03 01 whatisworkflow


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  • To be successful it is necessary that the management supports workflow projects actively. Every department must have an active part in the development process. Every employee should bring in his/her knowledge and experiences.
  • SAP Business Workflow functionality integrates and complements the available comprehensive business functionality of the R/3 system. Integration of organizational management in SAP Business Workflow allows tasks to be linked with agents by an organizational assignment. Workflow management systems are used to realize Business Process Reengineering Projects in the context of electronic processing Allow quick and flexible adoption to changed organizations and requests Support the end user Make cross-application process control possible
  • Workflow management systems are information technology tools for the technological implementation of Business Process Reengineering. The aim of workflow management systems is to support business processing comprehensively, to make information accessible quickly, and to dramatically reduce throughput times and the times involved in waiting and in transport.
  • Information is readily available to the responsible agent Notification of a task to perform is immediate Task specific help for your company is available
  • Modification of the workflow definition is available with a graphical editor. Changes to organizational structures are picked up automatically at run time. No changes to workflows are necessary. Object oriented design
  • Workflow cannot be used to fill in missing SAP functionality. If you cannot perform a function manually, you cannot perform it with workflow. You must code the functionality first and then can take advantage of it with workflow.
  • A change to a material master record can trigger a workflow automatically. Flexible triggering event creation is available in workflow.
  • A workflow glossary is available to help distinguish terminology. You will find the glossary in the 18th section of this manual as well as in the online documentation.
  • The workflow definition controls the business process including the order in which the individual pieces of work are executed and any temporary data needed along the way. The workflow container is used to hold all temporary data. The workflow definition consists mainly of steps . Steps have different types with individual symbols. The workflow can be triggered by events , which are shown with an own symbol. Steps may be control logic (e.g. if amount > $1000 follow “Approval required” path, else follow “No approval needed” path) or actual pieces of work to be done (e.g. approve requisition), which we call tasks .
  • The Workflow Builder is the central tool of the SAP Business Workflow that allows you to create, modify, test or display a workflow definition.
  • Events tell the workflow something has happened so that the workflow can react. Events are system-wide and public (e.g. “requisition created” via transaction). You can use an event, to start a workflow An outcome is a possible result of a step. You can define an own reaction in the workflow for each outcome.
  • Events are defined as components of object types in the Business Object Builder and describe the status changes of objects. If a status change was carried out on an object and this is to be made known system wide, an event is created by the respective application.
  • This question refers to each single piece of work that needs to be done (tasks). A task might execute a transaction, a report, a function module, run a routine in an external system, update a spreadsheet, or simply act as a reminder to perform a manual task. For reasons of convenience, consistency and reusability of the logic required to perform the transaction/report/etc. is coded using object-oriented techniques ( methods of business objects ). A task may act as a mini standalone workflow. For example, IDoc Error Processing where we just want to notify someone that an error has occurred. If a task needs to be performed by an actual person (rather than by the system in background), then an agent needs to be assigned. At runtime the task generates a work item in the agent’s Business Workplace. This work item not only notifies the agent that they need to do something, it also brings the necessary instructions to them and allows them to execute the piece of work directly from the work item.
  • Any type of related information which can be accessed uniquely under an identifying key is an Object . Objects are created at runtime and are the specific instances of a previously defined object type which have been assigned values. Object Types are the generic descriptions of an object. Object Types are described and implemented in the Business Object Builder by specifying their components.
  • A task refers to an Object and one of the Object's Methods Tasks are used to process a business process. A business process may require only a single task to be executed (single step task). If you need several tasks, you can combine them within a workflow .
  • To decide who should receive a work item and therefore perform the task, we use organizational plans and roles . (Note: HR is not needed to do this. It is delivered with the Basis system). The organizational plan details the relationships between different departments, sections and teams (which are called organizational units ) within your company. Within an organizational unit positions indicate the “physical desk” at which a user (assigned holder of a position) sits, while jobs are used to generically describe a number of positions. E.g. job - clerk: position - Accounts payable clerk 1. Tasks can be assigned to organizational units, positions and jobs. Everyone assigned to a task via the organizational plan will receive a work item. If certain users should receive the work item based on runtime data, a role (which is a piece of the logic) can be created.
  • Your business process can be converted into a workflow. Each step in the process will be converted into a step in the workflow. The Workflow Builder can be used to order your steps. Events are used to trigger the workflow. Responsibility is assigned at the step level.
  • The disadvantages of the current methods of processing activities are eliminated to a large extent by a Workflow Management System incorporating the functions described here. SAP Business Workflow contains the “electronic equivalents” of these functions. When you are modeling a new business process, you can examine and copy an existing one. For example, you can approve an object (e.g., invoice) by means of a sequential or parallel double verification principle if the order value exceeds a certain amount. In this way, the transparency of organizational principles is guaranteed. In the case of purchase orders, you can find out how far the order has been processed to date - a feature that is particularly important for customer service or when answering customer queries. Even “completed” data is still available for processes that have already been terminated. By using the relevant components, such as the Workflow Information System, you can isolate weak points and therefore optimize the process.
  • The deadline monitoring function is a means of monitoring a process with the ability of initiating escalation procedures. A company, for example, aims to answer customer queries or issue an invoice one week after the purchase order has been received. An escalation procedure also ensures that a specific employee is notified in cases such as these. This type of escalation (automatic notification), for example, can also be reused in other processes. The employee responsible - either for processing the object or for escalation procedures etc. - is determined automatically at runtime, either from the organizational structure or from the role resolution. For example, a person could be responsible for verifying invoices by virtue of the fact that he or she belongs to a certain department in the Organizational Management. Alternatively, the person responsible when a deadline is exceeded could be determined by the role of the superior of the current auditor.
  • Insurance companies were probably one of the first sectors to demonstrate the advantages of a seamless handling chain. Here, clerks are responsible for customer acquisition, concluding contracts, and providing after-sales support. This contradicts the basic principles of Taylorism, in that the clerk must carry out these tasks across several applications and functions. The functional user guidance principles in the R/3 System allow you to distribute these tasks, e.g., in HR: notifications of absence can be entered outside HR by the end user in SD: external ordering tasks, etc.
  • A workflow can trigger another workflows by raising an event. A business object type is defined by entities and relationships by the data model. A task as a step in a workflow has one primary method and it can have one or more secondary methods as well as methods, which will be executed before or after executing the primary method.
  • 03 01 whatisworkflow

    1. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Contents: </li></ul><ul><li>What is SAP Business Workflow? </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of Workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Workflow Terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages of Using Workflow </li></ul>
    2. 3. Introduction: Section Objectives <ul><li>At the conclusion of this section, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>Describe SAP Business Workflow concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Define the basic SAP Business Workflow terminology </li></ul>
    3. 4. Problems of Office and Administration Processes Long lead times due to high transport and wait times Lack of transparency of processes connected to high work distribution Historically grown task assignments Paper and microfiche archives without quick and secure access Inefficient communication between process participants Data entered more than once Goal: Reorganize your business processes
    4. 5. Goals of Reorganizing Business Processes Increase the transparency of the procedures used Increase employees’ responsibility Focus on the interests of the customer Better quality management Focus on net product of processes Workflow systems can help you to reach the goals
    5. 6. SAP Business Workflow Designed to handle all process dimensions <ul><ul><li>The Process (Business) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The People (Organization) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Impact (Process Information) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. What Can a Workflow Management System Do? <ul><li>A Workflow Management System facilitates the electronic processing of structured processes which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include a range of activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always occur in a similar or identical form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involve several people or departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require a high degree of coordination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow Management Systems control processes according to a predefined model and are especially suited to structured organizations </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Use of workflow - Business Process Reengineering <ul><li>Potentials for saving according to surveys 50-90% work time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10-75% increase in production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20-40% reduction of handling charges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30-50% reduction of office space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example: If you use workflow in the context of document management, you can often reach the return of investment after 6 - 8 months </li></ul>
    8. 9. Workflow Benefits for the End User <ul><li>Faster, simpler access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Less effort for administrative tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Easier learning and understanding of processes </li></ul>
    9. 10. Workflow Benefits for Management <ul><li>Better control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of deadlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of service levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of processing costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flexible change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>of processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of underlying technology </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Workflow Benefits for the Company <ul><li>Increase production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearing backlog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution of information and work: Every user gets his worklist automatically from the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accelerating the processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>you will get cash discount more often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>better/quicker reaction to errors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Customers are more satisfied </li></ul><ul><ul><li>processes are more quickly finished </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>better return on information </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. Workflow is NOT ... <ul><li>Simply document administration and imaging; although Workflow uses both! </li></ul><ul><li>Standard E-mail and groupware: although Workflow uses these! </li></ul><ul><li>Data distribution across multiple systems: EDI / ALE is used for this purpose, but Workflow can support this option! </li></ul><ul><li>Screen sequence management within a transaction </li></ul><ul><li>Management of temporary data </li></ul><ul><li>Management of “one time” processes </li></ul><ul><li>Repetitive work of a single type, e. g., goods movements </li></ul><ul><li>A tool to fill functionality gaps! </li></ul>
    12. 13. Domains of workflow Approval procedures - purchase requisition - park invoice - notification of absence - notification of travel Optimize the distribution of information Managing single processes Workflows to manage complex processes Deadline monitoring - Escalation procedures Error/exception handling - incorrect EDIs - follow-on functions on expensive orders - follow-on functions regarding credit limit - follow-on functions if defined limits reached Automatic system activities - print and send reports - automatic archiving of data - automatic booking of data (see CATTs) Information flow - on field changes - on status changes - on changes of sensitve data Document handling - early archiving - procedures based on forms - use of circulars Automatic help - customizing help - help in cases of error Internet Scenarios Master data maintenance - customer master - material master - vendor master Cross-application processes - administration of applicants - check quotations - process change service
    13. 14. SAP Business Workflow’s Purpose <ul><li>To Streamline a Business Process </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure Correct Business Processes are Followed </li></ul><ul><li>Formally Define and Implement a Business Process </li></ul>
    14. 15. A Business Process as a Workflow in SAP SD-Clerk Application Change Customer Master Change document Workflow Flexible Link ... new major customer Prod. Manager Credit-clerk Sales Rep. Change Production plan Adjust Credit limit Arrange visit
    15. 16. SAP Business Workflow Terminology Object Agent Task Role Step Event Workflow Workitem Business Workplace
    16. 17. Five Questions for Each Part of a Business Process Who Should? Do What? To What? When? In What Order? ?
    17. 18. In What Order? <ul><li>Workflow Definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Controls the Business Process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consists of steps </li></ul><ul><li>Can be triggered by events </li></ul>
    18. 19. Workflow Definition: Workflow Builder (In What Order?) Workflow -Definition Triggering Event Step Symbol for start and end of Workflow Workflow Builder: <ul><li>Navigation and display area </li></ul><ul><li>Print: local / R/3 spool / file </li></ul><ul><li>Checking and activating </li></ul>
    19. 20. When? <ul><ul><li>Tells the workflow that something has happened </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow can be started (triggering event) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step can be ended (terminating event) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wait step for reacting to an event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step type Event creator </li></ul></ul>out- come3 out- come1 out- come2 shows different results of a step Event Outcome
    20. 21. Event: Examples (When) <ul><li>Parked document posted </li></ul><ul><li>Order canceled </li></ul><ul><li>Customer master data changed </li></ul><ul><li>Budget limit reached </li></ul><ul><li>Requisition approved </li></ul>Events can start and terminate workflows or tasks These events are public events, since they belong to an object type.
    21. 22. Do What? To What? <ul><li>Activity/Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Execute a Transaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Execute a Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Execute a Function Module </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run a Routine in an External System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Update a Spreadsheet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Document generation </li></ul><ul><li>User decision </li></ul><ul><li>automatic control steps </li></ul>Event
    22. 23. Examples of Object Types (What?) <ul><li>SAP Business Object types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invoice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requisition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archived documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EDI messages (IDocs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documents from PC office applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Object Methods (Do What?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post (the invoice) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approve (the requisition) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change (the material) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display (the image) </li></ul></ul>
    23. 24. Single-step Task: Examples <ul><li>Post invoice </li></ul><ul><li>Release requisition </li></ul><ul><li>Change material master </li></ul><ul><li>Approve absence </li></ul>
    24. 25. Who Should? <ul><li>Organizational Plan and Roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To Decide who Should Receive a Work Item and Perform a Task </li></ul></ul>
    25. 26. Putting the Pieces Together... Workflow Task agent Object typ Method The process design must... ... be defined as task or workflow in SAP R/3 Individual activities in the process must be available as tasks before being included in workflow definitions A single-step task refers to an object type and one of its methods... ... which enables access to existing SAP functionality! Event Workflow- Definition
    26. 27. Advantages of Using Workflow (1) <ul><li>Transparent business processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For modeling and defining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rules, templates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>organizational principles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At runtime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>current status </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>of a certain business object </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the entire process </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Afterwards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>weak-point analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>optimization and adaptation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    27. 28. Advantages of Using Workflow (2) <ul><li>Deadline monitoring (max. processing time) </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic notification </li></ul><ul><li>Task assignment according to responsibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Along the organizational structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job description, requirements profile </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inheritance hierarchy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational principles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attributes of business objects, task assignment according to responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul>
    28. 29. Advantages of Using Workflow (3) <ul><li>Seamless handling procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use (e.g., occasional users) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides the task and all the available information directly to the user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanations and instructions are supplied with the task </li></ul></ul>
    29. 30. Business Objects and Event-driven Workflow Customer Material Vendor Order Purchase order
    30. 31. Introduction: Section Summary <ul><li>Active flow of information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to the right people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at the right time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in the right format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in the right quantity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Better Return on Information </li></ul>
    31. 32. SAP Workflow Course PwC Consulting TM refers to the management consulting services businesses of the member firms of the worldwide PricewaterhouseCoopers organisation.  2001 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved.