did not find any bugs when I was testing Flowdometer so it appears to be well built and maintained.



Additional References

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