Business is frequently changing and evolving and it can affect already set work habits, business processes, etc. If, for example, a client asked you for a service that currently isn’t in your offer, you certainly wouldn’t want to say no to him, would you? It is necessary for you to easily adapt to the dynamic and complex situation which depends on who is asking, what is asking, and why he is asking for that particular thing, who can make the decision and what information is necessary to make the decision as good as possible.
This is why iBPMS systems, like Smartwave, are designed to support structured (clearly defined) and dynamic (unstructured, non-routine, situational, unexpected) tasks to which you can add various kinds of information, with intensive, and often group cooperation among participants. Depending on the line of business, working in this way requires constant changing (e.g. of contracts) or creating totally new content (e.g. new screen for entering the opinion of the legal professionals). Smartwave supports close cooperation, therefore it is possible to move from a case to a process, and from a process to a case in order to do the job in the best possible way.
To model a case, it is necessary to choose an option in the left navigation menu where all the other Smartwave tools are.
When you start the option for creating the new case definition it is required to set the name and maybe a description and then the definition of the object containing all the information about the case is being automatically created.
The option Auto Complete implies that the entire case is automatically closed when all its milestones are closed. Overview of the newly created definition is similar to the overview of the process.
First we create the model i.e. context, as we do with the process. It contains all the information saved together with the case, which can be later on updated through tasks.
Once we create the model we can deal with the case elements.
The case consists of milestones which represent the goals that can be reached in the case. Milestones can but don’t have to contain tasks. Tasks can be grouped into stages. This option isn’t available at the moment but it will be in the upcoming versions.
In the given example we added two milestones within the process. We set them to be executed sequentially but if they don’t have a set order they are executed parallel.
We say for the first one that it is complete when the elements it contains collect 10 points, whereas we set the other one to Auto Complete which means that it will be completed when its elements are executed, regardless of the effects it has on the internal or external system. This is what the screen for adding a new milestone looks like:
Additionally, a business rule can be connected to a milestone, and for example, after the execution of each task, this rule can check whether some decision has been executed or not and based on that define if the milestone has been completed or not.
On the other side, we have created tasks too.
Specifically, three tasks belong to the milestone and one doesn’t. The task which doesn’t belong to the milestone can always be started regardless of the case progress. Two tasks are worth 10 points each, and they are added at the end in order to evaluate milestone completion. Two tasks can be opened even after being completed (Can Re-Open) and they are all started manually (Is Manual). In the same way as with the process, other elements, such as documents and emails etc. can be connected with the tasks.
Here is the screen for creating a new task.
While creating the task we choose the name and the type: whether it is a task for a person (Human Task), or calling a process (Call Process), calling the same or some other case (Call Cases), or calculating some business rule (Business Rule-this option will be enabled later). Furthermore, you can choose the integration with the role and the milestone, as well as integration with the process and the case, if you choose the types Call Case or Call Process.
Additional options are: importance, priority, order and case duration.
Also, there is the option to re-open the task (Can Re Open), as well as Is Required option which enables to depend on the execution of some other task or decision, which must be executed before the entered task.
The case doesn’t have versions and when it is published it is the current one (Active) and it can be changed directly in the execution environment, to add a new task or milestone for example.
Starting is the same as with the processes. The difference is the icon in front of the name and the name of the type under the name. Possible options can be filtered by type on the left side.
Same as with the processes, after creating, we receive a notification that we can start working on the case.
In the Inbox, processes differ from cases by the icon. Folder represents cases, and the folder with a structure represents processes!
Tasks can’t be seen in the individual overview of Inbox Tasks, unless they are forwarded to someone else for execution.
Milestones are listed in the first tab, and under each milestone there are possible tasks given as links. By clicking on some of the links, screens open, and they are defined in the case definition. Next milestones are visible but they are not available if the chosen execution is sequential and they are colored grey. When the parallel execution option is on links are available from all milestones.
All the tasks under the first initial Milestones are possible to start at any time during which the case lasts. The desirable actions are the ones which don’t depend on the case progress, such as reviewing the details of the order and similar. Currently active milestone, if there is one, is marked green.
Each task form the case can be forwarded to someone else for execution if you choose the button Assign To at the bottom of the screen.
If we complete the task which is worth 10 points and which belongs to the milestone that requires at least 10 points to be completed, the milestone itself will be completed after the realization of the task and we will move onto the next milestone, as it is shown in the image below. This implies that the option we completed (Review) is no longer possible.
Now it is possible to open the tasks from the next milestone, and those at the beginning remain active. In the image we can see a tick in front of the first task of the first milestone indicating that the task is done. The second task is set to Can Re Open and it can be executed even when the milestone it belongs to isn’t active.
If we execute the last task too, the entire case will close because the milestone and the case are marked with Auto Complete, meaning, the case is completed when all of its milestones are completed.
It is possible to open some tasks, like this one in the image above, even when the case is completed since they do not affect the outcome of the case.
If we create new tasks in the case definition which are integrated with the process and which depend on the other task, we can immediately see them in the active instance of the case.
Such tasks are seen as specialized tasks for starting processes and cases. If we click on some of them, we see a screen like on the first page.
Afterwards, we receive a notification like in the image below
By clicking on the notification in the Inbox overview we can see the details of the created process with the link to the Parent – in this version the case.
Through the definition, it is also possible to set the process itself to have sub cases which are visible in the tab Sub Cases, similar to the situation with the sub processes.
This way, we have joined together two worlds: process, structured, routine work and cases and non-routine, unstructured work.
Lastly, it can be set that a task is possible only when the previous one is completed. This is done by setting Is Required to True and choosing the task that precedes this one, e.g. Interview.
By doing so we have defined that our task Required is in the second milestone and we can see that it is disabled because the task it depends on (Interview) hasn’t been completed.
And when the Interview task is completed (indicated by the tick under the name) Required task becomes possible.
The task can also be blocking which means that a new task within the case cannot start unless this task is completed. This option is very often used if the task is integrated with another case or process, and it will be available in the next version. In this scenario, the case is suspended until some of its elements which are assigned to the current or some other user, are completed.
We hope that we have demonstrated how simple it is to combine Smartwave aided apps: business rules (policies, procedures, roles, responsibilities, routing, escalations, deadlines), modal dialogs (layouts, data capture, data validations, dynamic questions), data models, document processing, various data sources, internal and external integrations, as well as user interface for setting up, managing the rights and privileges of the users and system administration. The advantages of this approach can be perceived in the increased visibility of all necessary and interrelated business items (documents, comments, images, etc.) in one place, in order to enable constant enhancement of processes and cases, as well as fast, agile and incessant adaptation to changes.
In July 2016 we published a new version that will comprise all of the above mentioned functionalities. For a complete list of new features in Smartwave, see the following feature list!