Citizen Developer Spotlight: Office Management App


The first verbal office request hits me as I am putting my lunch in the break room fridge. “Send me an email, or I will forget,” is the standard response I used, and will continue to use throughout the day. My name is Rebecca Parnes, and I am the Executive Assistant and Office Manager for TrackVia. Before becoming a Citizen Developer, I was being pulled in twenty different directions a day.

As you can imagine, having two job titles requires a high level of organization and prioritization. The struggle of finding the balance between executive initiatives and office action items became time consuming, and overwhelming.  

Office Manager and Executive Assistant becomes Citizen Developer

Something “had to give”. I needed a more efficient way to manage my workload. I began surfing the Internet for online solutions. However, I could not find exactly what I was looking for. Not only were the online applications I found pricey, but they also took months to be implemented, and seemed to be more complex than what I needed. Since I could not find what I was looking for – I decided to build it. I became a Citizen Developer!

I was able to create a custom business application using TrackVia and implement it the next day! The beauty of creating my application on TrackVia was not only the fast implementation, but also the ability to customize it to fit my specific need – nothing more, nothing less. I had created exactly what I needed – and reaped some huge benefits!

Benefits of an office management app

The first benefit of an office management app is the ability to stream all of your data to a central location, thus creating the structure that the office request process had been lacking. The central location provides the ability to ensure all requests are answered in a timely manner, and no request is missed. Also, it allows all employees to view the status (new, approved, or not approved) of their request, without interrupting my daily workflow. 

Click to enlarge image

All employees are able to access the office management app, and view the status of their request; however, I customized the app in order to make myself the admin. This ensures all employees can view the requests, but only I can update a status from “new” to either “approved” or “not approved”.

Another benefit of the office management app is the reinforcement of office policies. Prior to building my custom application, the approval process was unstructured and almost non-existent. Now, I receive an alert whenever a request is added, and I promptly forward the request to the proper manager for approval. This has eliminated the endless email chains for requests.

From a budget perspective, a huge benefit of the office management app is the ability to track all purchases and approvals. Department managers are accountable for which purchases hit their department budget, and which do not. This has minimized the amount of time my finance department spends distinguishing which budget a purchase will hit.

Overall, my office management app has allowed me to stream all requests to a central location, enhanced my daily workflow, reinforced the office purchase approval policy, and held my managers more accountable for purchases that hit their department budgets.

Are you an executive assistant or office manager trying to enforce office policies, or maximize your daily workflow? Do you have a similar TrackVia experience? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below!