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Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

CHAPTER 3: WORKFLOW ACTIONS AND REPORTING

Objectives

The objectives are:

Learn about the types of interfaces for acting on workflow documents and batches

Learn about tasks, due dates, and delegation

Learn about actions an originator may perform

Learn about actions an approver may perform

Set the status and priority for a Workflow document or batch

Learn about reporting available through workflow

Introduction

A workflow approval process involves two main groups of participants:

Originators

Approvers

An approval workflow is the routing of a document to one or more individuals for approval. When the originator clicks the Submit for approval button the document is saved and submitted to workflow. Workflow then checks the conditions of the first level to determine if the document should go through the workflow approval process and who is required to approve it.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Methods for Action

There are three different software applications that allow users to act on workflow tasks. These methods include:

Microsoft ® Outlook ®

Microsoft ® Office SharePoint Server

Microsoft Dynamics ® GP

Security, accessibility, and functional requirements ultimately determine which software application your firm will use.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

With Microsoft Dynamics GP, approvers can act on documents and batches using entry windows and lists. Approvers can use entry windows to act on a specific document or batch. For example, an approver can approve a specific purchase order using the Purchase Order Entry window.

Approvers can use lists to act on several documents or batches at one time. For example, an approver can approve multiple purchase orders at one time using the All Purchasing Transactions list.

FIGURE 3.1 MICROSOFT DYNAMICS GP PURCHASING TRANSACTIONS LIST VIEW
FIGURE 3.1 MICROSOFT DYNAMICS GP PURCHASING TRANSACTIONS
LIST VIEW

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Office SharePoint Server

Approvers can use their web browsers to access the Workflow web site, which is built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. Using this web site, approvers can view and act on the documents and batches assigned to them.

FIGURE 3.2 DOCUMENT PAGE OF THE WORKFLOW WEBSITE
FIGURE 3.2 DOCUMENT PAGE OF THE WORKFLOW WEBSITE

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Outlook

When a document or batch is assigned to a user for approval, an e-mail message can be sent to the user. The e-mail message displays information about the document or batch and has an Edit this Task button. When the user clicks this button, a window appears where the user can approve, reject, delegate, or request a change to the document or batch.

FIGURE 3.3 EMAIL ALERT WITH LINK TO DOCUMENT
FIGURE 3.3 EMAIL ALERT WITH LINK TO DOCUMENT

NOTE: To act on a workflow (approve, reject, etc.) through an e-mail the user must be using Microsoft ® Office 2007 or later.

Workflow Tasks

A task represents a document or batch assigned to a user for approval.

When a user submits a document or batch for approval, the Workflow system evaluates the first step in the workflow to determine if approval is required there.

If the Workflow system determines that approval is required, a task is created for

that approver.

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Simple Task Example

Using the following workflow, suppose Sam submits a purchase order totaling $8,000. The Workflow system evaluates step 1 to determine if the purchase order meets the condition specified. In this scenario, the purchase order is more than $1,000, so the Workflow system creates a task for Frank.

FIGURE 3.4 PURCHASE ORDER WORKFLOW EXAMPLE
FIGURE 3.4 PURCHASE ORDER WORKFLOW EXAMPLE

Assume that Frank approves the purchase order. The Workflow system then evaluates step 2 to determine if the purchase order meets the condition specified. Because the purchase order is more than $5,000, Sue's approval is required. The Workflow system creates a task for Sue.

After Sue approves the purchase order, the purchase order is given Approved status. The purchase order can now be printed and shipments can be received.

Complex Task Example

Using the following workflow, suppose Sam submits a purchase order totaling $8,000 for Adventure Works. The Workflow system evaluates step 1 to determine if the purchase order meets the condition specified. In this scenario, the purchase order is more than $1,000, so the Workflow system creates a task for Frank.

FIGURE 3.5 COMPLEX WORKFLOW EXAMPLE
FIGURE 3.5 COMPLEX WORKFLOW EXAMPLE

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Assume that Frank approves the purchase order. The Workflow system then evaluates steps 2a and 2b simultaneously. Because the purchase order is more than $5,000 and the vendor is Adventure Works, the Workflow system creates tasks for Sue and Bob.

Both Sue and Bob must approve the purchase order before it can move on to Ann. This is because step 2a (Sue) and step 2b (Bob) converge at step 3 (Ann). For example, assume that Sue approves the purchase order first. The purchase order cannot be assigned to Ann until Bob approves it, as well. When Bob approves the purchase order, the Workflow system creates a task for Ann.

Due Dates

Each task has a due date. The due date indicates the date by which the approver must respond to the task-that is, approve or reject the document or batch the task represents.

Default due dates When configuring a workflow step, you specify how many days the approver has to respond to the task. For example, the following workflow shows the number of days each approver has to act on assigned tasks.

Overriding default due dates Approvers can override the default due dates. For example, using the previous workflow illustration, suppose Sam submits a purchase order for $18,000. When Frank approves the purchase order, he can specify how many days Sue will have to approve or reject the purchase order. Similarly, when Sue approves the purchase order, she can specify how many days Ann will have to approve or reject the purchase order.

When a task is overdue When an approver fails to act on a task by the task's due date, the task is considered overdue, or escalated. When configuring a workflow, you must specify what will happen to overdue tasks. The following options are available.

If you select this option

This will occur

Take no action

The task remains assigned to the current approver.

Delegate to next approver

The system automatically assigns the task to the next approver in the workflow.

Delegate to

The system automatically assigns the task to the user you specify.

Have system automatically

The system automatically approves or rejects the task, depending on the action you choose.

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Delegation

Approvers can delegate, or reassign their tasks to other approvers. For example, if Frank will be out of the office for a period of time, he can delegate his tasks to another approver in the workflow, such as Sue or Ann.

Tasks can be delegated manually or automatically.

Manually delegating a task If Frank feels uncomfortable approving a specific purchase order, he can manually delegate that purchase order to Sue.

For an approver to manually delegate a document or batch, select the Allow approver to manually assign workflow tasks to someone else option on the Configure Workflow page.

Automatically delegating tasks If Frank will be out of the office for a couple of weeks, he can have all of his tasks automatically delegated to another approver.

Originator Actions

The originator starts the workflow approval process by submitting a document or batch for approval. The originator does this in Microsoft Dynamics GP. For example, to submit a purchase order, the originator will use the Purchase Order Entry window.

Use the Batch Entry window to submit a General Ledger batch. These windows have buttons that enable originators to submit the document or batch, or save it.

Submit for Approval

When the originator submits the document or batch for approval, the Workflow system evaluates the document or batch and determines if it is requiring approval. If so, the document or batch is assigned to the appropriate approver with a status of Pending Approval.

If the Workflow system determines that the document or batch does not require approval, the document or batch is given a status of No Approval Needed.

Save for Later

When the originator saves the document or batch, any changes made to the document or batch are saved. When the document or batch is not submitted for approval, the originator can submit it at a later time.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Lab 3.1 – Submit for Approval

Company: Fabrikam, Inc.

Scenario

Purchasing agent Alicia Stevens needs to enter a purchase order for some office supplies.

Challenge Yourself

Enter a purchase order for eight conference call phones (Item number 08539) from vendor Advanced Office Systems to be shipped to the warehouse. Submit the order for workflow approval.

Need a Little Help?

1. Login to Microsoft Dynamics GP as Alicia Stevens.

2. Go to the Purchase Order Entry window.

3. Enter a Standard purchase order using the vendor Advanced Office Systems.

4. Purchase item 08539 (Conference Call Phone), and enter a quantity of 8.

5. Submit the purchase order for approval.

6. Enter the following comment in the Add Comment box “Conference phones for the new offices.”

7. Escalate the priority of the purchase order and submit it.

Step by Step

1. Login to Microsoft Dynamics GP as Alicia Stevens.

2. Click Transactions, point to Purchasing, and then click Purchase Order Entry.

3. Enter a Standard type purchase order using the vendor Advanced Office Systems.

4. Enter item number 08539 (Conference Call Phone), and enter a quantity of 8.

5. Click the Submit for Approval button.

6. Enter the following comment in the Add Comment box “Conference phones for the new offices.”

7. Click the exclamation point symbol to set this document for high priority.

8. Click submit.

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Approver Actions

When a document or batch is assigned to an approver, the approver can take one of the following actions.

NOTE: The following information applies to workflow steps that have a single approver.

Approve

When an approver approves a document or batch, the document or batch is assigned to the next approver in the workflow, if required. If no additional approval is required, the document or batch is given the status of Approved and the workflow approval process is complete.

For example, suppose Sam submits a purchase order for $6,000. In this scenario, the purchase order must be approved by Frank and Sue. When Frank approves the purchase order, it is assigned to Sue for approval. When Sue approves the purchase order, it is given the status of Approved, and the workflow process is complete.

FIGURE 3.6 PURCHASE ORDER WORKFLOW SCENARIO
FIGURE 3.6 PURCHASE ORDER WORKFLOW SCENARIO

Reject

When an approver rejects a document or batch, the document or batch is assigned the status of Rejected and the workflow process is complete. For example, using the workflow previously shown, suppose that Sam has submitted a purchase order for $12,000 and that it is assigned to Sue.

When Sue rejects the purchase order, it is given the status of Rejected and the workflow process is complete. Sam can resubmit the purchase order, with or without changes. If Sam resubmits the purchase order, a new workflow process starts at the first step.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Delegate

When an approver delegates a document or batch, the document or batch is assigned to another approver in the workflow.

For example, using the workflow previously shown, suppose that Sam has submitted a purchase order for $12,000 and it is assigned to Frank. Frank then delegates the purchase order to Ann. Ann will then act on behalf of Frank. This means that if Ann approves the purchase order, it will be assigned to Sue for approval just as if Frank had approved it. Once Sue approves the purchase order, it moves on to Ann for approval.

HINT: For an approver to delegate a document or batch, the Allow approver to manually assign workflow tasks to someone else option on the Configure Workflow page must be selected.

Request Change

When an approver requests a change to a document or batch, the document or batch is given the status of Pending Changes and the workflow process is complete. The originator, however, can make changes and resubmit the document or batch for approval.

For example, using the workflow previously shown, suppose that Sam has submitted a purchase order for $12,000 and that it is assigned to Sue. When Sue requests a change, the purchase order is assigned the status of Pending Changes and the workflow process is complete. Sam can resubmit the purchase order, with or without changes. If Sam resubmits the purchase order, a new workflow process starts at step one.

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Lab 3.2 – Request Change

Company: Fabrikam, Inc.

Scenario

A

purchase order was submitted to purchasing agent Alicia Stevens. Phyllis Rago

is

required to act on the purchase order, and has decided to request a change to

the submitted purchase order.

Challenge Yourself

Phyllis decides that only seven conference phones are necessary. Request a change to the purchase order to reduce the quantity ordered to seven.

Need a Little Help?

1. Go to the Purchase Order Entry window and select purchase order

PO2112.

2. Click the Request Change button on the workflow wrapper.

3. In the Add Comment box enter the following comment “We only acquired seven new offices, please reduce the order to 7 phones.”

4. Complete the change request button.

Step by Step

1. In Microsoft Dynamics GP click the Purchasing series button, then click Purchase Order Transactions on the navigation pane menu.

2. Select purchase order PO2112, and click the Edit button on the action pane.

3. In the Purchase Order Entry window click the Request Change button on the workflow wrapper.

4. In the Add Comment box enter the following comment “We only acquired seven new offices, please reduce the order to 7 phones.”

5. Click the Requst Change button.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Workflow Status and Priority

Each document in the Workflow system is assigned a status and priority. The following sections explain the different statuses and priorities.

Status

A document or batch in workflow has one of the following statuses.

Status

Description

Workflow Not

The document or batch was created before a workflow was activated.

Activated

Not Submitted

The document or batch has been saved, but not yet submitted for approval.

No Approval Needed

The document or batch has been submitted for approval, and does not require approval. The workflow approval process is complete.

Submitted

The document or batch has been submitted for approval, but the web server-running Office SharePoint Server and the Workflow server components has not responded yet.

Pending Approval

The document or batch is awaiting approval.

Pending Changes

An approver has requested that the originator make changes to the document or batch and resubmit it. The workflow approval process is complete.

Approved

The document or batch is approved. The workflow approval process is complete.

Rejected

The document or batch is rejected. The workflow approval process is complete.

Workflow

The Workflow administrator or manager deactivated the workflow this document or batch was using. The workflow approval process is complete.

Deactivated

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Priority

Every document or batch has a workflow priority indicator. The priority indicator reflects the importance of the document or batch. The originator sets the priority when submitting. Approvers can change the priority when they review the document or batch.

Priority

Indicator

Low

Arrow pointing down

Normal

No indicator

High

Exclamation mark

The user assigned to the document may edit the priority of the document at any time. The priority of the document will be displayed on workflow tasks and notifications related to the approval of the document.

HINT: If the document priority is updated, after the document is submitted, existing tasks and notifications will not be updated with the new priority.

The originator or the assigned approver(s) may select/edit the priority of the document. If more than one approver is assigned to the approval routing, the latest approver will update the priority.

Reporting

The following sections explain how to view documents and batches that have been submitted to the Workflow system, and their workflow history. In addition the details of several reports are discussed. All the reports displayed in this lesson are accessible via the Workflow web site.

Document Views

It is possible to view documents and batches submitted to the Workflow system in several areas of Microsoft Dynamics GP. For example, you can view a submitted purchase order in the Purchase Order Entry window or in purchase order lists.

It is also possible to view documents and batches submitted to the Workflow system on the Workflow web site. Use the following steps to view submitted documents and batches on the Workflow web site.

1. Go to the Workflow web site.

2. Click Documents on the Quick Launch.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

3. In the Workflow Documents page click a workflow type. The documents or batches submitted to that type of workflow are listed.

To filter the documents listed on this page, select a view from the View menu.

If the My Documents view is selected, the documents or batches that you submitted-and that are pending approval-are listed.

If the All Items view is selected, all documents or batches submitted to this workflow are listed, regardless of who submitted them or their approval status.

If the In Progress view is selected, all documents or batches pending approval are listed, regardless of who submitted them.

4. Click a document or batch to view details about it.

View History

The workflow history of a document or batch can be seen by viewing the workflow history pane in certain Microsoft Dynamics GP windows. For example, to view the workflow history of a purchase order, open the Purchase Order Entry window in Microsoft Dynamics GP and view the workflow history pane.

The workflow history of a document or batch may also be viewed on the Workflow web site. Use the following steps to view workflow history information on the Workflow web site.

1. Go to the Workflow web site.

2. Click Documents on the Quick Launch.

3. In the Workflow Documents page click a workflow type. The documents or batches that you submitted and are pending approval are listed.

4. From the View menu, click All Items. All documents or batches submitted to this workflow are listed, regardless of who submitted them or their approval status.

5. From the View menu, click Modify this View. The Edit View:

<Workflow Type> page is displayed.

6. In the Columns area of the page, select the Approval Status check box.

7. Click OK.

8. An Approval Status column now appears on the page. To view the workflow history of a specific document or batch, click the status of that document or batch. The Workflow Status: Approval Status page is displayed. Workflow history information is shown at the bottom of the page.

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Completed Tasks by Approvers Report

The Completed Tasks by Approvers report shows how many days it took a specific approver to complete his or her tasks. This report helps identify approvers that may slow a workflow approval process.

This report is ideal for identifying process bottlenecks and to identify where delegation policies could improve process speed.

HINT: Upon processing the reports accessed by clicking the Reports button in the Workflow website, SharePoint will export the results through an XML format which may be opened in Microsoft Excel 2007.

Completed Tasks by Workflow Step Report

The Completed Tasks by Workflow Step report shows how many days it took to complete a specific workflow step. This report helps you identify specific steps that may be slowing a workflow approval process. If the results of this report are compared against the rules of the workflow step, you may determine that certain steps are too complicated or require too many approvers.

Completed Documents Report

The Completed Documents report displays a list of documents and batches that have completed their workflows. The report shows how many days it took to complete the workflow for each document and batch. This report may be especially beneficial for workflow managers to identify timing issues.

Active Tasks Report

The Active Tasks report displays a list of active tasks and the approvers they are assigned to. This report helps you identify approvers who may have several active tasks assigned to them. This report may be especially beneficial to workflow managers or administrators so they can determine bottlenecks and perhaps act on an approvers behalf.

Task Summary Report

The Task Summary report displays task information for a specific workflow step. For example, you can view the number of tasks that are active, completed, and escalated for a specific step. This report may be most beneficial for workflow originators to track the status of their document or batch.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Summary

Approvers have several options when acting on workflow tasks. Many reports are available through the Workflow web site that may appeal to various workflow participants. The workflow status assigned to a document or batch is imported when determining what actions can be performed.

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Test Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge with the following questions.

Methods for Action

1. Which of the following are valid interfaces for interacting with the Workflow system? Mark all that apply.

(

) Microsoft Outlook

(

) Microsoft PerformancePoint Server

(

) Microsoft SharePoint Server

(

) Microsoft Dynamics GP

Approver Actions

2. If an approver requests a change to a document or batch which of the following best describes the originators options?

(

) The originator must appeal to the workflow manager for approval or start a new document or batch

(

) The originator can resubmit the document or batch, and it will return directly to the approver that requested the change

(

) The originator can resubmit the document or batch, but it will have to restart the workflow at the first step

(

) The originator cannot resubmit the document or batch, they must start over with a new document or batch

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Workflow Status and Priority

3. Task: Match the status to its description.

1. An approver has requested that the originator make changes to the document or batch and resubmit it. 2. The Workflow administrator or manager deactivated the workflow this document or batch was using. 3. The document or batch was created before a workflow was activated. 4. The document or batch has been submitted for approval, and the Workflow system has determined that the document or batch does not require approval. 5. The document or batch has been saved, but not yet submitted for approval. 6. The document or batch is awaiting approval. 7. The document or batch has been submitted for approval, but the web server - running Office SharePoint Server and the Workflow server components - has not responded yet.

a. Workflow Not Activated

b. Workflow Deactivated

c. Not Submitted

d. Pending Approval

e. Pending Changes

f. No Approval Needed

g. Submitted

4. When a document or batch is submitted through workflow it is assigned a priority. Which of the following would indicate a normal priority document or batch?

(

) Downward pointing arrow

(

) Exclamation mark

(

) No indicator

(

) Red flag

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Quick Interaction: Lessons Learned

Take a moment and write down three key points you have learned from this chapter:

1.

1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.

2.

1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.
1. 2. 3.

3.

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0

Solutions

Test Your Knowledge

Methods for Action

1. Which of the following are valid interfaces for interacting with the Workflow system? Mark all that apply.

() Microsoft Outlook

( ) Microsoft PerformancePoint Server

() Microsoft SharePoint Server

() Microsoft Dynamics GP

Approver Actions

2. If an approver requests a change to a document or batch which of the following best describes the originators options?

(

) The originator must appeal to the workflow manager for approval or start a new document or batch

(

) The originator can resubmit the document or batch, and it will return directly to the approver that requested the change

() The originator can resubmit the document or batch, but it will have to restart the workflow at the first step

( ) The originator cannot resubmit the document or batch, they must start over with a new document or batch

Chapter 3: Workflow Actions and Reporting

Workflow Status and Priority

3. Task: Match the status to its description.

 

a. Workflow Not Activated

e

1: An approver has requested that the

originator make changes to the document or batch and resubmit it.

b. Workflow Deactivated

c. Not Submitted

b

2: The Workflow administrator or manager

d. Pending Approval

deactivated the workflow this document or batch was using.

e. Pending Changes

f. No Approval Needed

a

3: The document or batch was created before

g. Submitted

a workflow was activated.

f 4: The document or batch has been submitted for approval, and the Workflow system has determined that the document or batch does not require approval.

 

c

5: The document or batch has been saved, but

not yet submitted for approval.

d

6: The document or batch is awaiting

approval.

g

7: The document or batch has been submitted

for approval, but the web server - running Office SharePoint Server and the Workflow server components - has not responded yet.

4. When a document or batch is submitted through workflow it is assigned a priority. Which of the following would indicate a normal priority document or batch?

(

) Downward pointing arrow

(

) Exclamation mark

() No indicator

( ) Red flag

Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics™ GP 10.0