You can use a case as a small collaboration space for a particular goal (like “Hire employee”, or “Sign contract”, for example). Cases typically represent more work than a simple task for a single person, but less than a whole project. A case breaks the goal down into concrete action items (or tasks) so you can collaborate with other people. The case brings together a set of tasks, a discussion and documents, and allows participants to share any relevant context information for the tasks.
Starting an ad-hoc case¶
Signavio Workflow Accelerator supports two types of cases: cases that relate to a process and ad-hoc cases. An ad-hoc case does not have a predefined process. It creates a collaboration space that you can use to reach a one-off goal.
To create a new ad-hoc case, navigate to Cases; on the Cases of menu, select Cases without a process, then click Start new case.
Then the case header appears.
Next, type the case title and hit Enter. Workflow Accelerator now creates the new case.
Starting a new process case¶
A process case uses the latest version of the workflow defined by a published process. It creates a collaboration space for working towards a predefined goal.
You can create a new process case by selecting the Start new case button in one of three places:
- In the process builder, on the Versions page, next to the latest published version
- On the Processes page, next to the name of each published process
- On the cases overview page, for the selected process.
The Cases view shows an overview of cases for a single process. To open the Cases view, select Cases from the main menu.
The table shows cases for the Hire employee process. You can use the menu above the table to select a different process, ad hoc cases that don’t have a process, or cases of a deleted process. Each case in the table show the case name, grey and purple task status bars, and additional columns that show the values of workflow variables.
The grey and green status bars show information about completed and open tasks when you hover the mouse cursor over them.
These status bars appear in the upper right of the workflow data columns, which you can customize.
Use the linked case name to open the case’s details page.
Configuring case view table columns¶
The Cases view’s table includes columns for workflow variables, which usually correspond to form fields on a trigger form or in a user task. You can select which fields the Cases view shows as table columns, so you can have a clear overview of the process’ cases.
To customize the table columns, open the Cases view and click the top-right Configure columns button.
Use the drag icon on the far left of the list of columns to change the column order, and click the delete icon on the far right to remove a column. You can also use the text box to edit the column’s heading.
Below the list of columns, you’ll find a menu for selecting additional column to add to the table.
The menu lists all of the workflow variables that the table does not currently include. In this example, the Interviewer variable has the type User, which means that you can access additional fields for the user’s email address, first name, ID and last name.
Viewing case details¶
The Case details view displays all tasks in a table, along with important information like creation date, closing date, and due date. It also shows the current milestones of a case. You can change the priority and due dates for a case in this view. The name of the process the case belongs to is displayed above the case name.
Each case has an info panel, which itself is divided into three panels: core information, comments, and history. Whenever you open one of these panels, your selection is stored in your user preferences. The next time you open the case details view, the panel you selected in your previous session will open by default.
Hover over a history panel entry to open a pop-up that shows its exact date and time.
Viewing case history¶
The case history panel shows a timeline of events in a selected case. You can limit the information shown in the case history panel to just uploaded documents or submitted forms. To see the timestamp of an event, hover your cursor over it in the timeline.
When looking at a task, the case history panel will by default show only events related to the selected task. You can reset this by simply clicking the this case tab.
Note that by default, events in the history panel that include forms are collapsed by default. To view the form data, just click on the event.
Other open activities¶
The case view contains the Task list. This list shows all open and closed tasks in a case. Subprocesses are listed under the Subprocess heading.
In most cases, completing the last task will close the case. However, sometimes a case must wait for a sub-process, or some other activity that doesn’t correspond to a task in the Tasks list, to complete before closing. In these situations, you can close the open activity manually. These activities are usually timers, such as an Intermediate timer event. They can be found under the Other open activities heading, along with any execution errors that occurred during the process. To skip a timer, click the Skip button located next to the name of the timer.
Attaching documents to a case¶
As well as commenting on a case, you can attach documents to share with the case’s participants. For example, cases in a job vacancy process might require candidate CVs. Anyone with access to the case can download a case’s documents, which makes them more useful than email attachments.
To attach a document to a case, select the the Upload a document option next to where you add comments.
The uploaded document will be visible in the comment panel as well as the history panel.
If cases regularly require the same document as part of the process, you can make this clearer to people who work on cases by adding a file upload form field to a user task form.
Closing a case manually¶
You normally close a case by completing all of its tasks. However, sometimes you want to abandon a case and stop working on it. To do this you can manually close a case.
To close a case, simply click “Select cases” in the menu under the case name:
Click the check box next to the case you want to close. (You can select multiple cases at once.) Then click “Close all selected cases”.
You do not normally delete cases in Workflow Accelerator: you close cases that you have finished working on. However, you sometimes do need to delete cases, such as the test cases that you create while developing the initial versions of a process model.
To delete a case, click “Select cases” in the menu under the case name.
Use the checkboxes in the cases table’s first column to select which case(s) you’d like to delete. Then click “Delete all selected cases”.
You can also delete cases via the Delete case button in the case view.
Exporting cases data¶
You can export the information about a process’ cases to a CSV file that you can open in a spreadsheet. To export case data, open the Cases overview, select a process, and then select Export as CSV. You may find this useful for reporting or auditing, for example.
Use the CSV export options to specify the ordering of exported cases, whether to filter by status (open or closed), and the output format. Try a different output format option if you have problems loading the exported CSV file into another application, such as Microsoft Excel. The output format options determine which characters the CSV output uses to quote and separate characters and lines:
- Standard - conventional CSV format
- Excel - Microsoft Excel compatibility mode
- Excel (Northern Europe) - better Excel compatibility for some European countries
- Tabs - separate values with tabs instead of commas.
The CSV export uses UTF-8 text encoding. Select UTF-8 when opening the CSV in Microsoft Excel, for example, to preserve characters such as letters with accents.
Skipping intermediate timer events¶
When a process includes an Intermediate timer event, case execution waits for the timer to complete before continuing. Sometimes, you want to continue immediately without waiting for the timer.
To skip the intermediate timer event, use the Skip timer button to the right of the timer name.
Skipping failed tasks¶
During case execution, an automatic task might fail to execute because it has an invalid configuration. A Google Drive - Upload file task will fail if you don’t configure a Google account, for example. You can manually skip some kinds of failed task, so that case execution continues.
To skip a failed task, use the Skip task button to the right of the task name in the case’s task list.
On the Skip action dialogue that opens, enter a reason to explain the decision for skipping the task. The history panel will show the reason with the task completion event, so other people will know why you skipped the task.
Retrying failed tasks¶
An automatic task might also fail for an external reason that you can resolve. A Google Drive - Upload file task will fail if the configured Google account doesn’t have permission to write to the selected Google Drive folder, for example. You can manually retry some failed tasks, after resolving the external issue, so that task completes successfully and case execution continues.
To retry a failed task, use the Retry task button to the right of the task name in the case’s task list.