This Starter Guide aims to explain the essential details needed to set your organization processes and reinforce useful process management concepts. If you have any comments/questions, contact a Flokzu business process analyst or email us at email@example.com
A business process is a collection of linked tasks in which different actors participate to achieve a common end goal. It is used to formalize the procedures in an organization or team and to define its operation clearly. The Business Process Management (BPM) discipline tries to improve business processes.
In Flokzu processes are represented by a flow of tasks and activities following the organization’s business rules. As each task and activity is completed, the process moves forward automatically following the modeled workflow. In addition, each process has an associated form and some additional settings.
User Tasks play a fundamental role in business processes. They are activities that require human intervention to be completed and make the process move forward. For every task in Flokzu, assignees need to be defined and decisions need to be made in order to complete it.
When the flow reaches a User Task, the assignees will automatically receive the task in their Flokzu Inbox.
In addition, each task could show information as fields, attachments, comments, etc. This information provides a context to help users complete their tasks. Everything the users need to complete a task, will be available in just one place.
Each process has an associated form to keep track of relevant information and review it when needed. When configuring the process you must define all the form fields so that later on users can fill them.
Each form field may be necessary in different tasks of the process. There may be confidential information that you just want to show to some users. For that reason, you can set up an individual visibility (hidden, read only, editable or required) for each of the tasks.
A process instance is a particular execution of a process.The process model and configuration define its formal structure. The instance is created each time a process is launched. For example: the process to hire a new employee is unique, but each new application is a process instance in Flokzu.
A role allows you to group different users. In Flokzu there are some default roles that cannot be deleted or modified: Administrator, Business Analysts, All Users. You can also define your own roles. They are useful for assigning tasks and permissions to multiple users at once instead of each one individually.
Admin users have the highest level of permission in Flokzu. They have access to all sections, such as process configuration, deleting processes and instances, metrics, reports, account set up and more. The user who creates the account will be automatically assigned the Administrator role. Admins are the only ones that can assign other users the Administrator role. This role also has read access to all instances.
They have access to most of the sections in Floku, but their permissions are more limited than the Administrators. They cannot delete instances or processes, and although Business Analysts can invite new users and create roles, they cannot assign or remove the Administrator role. The aim of this role is to model and maintain processes, but without performing sensitive actions, restricted only to Administrators.
All users of the organization are grouped under this role. It includes those who haven’t yet accepted the invitation. This role is updated in real time. Users other than Business Analyst or Administrator will see few sections of the tool, they will not be able to model processes or access their configuration. They will have access to their own Inbox, Outbox, Starred and Finalized section, can launch a processes, complete tasks and perform searches.
Before assigning a role to a user, the user must be on the system.
Recipe for Success
There is no right way to model a process in Flokzu. However, we want to share some tips that can make the task easier.
Before modeling a process in Flokzu it is important to answer the following questions:
- Which process you want to model
- What activities and tasks make up this process
- In what order should these activities be carried out
- Who participate in the tasks
- What information is needed to properly keep track of the process
Our Golden Rule
Start by modeling a simple version of the process, which only includes main tasks and necessary information. Once you are satisfied with the results, add more complex configurations and advanced details.
Start with the process form. Add all the necessary fields to launch the process, complete tasks and make decisions. Do not worry if you can only identify a few, you can add more as you go through the configuration.
Then concentrate on modeling the workflow. Add tasks and connect them according to the sequence of activities that make up the process. This surely involves splitting the flow based on decisions, assigning tasks in parallel, using timers, automated emails, etc.
As you model, you will see that you come up with new fields. When that happens, simply go back to that section and add the ones you need. Finally, configure the visibility of the fields, marking each one as hidden, read-only, editable or required in each task.
And that’s it! Deploy the process and launch it. Instances will automatically follow the modeled workflow.
If you already know who will participate in your process, you can create roles beforehand to assign tasks to those roles as you configure them in the workflow.
When creating a new process, you can save some time using one of our predefined templates if it fits your needs. You can import it, and customize it.
Under Process Settings you can define general details, such as read access to instances and the option to activate the Public Form functionality, which we will explain later on.
Creating a New Process
We will start by describing how to create a process from scratch. However, you can always come up with good ideas from one of our templates (from our process library).
Main steps when defining a new process
- Defining Process Details (Name, ID)
- Setting up the Form
- Modeling the Workflow
- Defining Process Settings
Defining Process Details
Name your process and create an ID.
The Process ID, along with an automated sequential number will identify all process instances. E.g. MKTG-1, MKTG-2. Be careful when defining the ID, since you won’t be able to change it.
Setting up the Form
An important part of creating a process is defining the form.
You can think of the form as the structure that moves along the workflow, from one user to another, where they complete relevant information and use that information to complete tasks. Aside from fields, users can also attach files and add comments (more on this later on).
The form will include all fields, regardless if some should only be visible at certain tasks.
To add a new field, drag a drop the selected type into an empty section.
Try adding some fields and explore the different field types available. Name, Email, Attachment and Comments are always a good option. Your form could look like this:
Modeling the Process Workflow
Document workflows are ‘an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activities enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information’.
Recognize the main stages of the workflow and don’t waste too much time on the details. The main thing here is to design a simple diagram using a precise -yet easily understandable- notation.
To add a new task, simply drag one from the panel on the left into the workflow.
Flokzu uses BPM Notation (BPMN) to model the process workflow. This means that you will be modeling with an international standard used by BPM specialists.
By choosing an item of your preference on the left panel, you can represent the steps of your workflow.
Further info about the elements on this panel in this post!
A User Task is an activity that must be completed by a member of your organization. When the workflow reaches an user-task, the assignee will receive an item in his Inbox.
Assignees: Define which users/roles should complete this task
Decisions: option(s) that assignees will see as buttons to complete the task
Due Date (optional): due date when this task should be completed.
At the Decisions Tab you may also choose the following options:
|Confirmation required||Complete task via email|
|Before completing a task, ask the assignee for confirmation. Useful to prevent users from making the wrong decision by mistake.||Complete task by email: the assignee will also receive the task via email. No need to login to Flokzu to complete it! Further info about this feature here.|
Exclusive Gateways allows you to divide the flow based on field values, decisions made at previous tasks or a combination of both.
A send task lets you email notifications at any step of your workflow. You can send it to to internal and external users.
You can insert field values within the message body, just pressing * and start typing the field name (case sensitive)
More info about Send Tasks on this post!
Timers are only available to paid plans. They let you set deadlines for tasks. There are three kind of timers: interrupting, non-interrupting and intermediate.
Timer Boundary Event (Interrupting): cancel the task if it wasn’t completed before the deadline. The flow will continue along the path connected to the timer. For instance, assign task to Manager if the employee hasn’t completed it.
Timer Boundary Event (Non-interrupting): will trigger the path in parallel. The task won’t be cancelled. For instance, notify the Manager if a request hasn’t been answered in 24 hours.
Find more info about these two kind of timers here!
Intermediate Timers are used to delay the execution of a certain step of the process. Once the flow reaches an intermediate timer, it starts counting the time and the flow stops. Once the time interval is reached, the flow continues. For instance, waiting 3 days before following up on a lead.
Find more info about intermediate timers here!
A Service Task allows your processes in Flokzu to communicate with external systems. Than can be useful to send info from Flokzu to one of your systems. You can also retrieve info from an external system and store it in a process form. The integration methods available are via Zapier and Web Services REST and SOAP.
More info here.
As the form moves along your process, you can adjust the displayed fields in each task. The options are:
- Hidden: the field is not displayed
- Read-only: users can see the field but cannot edit it
- Editable: users can edit the field
- Required: users cannot complete the task until they have filled in the field
You can define this at the form level.
Defining Process Settings
Finally, you can polish the last details in the Process Settings section.
You can setup the Readers, including users/roles that have access to process instances. In addition, Readers applies to advanced searches too.
Readers when completed: only have access to finalized process instances (once the instance reached an End State).
General Readers: have access to process instances at any given step of the workflow (even finalized process instances).
Very useful to let people outside your team/organization (no access to Flokzu needed) launch one of your processes by completing the form fields.
Imagine having a customer service process. Every time your client completes a form in your website, it will automatically launch a process in Flokzu. As simple as that.
Intrigued? Read a blog post about Public Forms here.
In conclusion, we hope this Starter Guide has been helpful to build your first workflows.
After following the steps described, your process might look something like this:
Once you have modeled the process, you can deploy it. As a result, the process is ready and you can start launching process instances.
If you still need help … don’t worry! We can assist you personally and go through any questions you might have. Simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org