Process Management Framework

Article published on the 24th of January, 2022.

The contents of this article may be subject to change due to ongoing development of the Process Management product.


1. What is the Process Management Framework?

2. Key terms and concepts

   2.1. Process Builder

   2.2. Processes

       2.2.1. User Processes

       2.2.2. System Processes

   2.3. Steps

   2.4. Triggers

   2.5. Context

   2.6. HTTP Endpoints

1. What is the Process Management Framework?

Nearly all organizations have processes to ensure efficiencies, adherence to standards, processes which help them staying compliant, etc.

The Process Management Framework is designed to help customers get these processes automated as much as possible.

The Process Management Framework is a no-code WorkPoint aware solution for implementing and running processes. It is WorkPoint aware in that it knows about things like Projects or Clients that users are working on. Even the documents and tasks the users is working on - The Process Management framework knows about it.

Processes from the Process Management Framework can be triggered manually by clicking a button, but they can also run automatically based on events in WorkPoint.

Another focus when designing the Process Management Framework was that data capture such as registering a risk, creating an RFI, or starting an approval process, should be very easy.

Yet another key component is that Processes can integrate with other data sources (e.g. a Salesforce system) to look up and import information instead of the user having to copy and paste information manually. This makes the user's life easier and ensures that the information used is accurate.

The key benefits from the Process Management Framework, as mentioned, includes automation of processes. When we automate processes, we eliminate human error. More things can also be done quicker. When processes are automated in certain ways, we can also ensure quality and governance and prevent non-compliance.

Check out the following interview with WorkPoint CPO Dominick Cosgrove about the Process Management Framework:

2. Key terms and concepts

When working with the Process Management Framework, is it beneficial and indeed crucial to have an understanding of the terms used.

In this section, we will cover the most important terms and concepts.

   2.1. Process Builder

The Process Builder is the tool inside the WorkPoint 365 Administration where you can build processes for your WorkPoint solution.

The following image shows the front page of the Process Builder:

All work you do related to setting up processes, editing process, publishing process and similar is done in the Process Builder. The Process Builder should therefore be considered a tool for working with processes.

In addition to creating processes from scratch, it is possible to start from a template process, or even to import a process exported from some other WorkPoint solution.

   2.2. Processes

Processes are created, edited, and published from inside the Process Builder. They consist of one or more steps, which when put together attempts to automate some business process.

An example of a process could be one which created Projects based on data such as project title, project ID number and Project Manager, put into the system by a user.

Another example of a process could be one which automatically locks editing of projects when they enter a specific stage in their stage models, e.g a "Closed" stage.

These two examples also highlight two other key terms in the Process Management Framework: User Processes and System Processes.

       2.2.1. User Processes

User Processes include an input form where the user is required to enter some data for subsequent steps.

An example hereof could be the aforementioned process to create project entities in WorkPoint.

       2.2.2. System Processes

System Processes are triggered by an event in WorkPoint and executes steps which do not necessarily require input from the user.

An example hereof could be the aforementioned process to lock projects when they enter a "Closed" stage.

The following image shows the front page of the Process Builder with one of each type of processes:

Note that the groups "User Processes" and "System Processes" are customizable groups.

Also note that for System processes to be able to run, a user must be set up in "Connections".

   2.3. Steps

As previously mentioned process are built using steps.

The following image shows a process for creating Project entities in a Project Management solution:

  1. The process currently includes two steps: the "Entity input form" step in which the user can input meta data for a new project, and the "Create business module entity in WorkPoint" step, which creates a new business module entity, based on the meta data from the previous step.
  2. Additional steps can be added by clicking the +buttons. Steps can be added after the last step or between steps.

In relation to processes, steps refer to the individual steps which make up the processes. Each step has a function, which helps the process accomplish it's goal. Each step also has settings related to it.

In the following image, we have added another step which sends e-mails:

In the image above, the "Send Mail Action" step is selected, revealing settings for the step. The settings are dependent on the step, meaning different steps have different settings.

In this case, the Send Mail Action step has settings for title and description, but also for e-mail relevant data such as recipient(s) (the "To", "CC" and "BCC" fields), subject, and e-mail body.

Some input fields also have special functionalities indicated by icons to the right of the fields:

Special configuration allows you to import data from context (explained in a later section) or using expressions using the "Adaptive Expressions" language.

You can read more about the Adaptive Expressions language here.

   2.4. Triggers

In the Process Management Framework, triggers are special steps which allow for execution of a series of steps when certain conditions are met.

Triggers are used in System processes only.

WorkPoint's event receivers register events happening in the WorkPoint system. If an event matches a Process Management Framework trigger, the subsequent steps of the process are executed.

Here are some examples of triggers in the Process Management Framework:

  • Item updated trigger
  • Entity updated trigger
  • Stage changed trigger

As previously mentioned, triggers may execute the steps in the process when certain trigger conditions are met. For example, using the "Item updated trigger", a configuration could be made which executes if a task on a process is updated and as it's status changed to "Completed".

Another example could be a "Stage changed trigger" which executes a series of steps when cases change to a specific stage, sending an e-mail to the case responsible.

   2.5. Context

Context is a kind of a storage for data related to a process, local to the process itself.

This means that when a process is started and is running, the Context can store data about the user who started the process or perhaps a Business Module ID. In addition, the Context can store output data from steps in the process, which can then be used by subsequent steps.

To exemplify the use of the Context, we take a look at a process to create Projects in a Project Management solution.

This process could include two steps: a step where the user provides some meta data for the project, e.g. project title, Project Manager, and the project's objective. This data is stored into the Context storage.

In the subsequent step which actually does the work of creating an entity in a Projects module, this step can grab the output from the previous step (which holds the meta data for the project) and create a new business module entity based on the output from the previous step.

In the following image, a step which created business module entities, uses the input from a previous user input form in the "Step Input" field:

   2.6. HTTP Endpoints

HTTP Endpoints can be used in processes in order to get data from external data sources.

An example of this could be a form where the user can input entity data, perhaps in a process which creates new companies in WorkPoint.

Using an HTTP endpoint, the user can look up information in another system. An example of this could be an address information provider, which can be used to fill in company address in a form.

This can greatly improve the experience of users when running processes for various purposes.

The following image shows how the user would experience a form using an information provider of "CVR numbers" in Denmark:

Note the search icon to the right of the "Company ID" field in the form. Clicking this icon opens the search panel seen in the right of the form. Here we can search for companies (in this case "WorkPoint"), which gives us the corresponding CVR number.

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