Our company has been actively automating business processes in Bitrix24 for different customers. We have accumulated enough experience in the field of automatization of inner processes of document processing for manufacturing companies, commercial firms, web-studios, educational institutions, advertising agencies etc. Modern businesses actively use the automation opportunity to reduce document processing time, employee ineffective-time and to optimize information workflows within a company. All these is solved relatively fast and successfullly. We wrote about this in our cases (e.g., Project case: Bitrix24 is now used at the manufacturing enterprise ) and have some positive testimonials from our customers ( testimonial 1 (in Russian) , testimonial 2 (in Russian) ).
As a result of our active work we have noticed that very often when a business process is finished and delivered, the customers come back to us with the same question, which sounds as follows: "I understand how does it work. I understand what kind of result I get in the end of its work, but I don't understand how can I watch the process and how can I control it.".The situation reminds the analogy of being in a dark room and looking for a black cat. Of course, we have a cat, but you'd better try to find it now.
Many customers have a feeling, indeed, that a business process lives its own life in Bitrix24.It suddenly wakes up and an employee get's a unclear task, messages come from somewhere and new strange orders start to appear in Activity Stream. When employees ask the administrator of their portal "what is that and where does it come from?", he just shrugs his shoulders and mumble something unclear about business processes coded for them by web-studios and that they have to deal with them somehow now.
Therefore let's examine by real examples how to observe the work of business processes and which means do we have to control them in Bitrix24. Let's reveal how to see a current state of a business process, how to stop it, where can we see whether the process is running or finished.
During the functioning of business processes It is strongly recommended to watch their work in progress: to watch their states and if there are some "hung" processes to remind employees who forgot to close a task and by that impedes the business process. Therefore there is a problem of business processes control. Let's examine by which means we solve this problem in Bitrix24.
Let's launch a predefined business process which is called "Cash payment" from Activity Stream.
As a result we have launched a business process. An employee can notice this fact by the message in Activity Stream:
Manager also gets the message in Activity Stream and Show Notification section(Bluebell in upper right corner):
After some time new messages will appear in Activity Stream and Notifications Panel and our message will be moved downward and after some time the employee and the manager can forget about it, especially if the task wasn't executed at once.
For this you have to go to Workflows - My Requests. Here the processes launched by employee are shown :
Here one can see which action of business process is running now. One can see other processes as well, which are finished or in a non-active states.
This section has the following capabilities:
1) We can see documents bound with the business process. For this just click a document link and a new window will open:
2) We can add a comment to a BP:
3) You can run the same processes from Activity Stream directly from here:
Another section which allows us to watch business process job: Workflows - All active. Here only active ones are shown:
This section has top menu:
With its help you can sort your active business process depending on their states and system part in which it is running:
- All (i.e. all processes in our system);
- Hung (processes, which are stopped by unclear reason);
- Workflows (i.e. processes, launched from the Activity Stream);
- CRM (i.e. processes, launched in CRM);
- Drive (i.e. processes,launched in Company Drive);
- Lists (i.e. processes, launched in Lists section).
Here there are the following capabilities to work with active business processes::
- Delete Workflow.
- Look a document related to this business process.
Warning! If you decide to delete a business process, be aware that you cannot delete the document itself.You can delete only the business process(workflow) of this document.
What could be a reason to delete a business process? Let's examine the following situation. An employee requested cash, but specified a wrong number. Related business process has already started. Then, if the employee has access to delete the business process he can delete the process and all current tasks. If he doesn't have access to delete the business process, he always can ask the administrator of Bitrix24 to do this.
What will happen after the employee has changed the document? For predefined process nothing will happen. In order to start the process, one have to start it forcedly. The employee doesn't have access permission for this action (how to set access permissions we will explain in our next article). It is only the administrator of the portal who can do this. For this he has to do the following:
1) Open Workflows in Activity Stream - To give money.
2) Click on Actions button:
3) Choose Run Business Process - Your business process.
As a result "Cash payment" business process will start.
But, notice that, the process is running on behalf of Bitrix24 Administrator now. This is not quite correct. In order to be more in a "right way" the employee has to be able to run the process repeatedly. How to do this you can read in our next article.
Let's return to our process. The administrator once more ran the process. The document by a chain went to other employees who have to process it and make a decision. Document will not return to the Administrator. How can we find out on which stage the process is right now? Whether or not employees forgot about tasks related to this process? For this we can address to the document itself and look to its log-page:
1) Open Workflow in Activity Stream - Cash payment.
2) Click actions and choose Edit:
3) Then open Business Processes tab:
4) Click on “Current status” tab:
5) As a result a log will be opened, in which you can see on which stage the process is:
Our business process has been finished. How can we understand it? Employee can open My Requests and can see that the process is finished. For our predefined business process it will be “Report accepted”:
In this case it is not very convenient. An accepted report doesn't mean that business process is finished. The report could be mailed or printed before. Therefore, when creating a business process it is recommended to appoint a status, for example "Report accepted, Business Process finished". Then an employee will not be lost in conjectures whether process is finished or not.
In our case we can open All Active section.If you cannot see our process in this sector therefore it is finished.
In this article we examined basic means for business process control in Bitrix24. In our next articles we will examine how to manage access permissions in business processes.