A flow template can be created by a user with the Flow Template Admin permission and involves adding action, approval, logic, and system steps, represented by rectangles, to a canvas in order to diagram the actions that must be taken in the individual stages in a procedure or the actions for a single-stage process. The canvas is similar to a flowchart in that steps are connected to one another with a directional arrow to indicate the progression of the flow. An approval step differs from other flow steps since it must be connected to two other steps to reflect alternate paths depending on whether it is approved or declined.
Restrictions and configurations can be applied to individual steps in a flow to ensure the steps are applied only to the intended Contract, Company, or Project Profiles. Alternatively, a filter can be applied to the entire flow if the same restrictions apply to all the steps in the flow. By default, most steps used in a flow are assigned to any user, which means any program user with access to the Contract, Company, or Project Profile can complete the step. However, the assignee for a flow step can be changed to one or more specific users, or a user who holds one or more functions or responsibilities.
Once a flow template is published, it becomes active and automatically runs whenever a user adds a new Contract, Company, or Project Profile that matches the conditions defined by a restriction, configuration, and/or filter specified in the template. A flow is prominently displayed at the top of the Profile screen as a color-coded list of tasks, icons, and buttons, prompting users to complete the current active step. Users with the Flow Admin permission can run a flow template on an existing Profile.
Every time a change is made to an active flow template, and the template is either saved or republished, Novatus stores the changes as the next version of the flow. At any time, you can load a previous version of the flow template to make it the current active version of the template.
The Flow feature is similar to the Workflows feature, but it has the added advantage of auto-running on the appropriate Contract, Company, or Project Profile, advising users on the current stage of the flow, and alerting them to the next step that needs to be taken.
Contract flow templates can be used to guide users in performing the tasks related to contract creation, negotiation, maintenance, renewal, and archival. For example:
- If your company uses a single contract for its customer or vendor contracts, a single contract flow template can be created to define the entire life cycle process using stages to define each phase, from initial contract request → negotiated contract → eSignature process (fully executed document) → maintenance period → renegotiation and renewal → archival. Alternatively, individual templates can be created, and ordered chronologically, to define the stages the contract must follow during its life cycle. If individual templates are created for each stage, it provides greater flexibility in reordering the stages in the life cycle process, and even allows for the removal of a stage.
- If your company uses several types of contracts for its customers and/or vendors, you can create a single contract flow template for each contract type by applying a filter, which limits the application of the contract flow to the selected contract type(s). Alternatively, individual templates can be created for each stage in the life cycle for each contract type. The individual templates can then be ordered so that they are applied in the correct chronological order, and filters can be applied so that the individual stages are applied to the appropriate contract type(s).
It is recommended that users with the Flow Template Admin permission review the following topics before creating a flow template:
- Components of a Contract Flow Template
- Types of Flow Steps
- Flow Step Properties Window
- Property Categories for Flow Steps
- Flow Stages and Steps in a Profile
Flow Template Admins can perform the following tasks associated with flow templates:
- Locate a flow template
- Review existing flow templates
- Add a flow template
- Add a workflow to a flow template
- Filter a flow template
- Publish a flow template
- Copy a flow template
- Edit a flow template
- Reorder flow templates
- Inactivate and reactivate a flow template
- Load a previous version of a flow template
- Delete a flow template