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Workflow Designs

Workflow Designs are used to create formal review and approval procedures to publish one or more publications.

note.gif   Note: Workflow Designs are available depending on your PolicyHub system licence.

Process Templates.PNG

Creating A Workflow

The following information describes the process where a publication can be shared with one or more people for review and provide their comments to accept or reject one or more publications.

Workflow Designs is a graphical designer that displays Step and Action phases for a user to manage publication reviews and approvals. The Workflow designer provides a visual representation of the process containing the Steps and Actions.

Clicking on the Workflow designs option in the main menu displays the Workflow designs pane. To create a new Workflow click on the Create new workflow button at the bottom of the pane.

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In the Name text box enter a name for the Workflow. In the example below, Employment conditions. The name must be unique, you cannot create two Workflows with the same name.

Enter a description of the Workflow in the Description text box.

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Clicking the Save button, at the bottom of the pane saves the Workflow in the Workflow designs pane. To create Steps in the Workflow see “Workflow Steps.

Once a new Workflow design has been created, any additions or amendments you make will be automatically retained within the design.

Workflow Steps

After creating a Workflow design (see “Creating A Workflow) the Workflow Designs pane opens and displays a Start and an End Icon.

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Leftclicking on the Start icon changes it from grey to orange, indicating that the Step is active and the Workflow selections can be added or edited.

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note.gif    Note: The default setting creates a Start and an End Icon. Should further Steps be needed, they can be added to the Workflow, see “Add Step” for further details.

Start Step And New Step Selections

note.gif   Note: An End Step selection differs from those detailed below. For details of End Step selections see “End Step Selections”.

A Start Step and a New Step contain the following selections:

  • Step name. This must be a unique name for the Step.
  • Description. This is an optional field that should provide an explanation of the Step. It will not be shown anywhere other than in the Workflow designer and is for information purposes only.
  • Show feedback to all participants. If this is selected, participants can view feedback (markup) made to the documents by other users after they have performed an Action.
  • Duration. Enter the length of time you would like this Step to be completed in. Once this limit is exceeded, overrun notifications will be sent to the Owners of the documents being reviewed in the Workflow. Reminder notifications will also be sent to users until the document is forwarded to the next Step.
  • Send notifications. Select this option if you want all participants who can perform an Action from this Step to be notified when this Step is reached. When cleared, no notification message will be sent.
  • Notification message. The message you enter in the text box will be added to the notification email and allows you to enter additional instructions to the participants of the Workflow.
  • Send reminders. Select this option if you want to send reminder emails to the participants of this Workflow. Reminders will only be sent to participants who have not yet performed an Action for this Step. If the Step moves to the next Action, the reminder message ceases. If however, one or more participant comply with the Action, the participants will continue to receive reminders until all other participants complete the Action. When the check box is clear, a notification message is not sent.
  • Reminder frequency. Determines how often reminder emails are sent. Select how often you would like to send out reminder notification emails to the participants of this Workflow. This will send an email to all participants once the Workflow has been in this Step for the configured time and will continue to send emails at the schedule time until this Step has been completed. Reminders will continue to be sent even after the duration has expired. The duration can be specified in days, weeks or months. A month is defined as four weeks (28 days).
  • Reminder message. This text box allows a message to be included in the email reminder message.
  • Notify owners on overrun. Select this option if you want to send notifications to the Owners of any documents using this Workflow when this Step exceeds the configured duration. When the check box is clear, a notification message is not be sent.
  • Overrun notification frequency. Select how often you would like to send out overrun notifications to document Owners once the duration has been exceeded for this Step. This can be specified in days, weeks or months. A month is defined as four weeks (28 days).
  • Overrun notification message. The message you enter in the text box will be added to the overrun notification email and allows you to give additional information to document Owners.
  • Notify owners. Select this option if you want to send a notification message to the document Owners when reaching this Step. When the check box is clear, a notification message is not sent.
  • Owner notification message. This message entered in the text box will be added to the email and sent to document Owners when reaching this Step.

End Step Selections

An End Step only contains the following selections:

  • Step name. Enter a title for this Step. This will be displayed when viewing the history of any Workflows.
  • Description. Enter a description for the Step. This will not be shown anywhere other than this designer and is for informational purposes only.
  • Notify owners. Select this option if you want to send a notification message to the document Owners when reaching this Step. When the check box is clear, a notification message is not sent.
  • Owner notification message. This message entered in the text box will be added to the email and sent to document Owners when reaching this Step.

The functionality of the end Step selections is the same as those described in Start Step And New Step Selections.

note.gif  Note: There must always be an End Step in a Workflow.

Add Step

Clicking the Add step button at the bottom of the pane will create another Step in the Workflow designer pane.

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Alternatively, right clicking on an existing Step icon displays a menu where you can chose from one of the following:

  • Add Forward Action and Step.
  • Add Accept Action and Step.
  • Add Reject Action and Step.

The new Step will be named new step 1 and can be changed manually to a name that better describes the Step, as described in Start Step And New Step Selections.

The available selections in the added Step are identical to those described in Workflow Steps.

Delete Step

You can only delete a Step if there are more than two in the Workflow.

To delete a Step, click on the Step icon in the Workflow designs pane to make it active. Click on the Remove step button at the bottom of the screen to remove the Step.

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Workflow Actions

Action Types

There are three types of Actions that can be created in a Workflow:

  • Accept.
  • Reject.
  • Forward.

The Action types can be selected by choosing the appropriate coloured arrow from the Step icon in the workflow designer:

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  • Green arrow icon = creates an Accept Action.
  • Red arrow icon = creates a Reject Action.
  • Blue arrow icon = creates a Forward Action.

note.gif  Note: An Action cannot be created from an End Step, consequently if there are any outbound actions from an End Step the Workflow will display a validation error when trying to activate it.

Leftclick on the required Action arrow and drag the mouse cursor to the desired Step icon to create the Action.

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Clicking on the Action icon in the Workflow designs pane displays the Action options in the right pane. The Action is automatically named when it is created.

If one of the connecting Step names is subsequently changed the Action name will not update automatically and must be manually changed in the Action name field with the new name. Similarly, if an Action is connected to a different Step to the one it was originally linked to, its’ name must be manually changed to match the new Step name.

Common Action Options

The options common to the Accept, Reject and Forward Actions are:

  • Action Name.
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    The name of the Action when the Workflow is viewed in the participants Inbox. This field is required, but does not need to be unique for this Action.
  • Participants.
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    Choose the participants that will be allowed to execute the action.

Selecting the ... icon launches a popup window to choose the desired participants. This is a list of Users (With similar functionality to Recipient Lists) that are permitted to review the Action.

To remove the participants from the list select Clear.

For forward Actions, any one of the defined parties can review the Action.

note.gif  Note: The Recipients List does not display any lists that were created within a Workflow, Therefore it is not possible to have a Participants list that contains a Recipient
          list or viceversa.

  • Reasons.

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This text box allows you to enter reasons for the action.

If a choice of reasons is required, the text must be separated by hard return, so that the reviewer can select from a dropdown box, when executing the action.

Accept Action Options

There are two available Accept Action options to choose from, either:

  • All participants must accept.
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    With this option selected, the Action will only be performed once all participants have accepted.
    Or:
  • Minimum participants required to accept.
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    With this option selected, you can specify the minimum number of approvers that are required for this action to be performed.
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There must be a minimum of one approver defined for the Action to validate.

Reject Action Options

The Reject Action options are:

  • Reject immediately.
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    If this option is set, then this Action will be performed as soon as any participant chooses this Reject action.
  • Wait for all responses.
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    If this option is selected and one user rejects, then this Action will always be performed, but not until all participants have selected an Action. This allows other participants to still leave comments.

note.gif  Note: If the Workflow contains a Reject Action, there must also be an Accept Action for it to validate and activate.

Forward Action Options

The Forward Action options are:

  • Allow new revision.
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    With this option selected it allows one of the reviewers to create a new revision of one or more documents in the review while performing the action.

Delete Action

To delete an Action, left click on the Action icon in the Workflow designer to make the Action active.

Click on the Remove action button at the bottom of the screen to remove the Action.

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Validate Workflow Design

Leftclicking on the Validate button will authenticate the document approval flow.

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If the approval flow fails validation, the reasons for failure are listed in a red dialogue at the bottom of the pane. Leftclicking on the red failure message highlights the selections that require attention. The pane will close once all the errors have been rectified and the Validate button is selected again.

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Activate Workflow

When all Workflow Steps and Actions are complete and Validate is error free, the Workflow design can be initiated by selecting the Activate button.

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note.gif  Note: If there are validation errors when activating a Workflow, it is not possible to activate the Workflow until the errors are corrected. A validation error will be displayed,
          see Validate Workflow Design.

Viewing, Copying, Editing, Deleting And Deactivating Workflow Designs

In the Workflow Designs pane, there are a selection of menu options available. Select the desired workflow and then right click on the Workflow and then click to display the drop down menu of available options.

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The following options are available from the drop down menu:

View Active Design

Selecting View active design opens the Review and Approval Workflows design pane in read only mode. From this view you can see the design of the Workflow but you cannot make any changes.

View Workflows

Selecting View workflows opens the Review and Approval Workflows menu where completed, cancelled and running reviews and approvals can be reviewed see “Workflows.

Copy Design

Selecting Copy design opens the Workflow copy design dialog where the chosen Workflow can be copied. This dialog lets you edit the name and description of the copied Workflow. 

Workflow copy design.PNG

The tick marks indicate the field has valid text. An X indicates the field is empty and the copy cannot be completed until text has been entered.

note.gif  Note: If you choose not to change the name of the Workflow, PolicyHub will automatically save the Workflow name with the suffix (Copy).

Selecting OK will save the copied Workflow in the Workflow design pane, as a non-active copy of the chosen Workflow.

note.gif  Note: It is not possible to save a copied Workflow with the same name as the original Workflow.

Selecting Cancel will return you to the Workflow designs pane and will not save a copy of the Workflow.

Edit Design

Selecting the Edit design option opens the Workflow design menu where Actions and Steps can be changed, see “Creating A Workflow.

Delete Design

If the Workflow has not been activated, the Delete design option appears in the drop down menu. Selecting Delete design generates the following message:

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  • Selecting the Yes button will delete the Workflow.
  • Selecting the No button will return you to the Workflow designs pane.

note.gif  Note: The Delete selection is not available if the Workflow has been started from the library menu. In this circumstance the menu will display the Deactivate option.

Deactivate Design

  • If the Workflow has been activated, the Deactivate option appears in menu. Selecting Deactivate generates the following message:
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  • Selecting Yes will deactivate the Workflow.
  • Selecting No will return to the Review and Approval pane.

note.gif  Note: The Deactivate selection is not available if the Workflow has not been started from the library menu. In this case the menu will display the Delete option.

Workflow Design Terms

The column headings and selections for “Workflow Designs” are described in Table 92below.

TABLE 92. Workflow Designs

Term

Meaning / Description

Name

The title of the Workflow.

Description

The Workflow description.

Created

The date the Workflow was created.

Active

The status of the Workflow.

Create new workflow

Creates a new Workflow.

Save

Saves a new Workflow.

View active design

Opens the Review and Approval Workflows designer pane.

View workflows

Opens the Review and Approval Workflows pane.

Copy design Copies an existing Workflow

Edit design

Edits a Workflow.

Delete design

Deletes an inactive Workflow.

Deactivate design

Deactivates an active Workflow.

Workflow Icons

Icons are used in Workflow Designs to indicate the status and settings for the Workflow. The icons are described in Table 91.

TABLE 91. Icons

Icon

Description

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Activate a Workflow design.

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Add a Step

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Create a new Workflow design

copy design icon.PNG Copy an existing Workflow design.

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Deactivate a Workflow design

delete_design_icon.PNG Delete a Workflow design.

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Edit a Workflow.

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Indicates a Workflow has been cancelled.

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Indicates a Workflow is active.

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Indicates a Workflow is in progress.

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Indicates a Workflow is not active.

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Remove a Step.

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Validate a Workflow design.

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