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ForumPass Workflows

A workflow automates a collaboration activity by breaking it into a set of actions users must take in order to complete a specific business process, such as approving content, obtaining feedback, or routing a document from one location to another. Workflows allow organizations to define the steps involved in a business process in order to insure consistency, accountability, and an audit trail. Organizations benefit from improved efficiency and productivity by managing the tasks and steps involved with workflows.


Workflows are created based on templates, which have pre-defined steps, and a handful of options. Once a workflow has been created, it can be made available within lists, libraries, and contents types.


Templates

ForumPass offers several workflow templates to organizations for implementation within their Organizational site collections. The templates available within your project site collections depend on your organizational settings. In addition, Site Administrators can create custom workflow templates for use within their project site collections. 

The following default Workflow templates are available:

    • Approval: Routes a document for approval, tasks are assigned based on how the approvers are listed in the workflow. Users in the CC list shall not receive any email upon start of the workflow, but shall receive an email upon completion of the workflow.
    • Approval with Notification: Functions as an Approval workflow with the following updates: 
      • Initiator shall be able to add external users’ email addresses on the workflow initiation form, such that the external users are notified of the workflow status after the workflow is completed, 
      • Users in the CC list (both external and internal users) shall not receive any email upon start of the workflow, but shall receive an email upon completion of the workflow
      • Workflow association form shall provide ability to add external user’s email addresses
    • Collect Feedback: Routes a document for review by one or more members of the site chosen by the workflow author. This is defined as parallel by default so all reviewers receive email notification and are assigned a task at the same time. Participants can optionally delegate their tasks or decline to participate.
    • Notification: Provides ability to alert a group of individuals on the status of a file to which they are assigned. This type of workflow is used to communicate information and does not require a response from any of the participants.
    • Review and Approve: This is a two-stage workflow. In the first stage, this workflow shall allow an object to be routed to one or more reviewers. Once the review is complete, or deadline to review passes, it is routed to an approver or group of approvers.
    • Three-State: Routes a document out for three levels of approval. The ability for the document to be routed from one level to the next is dependent on approval at the previous level. Approvers shall be able to approve or reject the document, reassign the approval task or request changes to the document. The Three State workflow is currently enabled in ForumPass Lists. 

Enabled workflows vary from site to site depending on how the site was created and how permissions were set.

 

Implementation

There are two steps involved in making workflows available for use within your project site. At the top level, the Site Collection Administrator must enable the workflow functionality within your organizational site collection. When your specific project site is created, the Site Creator or Owner defines the lists and libraries that will support specific workflows. In order to add a workflow to a list, library or content type, the user must have Manage List permissions. 


The availability of workflows available depends on how it is added to the site: 

If a workflow is added to...

It becomes available for ...

A list or library

all items within list or library

A specific content type in a list or library

items of that content type within that list or library

A specific content type in a site

items of that content type within the site


When a workflow is created within a list, library, or content type, it can be customized with several setting options including:

    • Name the workflow: Assign a name for the workflow that is easily understood by team members.
    • Task location: Identify where the tasks associated with this workflow are listed.
    • History location: Identify where the history records associated with this workflow are listed.
    • Task Routing: Define how the tasks for this workflow are routed to assignees.
    • Workflow Completion: Set under what conditions the workflow is assigned a completed status.


Add New Type

A List or Library owner can create a new workflow to be implemented into a list or library. 

Workflows must be activated by Site Collection Administrators and added to a document library by Site Owners before they can be utilized. To add a new workflow type:

Step 1.  Open the list or library where you want to create a new workflow type.

Step 2.  Access the Library toolbar ribbon. Click Settings.

Step 3.  In the Permissions and Management section, select Workflow Settings. The Workflow Settings page display.

Step 4.  From here, you can add or remove a workflow, edit a workflow, or view workflow reports. Click Add a Workflow.

Step 5.  Select the Workflow template, and enter the Name for the new workflow.

Step 6.  Select a Task List to use for this workflow. The task list stores all tasks associated with the workflow.

Step 7.  Select a History List in which to display all events that occur during each instance of the workflow.

Step 8.  Set your Start Options, which specify how, when, or by whom a workflow can be started.

Step 9.  Once all information is entered, click Next to continue.

Step 10:  Complete the remaining customizable fields:

    • Workflow Tasks: Specify how workflow tasks are assigned, if a workflow can be reassigned, and if a participant can request a change be made prior to completing the workflow.
    • Default Workflow Start Values: Specify default values of the workflow upon start.
    • Complete the Workflow: Specify when the workflow is considered complete, or if the workflow should be cancelled under certain circumstances.
    • Post-completion Workflow activities: Upon completion of the workflow, do you want the document status to be automatically updated.

Step 11.  Click OK.


Start Workflow

To start a workflow on an item manually:

Step 1.  Open the list or library in which you would like to add a new workflow type.

Step 2.  Select the item for which you would like to initiate a workflow.

Step 3.  Access the Files toolbar ribbon. Click Workflows.

Step 4.  Select the desired workflow. For example, select the Approval with Notification workflow. Note the workflows available depend on how the library is set up.

Step 5.  Enter the workflow start criteria. The workflow start criteria depends upon the type of workflow selected:

    • To initiate an Approval with Notification workflow you are prompted to enter the following information:
      • The user ID(s) of approver or reviewer
      • Select how the tasks will be assigned
      • Type a message to include in the workflow notification
      • Designate duration for the process
      • The user ID(s) of the internal users to notify on the workflow
      • The email of the external users to notify on the workflow (only applicable to Approval with Notification
    • To initiate the Notification workflow provide the following:
      • The user ID(s) of people to notify
      • The user ID(s) of individual who should be cc’d on the notification
      • Type instructions to include in the notification
    • To initiate a Review and Approve workflow provide the following:
      • The user ID(s) of reviewer
      • The review due date
      • Indicate if and when a reminder should be sent
      • The percentage of participation to complete the review step of the process
      • Whether to require any one reviewer to complete the task. If this option is selected, the percentage of participation option is disabled.
      • The name(s) of approver(s)
      • The approval due date
      • Whether or not, a due date reminder should be sent and if so, how many days prior
      • The percentage of participation to complete the approval step of the process

Step 6.  Click Start to initiate the workflow.

When the workflow is initiated, a task is created for the workflow assignees. In addition, e-mail notifications are sent to assignees and the workflow initiator.


Track and Update 

You may track the progress of the workflow, and update the workflow participants, instructions, and due dates by accessing the workflow’s status page. In addition, all of the details for completed workflows may be accessed review. Details regarding workflows are typically stored in the Workflow History list in the project.

To review:

Step 1.  Open the list or library.

Step 2.  Select the item for which you would like to review the running a workflow.

Step 3.  Access the Files toolbar ribbon, and then click Workflows.

Step 4.  The Running Workflows section of the page lists all workflows currently active for this item. The Complete Workflows section lists all previous workflows for this item.

Step 5.  Select the workflow to review.



Complete Task

Once a workflow is created, the required participants are notified by email. Users can access the workflow request from the notification email, or directly from the site.                                                         

To complete an assigned workflow, complete the following steps:

Step 1.  Click the Tasks list.

Step 2.  Select the Title of the assigned task.

Step 3.  The Workflow Task page displays where you can access the item to be reviewed as well as type in your comments regarding the item.

Step 4.  Once you review the item and typed in any appropriate comments, click on the Approve button. 

An email is generated and sent to the user who initiated the workflow advising them that the workflow has been completed.


Tasks Notification 

Workflow Created Notification: When a workflow is initiated, ForumPass sends an email to the initiator of the workflow and to all those who are being tasked (approvers, reviewers, etc.) and those being notified. The email includes a link to the item requiring action and any instructions entered by the initiator. 

NOTE: External users are only notified when the workflow has been completed. These users will not receive workflow creation notifications, update notifications or overdue notifications. 

    • Workflow Updated Notification: If a workflow task is updated in any way, an email notification is sent to the affected parties notifying them that a change has taken place. 
    • Workflow Complete Notification: When a workflow task has been completed, an email is sent to all affected parties notifying them that the task is completed and providing a link to workflow history. 
    • Overdue Notification: If a task has not been completed by the due date, ForumPass sends an email to the assignee with a copy to the initiator informing them that their task is overdue and providing them with the workflow instructions found in their original notification. 
    • Reviewer Notification: The reviewer notification email looks different than the rest of the notification emails in format, but contains similar information such as a link to the document location.

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