Content

How can workflow help with your project management

Workflow is a very helpful tool, which is used for managing status transitions and field permissions. It is accessible from the administration (it can be managed only by an administrator).

Easy Project - Workflow

This tool gives you the power to set which role is able to change certain task statuses, or fill in which fields under a certain tracker. For example, it is particularly useful in software development. The workflow has two basic functions.

Status transitions

Here you choose a user role and a tracker and then set which status changes are allowed to be done by this role on this tracker. The column on the left represents the current status of the task and the columns to the right represent the possible status changes that can be chosen (see below).

You may set up, for example, that a task status cannot be changed to “Done” unless it has been checked first by a supervisor or CTO. In order to achieve that, select a combination of the appropriate tracker and the user role (such as the "task" tracker and the "portfolio manager" role) and uncheck the appropriate box to define permission to change the status for the selected combination.

Easy Project - Workflow - Task status transitions

Easy Project - Workflow - Task status transitions

Field permissions

Here again, you choose a role and a tracker. The left column represents the standard fields and custom fields, which you have created. On the right, you can select if the field should be accessible in standard mode (blank fields - nothing is selected), read-only mode, or required mode (see below).

  • Read only - the user will not be able to change this field if the task is set to “read-only” mode. For example, you cannot change a tracker unless the task is prepared for inspection (status is set to “to-check”)
  • Required - the field in this mode has to be filled in, otherwise, the task cannot be saved

Easy Project - Workflow - Task fields permissions

Easy Project - Workflow - Task fields permissions

It is recommended to be careful when selecting the read-only or required fields. So that you accidentally don´t prevent your users from actual working. In one case, we dealt with a problem, when our customer set the standard fields “Subject” and “description” into Read-Only when the status is "New", which also applies to creation of a new task. Because the users were not allowed to edit these fields, they could not create a new task because a task cannot be created without a subject.

Tips and tricks

If a status is not to be used under a tracker at all, make sure to deselect respected checkboxes in a cross formation.

Use case 1 - Configure a chain of approval

Below is an example of how the chain of approval works. Each role (e.g. representative, manager, technician, etc…) may only change the status of a task in a certain way that ensures the process is smooth and there are no internal conflicts. For example, only the representative who is in direct contact with the customer may change status to “Done” once the whole process is finished and once the client has been informed. While only manager may approve or decline particular requests initiated by the client.

The client initiates a new request (task), the representative then replies to the client that the request has been forwarded for further approval and marks it with the “Waiting for approval” status. The manager has a list of all the requests (tasks) which are marked as “waiting for approval”. Once he decides whether or not the respective request shall be approved for further action(s), he then changes the status of the request (task) accordingly to either “Approved” or “Declined”.

The technician has a list where all the “approved” requests are shown. He continuously works on these and once he is finished with any, he changes its status to “To check and invoice”. At this moment, the request (task) is shown in the representative´s list who double-checks the work of the technician. If all the requirements of the client are met, he marks the task as “done” and informs the client accordingly.

Use case 2 - Force users to enter important data - required

In order to obtain certain data that are crucial to you, you may make certain fields mandatory, this can be done by setting such a field to “Required” status. For example, when you need the date of birth of your client (e.g. in order to establish whether the client is of legal age) you may set the “Date of birth” field as “Required” so that the client may not proceed without duly filling-in such field first.

Use case 3 - Disable unauthorized users to change important data - read-only

Be careful as subject and description must be enabled in a new task. Certain users are allowed only to perform certain actions and they may not edit or remove important information, this can be achieved by enabling the “Read-only” mode.

For example, if a customer fills-in his or her date of birth, then such field may be set to a Read-only mode in order to prevent an accidental loss of such data. Alternatively only a manager (or any other suitable person) may be enabled to change/remove this data while others cannot.

Use case 4 - Disable unnecessary status on the type of work where you do not need it

Status “code review” is important for the IT department, but not for other departments. IT specialists will be able to use the "Code review" status, but users from other departments will not have access to it.

 

Read also "How can you benefit from Alerts - Early Warning System?".

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