Reviewing, Approving, and Adding Comments

This tutorial covers how to complete a review and add comments to it, including:

•  Finding the item you need to review

•  Navigating the tabs on the Permit/License/Project/Violation Form

•  Adding a comment from a pre-defined Comment Template

•  Adding a comment of your own

•  Changing the Review status

•  Adding a comment to the Comment Template to be saved for future use

Step 1: Click on the item you need to review in the Grid.

Step 2: The item you select will open in the Form section. In the light blue section of the Form, you will find the tabs that have all the information you will need to complete your review. The tab labeled Description or General will have a brief written description describing the nature of the application or the work being done. Next we'll look at Details.

Step 3: The Details tab in the Form will show you the data entered from the application and from GIS (e.g., construction value, parade date, existing zoning, etc.).  Next we will look in the Documents tab.

Step 4: The Documents tab is where you will find any documents that have been provided (e.g., plot plans, vendor lists, etc.). After you have reviewed the description, details, documents, and anything else your review process might require, you can move to the Reviews tab to complete your review.

Step 5: On the Reviews tab, you will see all the reviews and reviewers for this item. You might have to click on the small plus sign next to your review category in order to see your own division's review.

Step 6: Select the review assigned to you (or to your division if it's still unassigned) by clicking on it. This will open the Comments window.

Step 7: Many review divisions have their frequently used review comments available in a Comment Template so they don't have to type the same comments out over and over again (e.g., frequently cited sections of code). If your division has saved comments in a Comment Template, you can find them in the "folder tree" view on the left side of the Comments window. Look for your division's name beneath the folder titled Comment Template and click on it.

Step 8: Some divisions' "Comment Template" lists are quite long. You can narrow down the list if you type a keyword that you know appears somewhere in the text.  Use the Keyword Search at the bottom of the Comments window to enter your keyword.

Step 9: In this example, we will look for comments that have the word "parking" in them. When you find the comment you want to add to your review, click on the grey checkmark in the first column of the row with the comment you want to select. You can add multiple comments from the template by repeating these last few steps.

Step 10: To add a comment of your own to the review, go back to the folder tree and click on your division name beneath the folder marked All Division Comments. That will show you a list of any comments you have already selected, and it will also let you use the Add Comment button near the top left of the window to add another row to the comment grid.

Step 11: You can add your own comment in the text box next to the word "Edit," under the column marked "Comment."

Step 12: To save your comments (for now - you can still go back and editor add more later), just close the Comments window.

Step 13: Even though your comments really are saved now, you won't see the number of comments change on the Review tab until you click Refresh.(This isn't required.  The number will update itself if you leave the case and come back to it later. The Refresh button in LAMA is useful in lots of different cases when you have made a change in one part of the Form, and you can't see it affect the grid or other parts of the Form right away.)

Step 14: VERY IMPORTANT - Don't forget to change your review's status, so other users can see that you have taken action! Navigate back to your review under the Reviews tab, clicking the plus sign next to your review if you need to.

Step 15: When your mouse is hovering over the review Status (which will be "Pending" if no one has already changed it), you will see a drop-down arrow appear. Clicking anywhere on the status will open a drop-down list of possible review statuses.

Step 16: If you've entered comments that need to be addressed before you can approve the review, make sure to select Revisions Needed so it's clear to other users that you need more information. If you don't need any additional information or documents to approve the review, you can select either Complete or Approved. If your system is configured to do so, a Revisions Needed status can also trigger additional events that will guide applicants and staff alike to revise, resubmit, and review. In most cases, an additional review event will be generated into the events timeline so that all review divisions will be notified of the resubmission from the applicant.

Step 17: Hopefully, the applicant will reply to your questions and comments to your satisfaction. When that happens, you can change the status of each Comment from Open to Resolved (or Withdrawn, if it turns out that the comment wasn't applicable to the applicant's situation). To do that, open Comments again by clicking on your review.

Step 18: Click on the current status of the comment you want to change, and a drop-down list will appear. Selecting "Resolved" or "Withdrawn" will let other users know you are not still waiting for a resolution on this comment.

Step 19: EXTRA - If you find you are using the same comment over and over again but it's not already in your division's Comment Template, you can add a comment to the shared Comment Template. Start by going back to the folder tree and click on your division beneath the "Comment Template" folder. Then click on the "Add Comment" button near the top left corner of the Comment window. Clicking the "Add Comment" button when you are in the Comment Template section creates a new entry in the Comment Template, instead of a new one-time comment in the specific review you are conducting as it does when you are in the All Division Comments section.

Step 20: Make sure to select your division from the drop-down list in the Type column, or you will not be able to save your new comment.

Step 21: Enter a keyword in the Category column. You can type your own word(s) in if nothing appears in the drop-down list.

Step 22: Enter the comment text you want to save for future use in the Comment column. It will be saved when you close the Comment window, and you will be able to select it from any of your division reviews in the future.

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