OnTrack Sparks Overview

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by C.W. Holeman III
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Note: OnTrack Sparks are not Sparks.


Introduction

OnTrack Sparks (hereafter called Sparks in this article) are automatons, configurable within an OnTrack Checklist, that let you set up situational alerts as well as trigger conditional follow-up and dependent OnTrack Checklists. To access Sparks navigate to:

  • Admin Tool → OnTrack → Checklists → Some Checklist. → Sparks Icon.

Once on the Sparks screen, you’ll see pills organized into event sections: At Start, At Answer, At Submit, and At Due.  

Sparks: At Start 

At Start sparks trigger when an instance of the checklist starts. For example, if you’d like your team notified every day when a checklist included in a daily schedule is to start, you’ll add a Notify spark to the At Start section on the sparks page. 

Sparks: At Submit 

At Submit sparks trigger when an instance of the checklist is submitted. For example, if you’d like a maintenance form to open automatically when critical equipment is out-of-order, you can create an At Submit Trigger Checklist spark. You may even go a step further by adding an At Submit Notify spark, or by adding an At Start Notify spark to the Maintenance Form checklist, and your maintenance staff can be notified automatically.

Spark Scope 

Sparks can be configured to only apply to certain locations, and each location can be covered based on their desired outcomes and needs. Add as many or as few as you need.

Sparks without Scope apply to all locations where the checklist is used. Select 1 or more locations to limit the spark’s reach and impact or to deploy alternate sparks at different locations. 

Triggering Sparks 

Trigger Checklist sparks allow you to choose a checklist or multiple checklists that can be triggered by the checklist you’re adding the spark to. They can be added to At Start and At Submit event sections. The checklist may be triggered in the same location or another location with location routing, and even allow you to pre-tag a user in the routed location. 

Global Options 

  • Scope (spark Locations) - choose the locations (or alternative units) in which each Spark applies.  
  • Triggered Checklist – choose the checklist you’d like the Spark to trigger. 
  • Start: When should the triggered checklist instance start relative to the spark checklist? Immediately or after some time has passed? 
  • Due: How long should the triggered checklist remain in an Open state before becoming overdue? 
  • Location routing and User tag: Does the triggered checklist need to be opened in another location (e.g. corporate payroll)? You can route it to another location, and even a specific team member, with location routing and user tagging. Leave undefined and the spark checklist will inherit the spark checklist instance location. 
  • Visibility: Should the team member completing the triggered checklist see a link to the spark checklist? 

At Start Options

Trigger Checklist sparks At Start have a few additional options. When these sparks are added, the team member completing the spark checklist will see a prompt and ‘Start' button. These sparks are particularly helpful for cross-functional, multi-team-member routines such as MIT Training programs, New Hire Onboarding, and even Location Visits with secret shoppers. 

  • Instructions: choose the custom prompt that your team members will see when completing the spark checklist. 
  • User must Start [triggered checklist]: is the Spark required or optional for the team member completing the spark checklist? 
  • Submit [triggered checklist] before [spark checklist] submit?: is submission of the triggered checklist required prior to submission of the spark checklist? 

At Submit Options

Trigger Checklist sparks At Submit are typically—though not exclusively--rules-based; and they trigger automatically without additional input from the team member. This is particularly useful if you want to reschedule an Audit retake when a low audit score is received, or if you want to open a Maintenance Form when mission critical equipment is out-of-order. 

  • Rules – Total Score: Spark triggers when the submitted checklist score is below a defined threshold. 
  • Rules – Question: Choose one or more questions+responses, and the spark will trigger when any or all are present in a checklist submission. 
  • Suppress Duplicates: Choose if the Spark should trigger the checklist if the same scenario has already been identified and is still being addressed. 

De-duplication Pro tip: If, for example, your out-of-order milkshake machine has already triggered a deep cleaning checklist that remains open, it is recommended that you enable the Suppress Duplicates setting. If, however, your Cash Drawer Reconciliation checklist had an undercount last night, and triggered an Accounting Exception Form that hasn’t been completed, and the same scenario has now occurred again, we’d recommend disabling the setting so each instance can be addressed separately. 

Notify Sparks 

Notify sparks allow you to send alerts to Team Members, OnTrack Managers, and even registered email addresses. They can be added to At Start and At Submit event sections. The triggered checklist can be in the same location or another location, and even allow you to pre-tag the user that should complete it. 

Global Options 

  • Scope (Spark Locations) - choose the locations (or alternative units) in which each Spark applies. 
  • Type: Choose Email Only, Push, or Email+Push 
  • Recipients: notify Team Members, OnTrack Managers (location-specific), and/or Registered Emails 
  • Include a link: applicable only to email (push always inlcudes links), choose whether or not recipients should receive a link to the checklist (login required). 

At Start Options 

Notify sparks At Start are great for alerting team members that new instances of infrequently seen checklists (e.g. quarterly compliance questionnaires) or irregularly used checklists (e.g. maintenance forms) are available and need to be completed. 

At Submit Options 

Notify sparks At Submit are great for automatically delivering the results of an audit, alerting OnTrack Managers of critical issues, or even alerting vendors that inventory of key items is getting low. And, when rules are used to trigger the spark, the relevant questions+answers or scores will be included in the email body for easy reference. 

  • Rules – Total Score: Spark triggers when the submitted checklist score is below a defined threshold. 
  • Rules – Question: Choose one or more questions+responses, and the spark will trigger when any or all are present in a checklist submission.  
  • Link to download PDF: applicable only to email (push unsupported), choose if recipients should be able to download a PDF (login NOT required). 

  

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