Workflows is a program feature that is basically an enhanced Task List with two additional options: email messages can be sent to members of the Workflow Team from a workflow step, and a workflow step can be approved by a single individual, or two or more approvals can be required for the step.
There are three components of Workflows, which are needed to successfully run the Workflow Wizard:
- Workflow Templates - Administrators can use the four types of available steps (Action, Communication, Simple Gateway, Gateway) to build a workflow that defines one of their company's standard business practices or procedures, and then assign each step to a specific user function, which allows users who have been assigned this function the ability to complete (or approve) the step. Administrators can use the Prerequisite Step option to ensure that workflow steps are completed in a specific order. For a step that requires approval (i.e., Gateway step), Administrators can define the steps that must be repeated if the step is not approved, as well as define the next step that must be completed if the step is approved. Finally, Administrators can set restrictions so that a workflow is only available as a selection in the Workflow Wizard when it is run from a Company, Contract, or Project Profile matching these restrictions.
The four types of workflow steps are Action, where the user must perform a task, either in the Novatus system or outside the system; Communication, where the user must send an email message to complete the step; Simple Gateway, where one user, as defined by their user function in a routing table, must approve the step before the workflow can continue to the next step; and Gateway, where more than one user, as defined by the user functions in a routing table, must approve the step before the workflow can continue to the next step.
- Workflow Teams - Administrators set up and manage the teams of users who will be assigned to work on company, contract, and project workflows. A Workflow Team is comprised of people who are qualified to complete the steps in a workflow, which may include approving the task, action, or a document associated with the step. All workflow teams are available as selections in the Workflow Wizard when it is run from a Company, Contract, or Project Profile.
- Routing Tables - Administrators create and manage the tables that define the user function(s) that can approve the Simple Gateway and Gateway steps in a company, contract, or project workflow. Users who have been assigned any of the user functions defined for the workflow step in the routing table can approve the step. In addition, a Traverse option allows a Gateway step to be approved by a user having a function that is "higher" in the hierarchy than the designated function in the event that no users are currently assigned to the designated function. Administrators can set restrictions so that a routing table is only available as a selection in the Workflow Wizard when the criteria for the table is met by the Company, Contract, or Project Profile from which it is run.
Important: Administrators with the Workflow Admin permission can perform both the administrative tasks (shown below) and the user tasks for any workflow. User tasks include (1) completing, reassigning, and approving any step in the workflow (2) managing workflow documents, and (3) editing, closing, and deleting the workflow.
Users with the Workflow Admin permission create workflow templates, which are used by the Workflow Wizard to add company, contract, and project workflows to the system. A workflow template identifies the tasks that must be completed, as sequential steps, to accomplish a specific process or procedure.
Workflow Admins can perform the following tasks associated with workflow templates:
Workflow Admins must set up and properly name all the workflow teams that can be used in conjunction with workflow templates so that users who add a workflow to a Company, Contract, or Project Profile can easily identify the correct team when they run the Workflow Wizard. Workflow Admins also manage workflow teams to ensure the people qualified to complete and/or approve the steps in a workflow template are always on the team.
Workflow Admins can perform the following tasks associated with workflow teams:
Workflow Admins must create a routing table for any workflow that contains one or more approval (Gateway) steps. A routing table identifies the user functions that can approve the step in a company, contract, or project workflow.
Workflow Admins can perform the following tasks associated with routing tables: