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Stage Management

Contents

1. Introduction

Stage management is a very powerful way to control the progress of work in WorkPoint. Regardless of whether a WorkPoint solution is used for project management, case management, or other types of work, stages can be used to control phases and progress of the work by splitting the work up in specific stages. Special requirements can be set up for when one stage can transition to another stage, thus making stages a very powerful way to ensure that all required work is completed before transitioning into various stages. This then ensures that no area of the work is forgotten.

Stage management also makes it possible to filter elements on WorkPoint solution so that only elements related to the current stage shows up in lists. This is done through the stage filtering functionality, described in the end user guide sections of this article.

Furthermore, Stage management can be used in collaboration with other WorkPoint functionalities, such as Action Management. Through this collaboration, it is possible to e.g. create special documents when a certain stage transition occurs, or send e-mails to specified receivers on stage transitions.

2. Requirements

There are currently no license requirements for this feature. If using this feature in collaboration with e.g. Action Management, an Action Management license is necessary for this to work.

3. Configuration

   3.1. Accessing Stage Settings

       3.1.1. Modern UI

To configure stage settings in the modern UI version of WorkPoint, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Home-button in the top-left corner of the WorkPoint solution.
  2. Click the cog-icon to open the WorkPoint Administration.
  1. In the WorkPoint Administration, click the header of the business module for which stage settings should be configured.
  2. Click the “Stage Settings”-menu item from the list.
  1. The “Enable staging for this business module”-button can be used to enable and disable staging. This can be useful if staging should be temporarily turned either on or off for some reason. All stage settings and configurations persist through disabling and re-enabling staging. Be advised that staging is not always necessary. In that case, simply do not configure these settings
  2. The “Stages”-section displays all configured stages.
  3. The “Add stage”-button is used for creating new stages.
  4. The “Transitions”-section displays all configured transitions.
  5. The “Add transition”-button is used for creating new transitions.
  6. The “Constraints”-section displays all configured constraints.
  7. The “Add constraint”-button is used for creating new constraints.
       3.1.2. Classic UI

To access the WorkPoint administration and stage settings in Classic UI, follow these steps:

  1. Click the cog-icon in the top-right of the solution.
  2. Click the “WorkPoint Administration”-menu item.
  1. In the WorkPoint Administration, click the header of the business module for which stage settings should be configured.
  2. Click the “Stage Settings”-menu item from the list.
  1. The “Enable staging for this business module”-button can be used to enable and disable staging. This can be useful if staging should be temporarily turned either on or off for some reason. All stage settings and configurations persist through disabling and re-enabling staging.
  2. The “Stages”-section displays all configured stages.
  3. The “Add stage”-button is used for creating new stages.
  4. The “Transitions”-section displays all configured transitions.
  5. The “Add transition”-button is used for creating new transitions.
  6. The “Constraints”-section displays all configured constraints.
  7. The “Add constraint”-button is used for creating new constraints.

   3.2. Creating stages

The stages configured here represent a range of stages that entities can go through. There are four different types of stages;

  • Start (This stage represents a starting stage for entities. This could e.g. be an “Idea” stage for a project)
  • StartAndStandard (This stage represents a stage that can be both a starting stage or a standard stage. An example could be an “Analysis” stage on a project)
  • Standard (this stage represents a standard stage. An example could be “Production” of a project)
  • End (this stage represents the end stage of the stage model. An example could be an “Archived” stage.

Please be advised that there must always be at least one Start or StartAndStandard stage, and at least one End stage in a stage model.

To add a new stage, follow these steps:

  1. From the “Stages”-section, click the “Add stage”-button.
  1. Use the “Title”-field to provide a title for the new stage.
  2. Select which stage type the new stage has. Available stage types are:
    • Start (the first stage)
    • StartAndStandard (A stage that can be either a first stage or a standard stage)
    • Standard (a standard stage)
    • End (the end stage)
  3. Optionally provide a Stage Link. A Stage Link is a link that can provide additional information about the stage.
  4. To finish creating the new stage, click the “Save”-button.

The stage is now displaying in the list of stages in the mail Stage Settings page with additional button to edit, delete, and sort. Here is shown an example of a stage called “Idea” which has a type of “StartAndStandard”:

   3.3. Creating transitions

In this example, six stages have been created for demonstration purposes; Idea, Analysis, Planning, Active, Closed, and Archived. This configuration is displayed in the Stages-section:

Transitions allow stages to change from one stage to another. Please be advised that a stage model must always end with an End stage.

To add a new transition, follow these steps:

  1. From the “Transitions”-section, click the “Add transition”-button.
  1. Select which stage this transition switches from.
  2. Select which stage this transition switches to.
  3. Optionally select a Workflow for the transition. This allows WorkPoint to start a workflow when the transition occurs, given that a workflow is set up. If no Workflow is available, select the “None Workflow “-option
  4. To finish creating the new transition, click the “Save”-button.

The new transition is displayed in the list of transitions in the main Stage Settings page:

 

A finished transition model based on the stages that were set up for this example would look something like this:

   3.4. Creating constraints

Constraints are used for settings up requirements for when one stage can transition to another. This is useful if e.g. a project can only transition to a specific stage if a quotation document is present on the case. This is done using a so-called CAML query. You can read about CAML queries and the language by visiting this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/schema/collaborative-application-markup-language-caml-schemas.

In this example, such a constraint is created. For the example, projects cannot change to the “Analysis”-stage unless there is a document called “Quote” present in the “Documents” list:

  1. From the “Constraints”-section, click the “Add constraint”-button.
  1. Add a title for the constraint. In this example a name of “Check for Quotation” is chosen.
  2. Select the stage to which this constraint should apply.
  3. Set the constraint active.
  4. Select whether a violation of the constraint should result in a warning or an error. Warnings can be ignored by the user. Errors cannot be bypassed. In this example, “Error” is selected.
  5. Select the “Constraint source” to be used for this constraint. If “List” is selected, the constraint will apply to one of the lists on the entity site. If “Metadata” is selected, the constraint applies to a specific metadata field on the entity site, which can be selected from a list. In this example, “List” is selected.
  6. Select the list for which the CAML query later specified will be run against. In this example, we want to see if a document named “Quotation” is filed in the “Documents”-library. Therefore, the “Documents” list is selected.
  7. Select the “DefinitionType” for this constraint. A value of “Required” means that the constraint is violated if no result is returned by the CAML query. A value of “Prohibited” means that the constraint is violated if the CAML query returns any element(s). In this example, we want the constraint to be violated if no element is returned. Therefore, “Required” is selected.
  8. The “Definition” holds the CAML query that is executed against the selected list in pt. 7. In this example, we want to make sure that a document called “Quotation” is filed, which is specified in the query. For more information on CAML queries and the language, visit this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/schema/collaborative-application-markup-language-caml-schemas. Various tools for creating CAML queries exist but are not directly endorsed by WorkPoint.
  9. Type in a message which the user will be presented with if violating the constraint. In this example, the message lets the user know that there was an error, and that there is no quotation document filed in the documents library. It is good practice to create informative error messages so that users know what to correct in order to successfully perform the operation they were trying to do.
  10. Complete configuring the constraint by clicking the “Save”-button.

The constraint now shows in the list of constraints in the main Stage Settings page:

4. End User Guide (Modern UI)

   4.1. General use

This end user guide follows through on the previous examples of this article. The configured stages, transitions, and constraint from pt. 3.1 through 3.4. are used in this user guide as well.

In the previous examples, stages, transitions, and constraints were set up for projects. In each project site, the stages are shown in the stages panel:

The current stage is underlined with bold text. The current stage also has an icon to the left of the stage name.

Stages can be changed through the “Change stage”-wizard, which can be accessed e.g. by setting up a button for it in the My Tools-menu, or simply by clicking an available appropriate stage in the Stage panel on an entity site.

An example of the later is shown in this image:

  1. Click an available stage that is eligible for transitioning. (Note that only stages that are ‘connected’ with the current stage via the stage model is clickable)
  2. Click the “Change stage”-button.

Pt. 2. opens the change stage-wizard:

  1. Select the stage to which the project should transition. Note that only eligible stages are available. In this example, we are trying to change the stage from “Idea” to “Analysis”. In pt. 3.4. we created a constraint which makes it impossible to transition to the “Analysis”-stage unless a document named “Quotation” in filed in the Documents library of the project.
  2. An error message is displayed, informing us that there is no quotation document filed in the Documents library of the project.
  3. We exit the wizard by clicking the “X”-button in the top-right corner.
  1. Now we have uploaded a document called “Quotation” in the Documents library of the project.
  2. Having uploaded the quotation document, we can access the change stage wizard again by clicking the “Analysis”-stage in the stage panel.
  3. Click the “Change stage”-button. Now that the requirements for transitioning to the “Analysis”-stage are met, the transition is performed immediately when the “Change stage”-button is clicked.

Note that transitioning may take a while. The following window is displayed when transitioning:

ChangingStage.gif

   4.2. Stage filtering

If staging is enabled on a WorkPoint solution, elements uploaded to or created on the solution are stamped with the current stage. This makes it possible to filter elements by stage, meaning that only the elements relevant for the current stage are displayed.

To enable stage filtering, follow these steps:

  1. Note the “Stage tag”-column and the values of the two documents in the documents library.
  2. Click the header of the current stage in the stage panel.
  3. Click the “Apply stage filter”-button.

Now, only documents with a Stage tag-value of “Analysis” is showing, as that is the current stage:

5. End User Guide (Classic UI)

   5.1. General use

In the Classic UI version of WorkPoint, the current and eligible subsequent stages are displayed in the following way:

Transitioning from the “Idea”-stage to the “Analysis”-stage can be done by clicking the “Analysis”-stage:

  1. Click the “Analysis”-stage.
  1. As previously mentioned in pt. 3.4. we created a constraint which made it impossible to change to the “Analysis”-stage unless there is a document named “Quotation” filed in the Documents list. This requirement is displayed if hovering the mouse over the “Check for Quotation”-constraint label. Clicking the “Change stage”-button will open the Change Stage wizard, which will show the same error message.
  1. We have now uploaded a document named “Quotation” in the Documents library of the project.
  2. We can now change the stage of the project to “Analysis” by clicking the stage and clicking the “Change stage”-button. Note that the stage transitioning does not require further prompts from the user – the stage is changed immediately when clicking the “Change stage”-button.

Note that transitioning may take a while. The following window is displayed when transitioning:

ChangingStage.gif

The stage is now transitioned, and eligible subsequent stages are shown again:

   5.2. Stage filtering

If staging is enabled on a WorkPoint solution, elements uploaded to or created on the solution are stamped with the current stage. This makes it possible to filter elements by stage, meaning that only the elements relevant for the current stage are displayed.

To enable stage filtering, follow these steps:

  1. Note the “Stage tag”-column and the values for the two documents in the Documents library.
  2. Click the current stage of the entity.
  3. Click the “Apply stage filter”-button.

Now, only documents with a Stage tag-value of “Analysis” is showing, as that is the current stage:

6. Notes

Note that Stage Management functionalities can be combined with various other WorkPoint functionalities. One such is the Action Management functionality. Examples of the interplay between Stage Management and Action Management are provided in the Action Management article, which is accessible here.

 

 

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