Commitments in Dovetail Agent
Like a lot of the work we do here at Dovetail, we try to deliver newer, cooler, better software, while still maintaining compatibility with Clarify as much as we can.
The commitments functionality in Dovetail Agent is a good example of this.
What is a commitment?
From the Clarify docs:
A commitment is a promise to perform some action by a certain time, such as a promise to call back a customer with a progress update. To keep track of this promise, you can make a commitment.
Some folks call them reminders, or ticklers.
Lets compare the new commitment form in Clarify vs. in Dovetail:
Notice a couple of things:
We’ve simplified it down to just the core fields- title, due date, warning (reminder) and notes.
We default the due date to be now + 24 hours (which is an application configurable setting)
This made it much easier to create a commitment.
Then we asked ourselves – can we make it even simpler? Yes. Yes we can.
We created a sort of Quick Commitment form:
We eliminated the notes and the reminder.
We use the baseline commitment drop-down list for the title.
We still default the date to now + 24 hours.
We provide a few quick links for setting when the commitment is due – in an hour, in a day, in a week. But you can still set an exact date/time if you want.
Now it’s super quick and easy to get a commitment created.
Full vs. Quick Commitment
If you use the Log Commitment menu item, or the k keyboard shortcut, you’ll get the Quick Commitment form.
if you use the + from the Commitments tab header, you’ll get the Full Commitment form.
Lets compare viewing the list of commitments for a case in Clarify vs. in Dovetail:
A few things we do differently:
Obviously, we use a card style layout vs. a grid.
Rather then showing absolute date/times, we show a relative time, i.e. that 1st commitment is due in 2 hours.
Mouse over the due date (in 2 hours), and we show the exact date/time it’s due:
We also show when it was created and by who.
For completed (fulfilled) commitments, we normally hide them. But clicking the Show Completed checkbox reveals them, and renders completed ones with the Completed badge. And it shows who completed it and when.
If there’s a reminder, we show a small clock icon. Mouse over this to see the reminder:
So we’ve kept the information easily accessible, while delivering a cleaner UI.
Editing a commitment
Regardless of how a commitment was created (Clarify, Agent “full” commitment, or Agent “quick” commitment), we can still edit the commitment.
And even if it was created as a quick commitment, we can still edit it, and change its title, notes, due date, and reminder.
In Clarify, we get a list of commitments:
In Dovetail, we get our commitments laid out how we would expect them – in a calendar view:
Notice that you can click to go to that case, or simply complete the commitment right from here.
We also have day and month calendar views:
In addition, on the main home page, we include a Due Soon link, which shows you how many commitments are due soon – serving as a reminder, and making it easy to get to those commitments.
Commitments is a good example of how we often rethink functionality and user experience, while still maintaining compatibility with other Clarify applications.
To be fair – the core Clarify Client app is 20 years old, so it’s not surprising that it all looks a bit long in the tooth now days, especially when compared to a completely contemporary application such as Dovetail Agent.
We’re really pleased with this functionality – as well as everything in Dovetail Agent – and we hope you like it as well.