The Status field is an essential project management feature. Similar to a Single Select field, the Status field can customize status values to match your organization's processes.
What is the difference between a Status Field & Single Select?
The difference is the Status's ability to connect the Assigned to field to show up as a task in My Work. A Status field also has a value that represents "Complete."
The real power of the Status field is unlocked when used in combination with Assign To and Due Date fields. This combination powers SmartSuite's My Work feature that brings assigned items into one central location. In this case, assigned records arrive in the assigned members' My Work for them to prioritize and work to completion.
The Status field looks similar to a Single Select field, but is distinct in the following ways:
At least one value in a status field must be selected as the "Complete" status, indicating a terminal state for the work defined by the record. For example, a Customer incident table may have custom status values of New, In Process, Escalate, and Resolved, where Resolved indicates the incident is complete.
Status fields can be linked to Assign To fields, associating members with a record status.
Status fields can be linked to Due Date fields to track time to completion or time past the target due date.
Adding a Status field
Customizing the field
Solution Managers can customize status field values and order of display. It's common to require a status value selection and select custom default values.
Backlog is the default value when you create a status field in SmartSuite. When you customize the status name, it will be filled as the default to all created records.
Just like Single Select fields, the order of display dictates the sort order in saved views and views, which is handy to remember when visualizing workflow using status values.
Examples of Use
Managing Work in Kanban View
Status fields are great for visually managing workflow in Kanban View by selecting the status field in the Columns Grouping.
Personal Work Management
Records with Assign To and Status fields will display in the assigned member's My Work panel. Alternately, members can create personal work queues as saved views using the Group option in the Saved View Toolbar.
Using Status Fields with Automations
Automations power workflow and keep processes running smoothly in SmartSuite. Solution Managers can easily create automations that trigger actions once a status value changes.
In this display, when a Task's Status changes from In Process to Complete, then an email can be sent to the person responsible for the task.
In this display, when a Work Request is created, the record will be updated to assign the responsible team member (through an Assigned To field) and set the Status of the request to "Not Started."
Create Basic Processes with Status Fields
Consider a process like how we author content at SmartSuite - including this very help article. We use a three-step process where a team member authors content, an alternate team member reviews and edits the content, and then a final technical review may occur as needed.
We use a series of Assign To and Status Fields:
Author and Author Status
Copy Reviewer and Copy Review Status
Tech Reviewer and Tech Review Status
Because of the volume of initial content, we've opted to manage this three-stage workflow using views and saved views. We'll eventually enhance this process with automations so that we can manage incremental additions and changes.
It's a unique example of where it makes sense to use multiple status fields in the same table.