Work Order Form (WOF)
A Work Order Form (WOF) for a human user.
As already described in the Introduction to Workflows, what workflows mean to people is the dramatic reduction of coordination and harmonization efforts, in that the exchange of information is structured and automated, so that employees can concentrate fully on their core tasks.
How specifically does this take shape? In a process, steps for people (internal/external employees, customers, suppliers) are presented as forms. Therefore if a workflow is started for a specific project or order, then an employee gets the first task delivered to an area called e.g. home or tasks basket, which looks like an e-mail list in a mail program. The difference: when a task is opened, the task is not described in a text or an attachment, but a form. This work order form (WOF) shows in a meaningful way only the information necessary for the process step. The employee can also determine how the form will look the best during the design process i.e. where he needs which information displayed.
Employees' tasks are displayed on their home page. Depending on individual requirements, these can be very comprehensive and dynamic or also very simple with just one field. If an employee has finished his task and has entered all necessary information, he completes the form and then can move onto the next task from the list - without having to worry about how the process continues - the workflow engine does this.
New information, which may be necessary for the further processing can be entered to the form in a structured way. If the employee has completed his task, he can finish the process step and the task disappears from his home page and ends up in the list of his completed tasks. Based on the data input to the form and the workflow rules, the system can now decide which employee or software system gets which task with what information, so that the previous user does not have to worry about it. No hundred e-mails, no Excel, no meetings, no phone calls, no having to copy and paste anything into other programs, et cetera.
Workflows coordinate the tasks and information flows and thereby relieve staff of the burden of costly manual coordination work which is not directly related to the company's value creation and which just creates cost.
The system coordinates the tasks, monitors time, and provides data collection and information distribution, enabling a faster and more focused collaboration of teams, groups and entire supply chains. It relieves employees of the usual stress of coordinating and managers need only intervene if there is a problem (management by escalation). Everything is faster, clearer, better and more relaxed.
EU Form 1
This is a German-Polish form of an EU structural support application, which is generated by the form server for use in the web. It is designed according to the requirements of the authorities. The skin was changed from CEITON blue to the national colors of Saxony (green) and Poland (red).
The forms for humans are actualized from common elements and groups in the scope of designing the workflow and implemented with the form server. This handles the display and subsequent storage of information in a database.
EU Form 2
This part of the German-Polish form is divided into several levels and in sub-forms, which can be changed based on rules: arbitrarily many work orders (in the background) allow arbitrarily many cooperation partners to be added for which arbitrarily many individual tasks can be defined for which an EU structural support request can be made.
Now, form servers are usually relatively simple and static, so that complex tasks with major applications can only be inadequately and inconveniently mapped. Therefore, our workflow engine's web-form-server has some special features, which allow information and GUI elements to be changed dynamically on several levels. Thus, a form fits very flexibly to the current requirements so it can be conveniently edited in one view.
Often you will want an overview of various forms and details of projects which is enabled here by what is called a group view. These views can also be modeled so that you can edit or complete them directly in the summary. Moreover, entire templates can also be loaded to selected WOFs to perform more complex changes several times faster.
As well as this dynamism, a form has much other functionality that facilitates work, such as:
- Explanation and help for each GUI element
- History for each GUI element so that previous data can be viewed
- Visualization of changes for each field, so that changes by others will not be overlooked,
- Input validation and error visualization on field level
- Entries using stored form templates
- Editing multiple forms at once
- Sub-forms in windows on the main form
- Field magnification if needed for small items with lots of information
Digital workflows are replacing more and more purely document-driven processes in that structuring, standardization and processing of data is partially automated. However, processes can never be mapped 100% as workflows, so the phone, meetings and documents will still be used but much less than before. The usage of these conventional tools applies only to the remaining small percentage such as exceptions, errors and rare or highly specialized operations.
Therefore, documents such as Word, Excel, sketches, etc. can be attached to forms and other objects in the workflow system. This way, unstructured information can be involved in the work and made available to the participants in a process. The files must be no longer be laboriously searched for in the file system or a web platform and are easily administered (file structure, naming, versioning, rights etc.).
By simply checking in and out, sequential processing and logical versioning of all files is guaranteed and a history is automatically maintained. Access is controlled through the workflow forms and can further be restricted based on roles e.g. a document can be attached to an order and made accessible for internal employees but not for external customer users. If companies have further requirements for a document management solution (e.g. DMS, CMS, ECM etc.) these can also be integrated into the workflows in place of our module.
A label report is shown here in design mode. The data fields from the system or workflows are graphically arranged and formatted accordingly. This specific report will be used in the archive as a tape label or sticker and can be changed at will by each customer.
With the integrated reporting server ActiveReports.NET, information that is available in the system can be aggregated and displayed in various ways: as lists, forms, graphics, PDFs or for printing. On the one hand, there are many pre-made reports utilizing precise capabilities of the system, such as
- Quotes and invoices
- Delivery notes and labels
- Flow charts for DVDs and Blu-rays (see below),
- Task lists and schedules
In the Report Generator, any informational output can be modeled graphically as well as by programming language (.NET) and integrated into the Workflow System.
but also for visualization of process data from workflows, such as:
- Dashboards, key metrics (KPI's)
- Balanced scorecards (BSC)
- Business activity monitoring (BAM)
- Business analysis reports (BAR)
- or for the monitoring of SLA's
For example, a complete authoring flow chart (e.g. for DVD, UMD or Blu-ray) can be automatically generated in various formats and can be edited afterward. You can see examples as PDFs here: Complete Flowchart und Abbreviated Flowchart.
The exported data can be displayed, for example in specially designed pivot tables with drill-down functionality.
If data volumes for real-time processing become too large or advanced analysis capabilities are required, such as individual ad-hoc analysis, then, an arbitrary amount of data can be passed de-normalized via bulk export to business intelligence systems (OLAP).
All reports can be freely parameterized using the report generator, and can automatically be created at any time (vs. manual call through the GUI) so that documents can be viewed at any time, for instance through an external portal or a file server.
Dashboards (externally visualized here) can display arbitrary analyses. A click on a value filters all other analyses correspondingly, so that ad-hoc queries can be made very easily.
The Web Framework is a type of CMS, with which arbitrary branched, multilingual sites can be built, and information from the workflow system can be visualized. These can be management overviews, process visualization at the enterprise or department level, or staff roster plans for display on large color monitors.