Basic Process for Building a Workflow

The scenario below will walk through creating a new workflow (not cloning an existing one) using a practical example that you can follow.

*Use the steps that apply, skip those that do not (e.g., new screens etc...)


Suppose you need a workflow that will create a new network email account and you don’t already have something similar that you can clone. You need to start from “scratch”.

In the request, you need to collect specialized information unique to that kind of request. You have already created the plan and change control document and are ready to start building.

You will first create a request screen set called ‘Network Accounts’ in System Administration and then complete all the other system admin settings needed to support this new workflow:

  • Email is a type of network account request – the type is selected on the screen itself during submission. You can either create a custom Drop-down with a pick list, or add it to your request Type Tier (recommended):

  • We will create “Network Account” as a general workflow and set of screens

  • We will use dynamic fields to get special information based on the type of network account being requested.

  • By doing it this way, you are able to use one workflow and one set of screens for other requests too.

  • You will build the physical screen(s) later.

Deep Link from one screen to another: PUSH and PULL data. Now, you may also have tasks and approvals that will need to see and pull data from that request, particularly since you are collecting specialized data on the request. You may also be collecting new data as part of task completion such as user ID and email addresses, for example, and you will want that filled out on the task and reflected back into the request, available to be embedded in emails etc.

If you set that ‘Network Account’ request screen as the parent to the task screen set(s) you are creating in system administration, everything works perfectly and you can “pull” data from the request into the task and “push” from the task up to the request including any custom fields you created for that specific request screen.

Example – The ‘Request Screen Set” really should say “Parent Request Screen Set”. That is in reality what it is.

Getting Started

For this section, we will continue with the example above.

System Settings to Support the Workflow

  1. In System Administration, create Workflow Management Groups necessary to assign tasks. These will likely very closely mirror your IPK Groups with a few exceptions

Admin – System Admin – Security – Workflow Management Groups

e.g., Global Approvers, CAB, Emergency CAB, Capital Finance, PMO, IAM (Identity & Access Management), Network Services, Service Desk, Procurement, etc.….

  1. In System Administration, create Screen Set(s) if you need special fields or just want a more ‘custom’ look and feel. For this scenario, you will create the screens.

Best Practice: Create Task Screen Set(s) following a standard naming convention.

Precede task screen names with TSK_

approval screen names with APP_

customer approval screen names as APP-C_

This is so when you are locating your screens later you can easily tell what the screens are in the drop-down – names can get truncated in order to fit your screen size and if you place it at the end, you might not be able to see it all).

  1. Enter Name e.g. “TSK_New Email Account”. If there are multiple tasks in the workflow and this screen set only applies to one task, name it specifically, for example “TSK_New Email Account Create”

  2. Click the dropdown and choose the Request Screen Set to link the Task Screen Set to the Request Screen Set, “Network Accounts”. You MUST set as the parent to the task the request screen set that goes to it.

  3. Repeat for approval and customer approval tasks screen sets

  4. If you have Internal Approvals and you want to put data from the request onto them – meaning the default screen is just too generic - create an Approval Screen Set named e.g. “APP_New Email Account”. Don’t forget to list its parent as the request screen set that goes with it. This is especially helpful for the approver to be able to see relevant data and make a decision without needing to go to the request itself.

  5. If you have customer approvals and want to put data from the request onto them as above, then create a Customer Approval Screen Set named e.g., “APP-C_New Email Account”. Don’t forget to list its parent as the request screen set that goes with it. This is especially helpful for the approver to be able to see relevant data and make a decision without needing to go to the request/approval on the portal itself.

Create Workflow Template (Request)

  1. Admin dropdown – Workflow Template

  1. Click New (or browse around and clone an existing template)

  2. Name the Template “Network Account Request” and determine which Workflow Process it should be in (dropdown); What if nothing seems ‘right’?

    • Create a new Workflow Process, if necessary, then come back to this step – Admin – System Admin – Workflow Management – Workflow Process

Setup the Workflow template defaults

  1. Assign to a Group by clicking the Assign Button.

  2. Choose a Status (usually “Submitted”, “Commissioned”, or “New”)

  3. Check email box if you wish to send an email to the group receiving the Request (NOTE: If you do, then do not add a messaging task to the same group that notifies of the request submission in the workflow palette else you will send 2 emails for the same thing).

    • However – should you wish to customize the email and its recipients, do not check the box and instead place configure the messaging task using the workflow palette.

  4. Click OK then on the main screen click “Save” (Workflow Template will close)

Build your screens in Screen Designer

  1. Admin dropdown – Designer

  1. Click Request on left pane

  1. Create your custom fields on the default Request screen set (this makes them available system-wide) – It is easy to find it if you use the filters as shown:

  1. Create your new Screen: Click the Screen Set dropdown and choose your Screen Set (there will not be any screens)

  1. Click Create button at the bottom of the screen

Select the following:

  1. Choose which Screen you want to create. You will create 3 screens for each Request, repeating the creation steps for each.

  • Request Details (Officer view) (as pictured above)

  • Request Submission (Customer Portal Submission)

  • Request Review (Customer Portal Review)

If using Nano, you will need to create the NANO screens as well.

Setup Task Screen Sets if needed in Designer

For Task Screen Sets it is exactly the same as creating requests, apart from selecting tasks instead. Click Task on the left pane

  1. Click Create and choose Task Details in Name dropdown

  2. “Copy from” Task Task Details

  3. For Approval Tasks – Also choose Task Details – “Copy from” Approval Task Details

  4. For Customer Approvals – Choose Approval Review – “Copy from” Customer Approval Task, Approval Review

  5. Open/create your new Request screen set (for our scenario it would be Network Accounts) and add your custom fields:

  6. Choose “Data Fields For” and then “Other Screen Sets”, then “Request” from the drop-down field picker. This displays all the custom fields you created at the “root” Request screen set.

    The reason we do it this way is this action makes all your custom fields available to all menus, system-wide.

Remember: To Link data from one screen to another for bi-directional updating, e.g., request to task and task to request **Always** link from Request to Task.

Do not create custom fields on the task and put them onto the request. All fields need to be created on the default Request screen (Request Request) then linked onto the Workflow’s Request screen set then to the task screens.

  1. Open and create your new task screen(s)

  • With your new task screen open in Designer, click into the field picker “Data Fields For” and choose the screen set drop-down for the Task’s Request.

  • All fields on the tasks parent Request will appear and be available for you to drag and drop onto the screen. Any updates made on either screen will be reflected on the other.

Best Practice: Create a standard naming convention so you can easily find all your fields: E.g., For the project to create a network account request, I might preface it with the project reference or the abbreviation and then the field name: ‘NA_Apps’ translates to Network Accounts Application(s) requiring access, which would be the label on the screen itself. You would create a multi-select look-up field to all CI and then filter it to only Applications once you put it on the screen.

TIP: Click the Custom Fields Radio Button and you will only see custom fields. System fields will be hidden making it easier to find fields you created.

Build Workflow, and update your spreadsheet as you go

  1. Reopen Template and Associate Screen Sets to Workflow Template (Request and Tasks)

    • Open Workflow Template

    • Click Screen Set on left hand pane

  2. Choose your screen set - This will link the screens you built to your workflow

  • Click Save Button on the Home Screen

  • Open each Task or Approval and repeat the process to associate the Screen Set(s). On tasks you may get a message that the Screen Set is incompatible. You can ignore this message.

  • Always click Save Button on the Home screen before you exit the workflow

  • Create your basic workflow with tasks, approvals, closures, and conditional branches.

Example - Drop all the tasks and approvals onto the pallet according to your diagram, don’t forget your recursions.

To learn about each task type, please see Managing Tasks in the Dependency Diagram and Task Types in the Task Palette

  1. Once you have drafted in the basic workflow, go back and complete all Task Information (Task Name, Task Description, Task Type, Task Phase, Request status on Completion, etc.). If these system-type dropdowns are not yet defined or a new one is needed, define them under Admin – System Admin – Workflow Management

  • Assign tasks to appropriate groups

  • Add Recipients for approvals and messages if possible

  • Save using the save button on the palette tool bar

  • Click the Save button at the bottom of the home screen.

  1. Capture the Tasks List: Go to the Request Details Home Screen

  • Scroll to the bottom and right click anywhere in the table on the Tasks tab and choose “Select All Records” and then Export to Excel (or .pdf). There are 18 columns by default but you can use the filter picker to decide what columns/data to display.

  • Repeat for the other tabs as necessary

  • This allows you to grab all the tasks you made and put them in your spreadsheet and you can now manage your workflows with the standard change process, ensuring that no matter who needs to modify them, all the details of the why and how are easily discerned.

  1. Be sure to click “SAVE” at the bottom of the home screen!