What’s new – Workflow experience enhancements

What’s it called?

This feature (still in preview at time of writing) is called ‘Workflow experience enhancements’, you can find it in the feature management workspace.

Why should I be interested?

There’s a small, seemingly minor, change in this feature which will be of value to anyone who uses any sort of workflow in the system that needs users to log in for approvals.

The second part of this feature will be of value to anyone who has personnel actions enabled and links to workflow. Particularly if the users who are reviewing the personnel action generated workflows are not regular (anything less than daily) users of the system.

What does it do?

Enabling this feature does two things:

It immediately moves the left hand ‘Work items assigned to me’ pane on the default dashboard from the left hand column to the right hand column, above the ‘to do list’ pane. This means all the triggers that prompt a user to do something are now located in the same part of the screen, making it more intuitive and easier to use.

The default dashboard for an employer with ‘Manager’ permissions changes from this:

To this:

Screenshot showing default dashboard with workflow enhancements feature enabled

It also changes the options workflow participants (submitter, approver, etc) experience. In my experience, new users find workflow a little confusing. The button to trigger the next step in the workflow doesn’t particularly stand out on the page and so it’s easily missed, particularly on personnel actions workflows, where there’s a save button and a workflow button. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched users hit save and then wonder why the workflow isn’t triggered (so many times that it’s now a key part of any end user training sessions I run, including how to find the draft action and submit it to workflow after the fact).

With this feature enabled, as well as the original workflow button (the white one on the toolbar) you now get a big blue button directly on the form:

This feature is still in preview, so I haven’t tested it in a real world situation yet, but instinct says this will make it much clearer to users when a workflow is attached to a form, and how to trigger it.

How do I set it up?

Go to the feature management workspace (System Administration > Feature Management) and locate the feature in the list. For me it was in ‘New’, but for you it may be in ‘Not enabled’. Enable the feature. No additional set up is required.

Anything else I should be aware of?

Always.

Currently the workflow enhancements do not apply to all workflows. At the moment it’s aimed at workflows that can be linked to personnel actions, so you won’t see any changes on, for example, leave request approvals. I’m told that the scope is being broadened though and that leave requests are definitely in the plan.

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