So if you haven't checked out the Action Plans app from Force.com Labs you should do so now. Reid Carlberg (THE Apps Evangelist) sent me a private link to the app last month to test it out and I was certainly glad he did. Unfortunately I #failed to follow up with Reid before they launched the app.
I installed the unmanaged package and immediately saw where it could be extremely valuable for complex, multi-step processes. I sent the video off to our PS Enterprise product team to see if they would have any interest in it.
The app allows you to create standardize actions for Accounts, Opporutnities, Contacts or Leads by creating templated processes that you can invoke. These tasks can be independent or dependent tasks that you can customize per user, team or for your entire organization.
I'm currently use it to manage the international aid process for a non-profit I help out. I have an action plan for the shipping process that fires off tasks and notifies users to prepare shipping document, obtain signatures, arrange international shipping, pick products and pack shipping containers. This is extremely easy with dependent actions, as once a task is marked as complete, the next task in the action plan is fired off automatically.
Action Plans is a free, unmanaged app from Force.com Labs so you can install it and start using it right away.