A workflow is simply a series of steps that a report, inspection or other information follows until complete and closed. Most workflows involve only one or two steps. Others can have multiple steps and involve people with different roles. A variety of information could be added to a workflow or report as it transitions through its steps, such as adding comments and documents or assigning actions.
Workflows are often used for the submission of Equipment Pre Start checklists, Site Safety Inspections and the management of Projects. Safety Incidents Reports also use workflows.
A workflow consists of:
- A Class – the page of details entered by a user that initiates the workflow.
- A process – the steps, transition options, participants and information tabs.
- A type – The names and locations of the buttons to initiate the workflow and view the submitted items.
Workflows start out as a page of information that moves through a series of steps, such as review, add information or make a decision (approve or reject). Typically workflows are used to submit reports, inspections and prestarts, incident reports, meeting records and activity reports.
Workflows provide supervisors and managers with a means of:
- Managing business processes in a consistent way.
- Providing supervisors and managers visibility and control over the quality and safety of activities.
- Providing team members with efficient tools to submit information and request approvals from their team leader or supervisor.
These guides explain how to configure workflows. Alternatively a PeopleTray service provider can assist. Once they are configured to your needs, workflows help your fields teams and supervisors perform their roles efficiently, safely and in an approved, consistent way.
A workflow starts with a page of information that is entered by the initiator of the workflows for:
- Safety incident and hazard reports
- Construction site or equipment inspections
- Activity reports
- Travel or purchase approval requests
The information may then transition through several steps.
Example 1. Safety workflows
A person (workflow initiator) reports a safety incident or submits a site inspection checklist.
The information could go to a person that reviews or approves the information.
- The reviewing person could view then forward to another person who investigates or manages an issue raised by the workflow information. E.g. fix or guard a faulty machine. Or;
- The reviewing person could return the report to the initiator to ask for more information. Or;
- The reviewing person could make a decision such as approve or reject a request or suggestion. Or;
- The reviewing person could close or discard the workflow.
During the life of a workflow, users can do things like add documents, images or assign actions that address issues raised by the workflow.
Different people could be assigned a workflow at different steps.
Workflows can be very simple or have multiple steps according to the business requirement.
Example 2. A person requests approval to travel to site or for business reasons.
An example of a Workflow is that a person requests to go on a business trip which requires approval. He or she initiates the request (Workflow), entering the reason and estimated cost of the trip and submits the request. The first step of the workflow is the traveller’s Manager, who has a choice of:
- Approving the request and forwarding it to the Finance or Travel Administrator.
- Rejecting the request.
- Returning the request to the Initiator with comments and asking for more information.
At each step the participants can add comments, documents or actions.
What does a workflow look like?
Let’s take a look at a simple workflow as it appears to users.
A user initiates a workflow from the ‘Submit New …’ buttons on the left menu, or from the blue buttons on a mobile. The next image shows the buttons on desktop. The following image show the same buttons as displayed on the mobile menu:
The initiate workflow buttons on mobile menu:
The next image is the page that displays when a user initiates a weekly report:
When the Submit Report button is clicked, the report the users supervisor. This workflow is configured to allow actions, documents and comments to be added to the report:
Note the appearance of:
- The green, blue and red buttons for sending the report to a different workflow step.
- The tabs for entering documents, actions and comments.
- The buttons on the top right to view the History and Progress of the report.
Any user can view and manage their reports, checklists and requests by either:
- Clicking the workflow alerts on their Home Page.
- On the menu, clicking My Tasks > Workflows.
Either option will open the page where the user can add information or manage their workflows.
The form shows:
- My Tasks: Your list of workflow tasks.
- My Submissions: Workflows that you have initiated.
- My Approvals : A list of your approval requests
Team Leaders/Workgroup Editors will see a tab for Workflows that have been submitted by the members of their Workgroup.
Next we look at the components of a workflow – Classes, Processes and Types.