Note: It is only possible to start pre-configured Approval Workflows. These are configured in the ‘Approval Workflows app’.
The following 3 steps must be performed before Approval Workflows can be used:
Who may configure Approval Workflows
Only members specified in the ‘Configuration’ tab can configure Approval Workflows.
- Manager: these individuals can do anything within the Approval Workflows app.
- Coordinators: can be assigned to an Approval Workflow Group by the ‘Manager’. Within such a group, they can:
- Define approval workflows that can later be used by FCC users.
To begin, an FCC System Administrator must associate a “Manager” with the Approval workflow app. This by:
- Open the Approval workflow app.
- Go to tab ‘Configuration’
- click on the ‘Members’ button
- click on the ‘+’ sign and choose the person who will become ‘Manager’ of this app from the name with users.
Once the linked ‘Manager’ then starts FCC and clicks on the app selector (top left of the screen), the icon for the Approval Workflows app appears in the pull-down menu. By opening the app, the linked ‘Manager’ can then add other ‘Managers’ and ‘Coordinators’ in the same way as described above.
Configuring Groups, Roles and Categories
Users can only use pre-configured Approval Workflows. This configuration takes place in the ‘Approval Workflows app’.
How to configure approval workflows
- Groups can be created in the ‘Approval Workflows app’.
- In these Groups, Approval Workflows (called categories) can be configured.
- In such an Approval workflow, you can indicate which roles/persons should give their advice or approval when in the process (consecutively or simultaneously).
The Approval workflow configured here is stored under a distinct name. From then on, the configured workflow will be selectable by FCC users when starting an Approval workflow.
The idea behind using Groups is that in it all the Approval Workflows belonging to, for example, one portfolio or organizational unit can be configured and managed.
In the ‘Approval Workflows app’ tab ‘CONFIGURATION’ Groups can be created. To do this, press the ‘+ Add Group’ button.
When you create a Group, a Coordinator can also be associated with it. This person can then configure workflows and manage started workflows for that Group only.
Configuring Roles and Approval Workflows
Note: Categories = Approval Workflows
In Approval Workflows, people make judgments based on their roles. These roles are included in the Approval Workflows to be configured.
It is best practice to link the fixed roles (such as portfolio manager or MT members) to people in this way. This is because if the role is taken over by another employee you can easily swap the name here which will immediately include the right person in all the Workflows that are still running and to be started.
For less fixed roles (e.g., steering committee members who may be different on each project), don’t do this. When configuring the workflow, it is possible to set per step whether you want to work with roles or with selectable persons.
A role definition is always 1-to-1 with a person. For example, if there are 2 architects who will be involved in approvals, then create 2 roles: one for Architect A and one for Architect B.
When defining a Role, enter:
- Name: clear name of the role that is recognizable to all.
- Approver: name of the person now associated with this role
- Backup approver: optionally you can include to reserve approver. If the primary approver is (temporarily) unable to handle the request, the coordinator can forward it to the reserve approver.
Configuring Categories (Approval Workflows)
After the preparations, the actual Approval Workflows can now be configured. It can consist of up to 5 sequential steps. Per step, multiple roles/persons may be linked that may review or advise in parallel or sequentially.
How the workflow can be configured is best explained using the example below.
Attached is an example of a Change Request workflow with 3 sequential steps:
In this first step, the employees with the role of ‘Controller’ and ‘Enterprise architect’ are asked to provide Parallel (independent of each other) Advice.
Once both specialists have submitted their recommendations, Step 2 begins.
With the opinions of the two specialists from Step 1, the steering committee members of the project are asked to give approval (sequentially) one after the other. No specific Roles with names have been filled in here because the staffing of the steering committee may be different for each project. After all, here you are configuring the workflow generically. It is important to clearly label this so that the user knows which individuals to enter.
If you start this workflow from a project, the user is asked who the steering committee members are that need to review.
A final test in this example is done by the person with the Role Portfolio Manager. If this person also agrees, this Approval workflow is complete.
Incorporation of the ‘Approval Segment’ into the canvas of the Portfolio and Project model
Approval workflows can be started from Portfolio items as well as from the Projects. Regardless of which side the workflows are started on, they are immediately visible on both sides (both Portfolio item and associated Project).
The canvas used with Portfolio items and Projects can include a segment for the Approval workflow (for more information on canvases, see “How to create a canvas in the portfolio funnel“)
Note: for Projects, you need to include the canvas segment for Approval in the ‘Project Model‘.
When defining a canvas, after clicking ‘ADD SEGMENT’, under ‘Type’, choose ‘Approval’. The following configuration screen then appears:
Important to fill in here is:
- Group: choose the Group with the Approval Workflows you want to use in this portfolio here.
- Categories: within a Group, various Approval Workflows (=Categories) can be available. Normally you choose that all available workflows can be used but you can also constrain this by making a selection.
- Allow expedited review: Allows you to shorten the process if the workflow is rejected and resubmitted. The roles of the steps that have already been performed can be chosen so that in parallel they can only approve the changes. This speeds up the workflow on the second run through.
Notifications are sent by email to those affected. These notifications include a link to the workflow.