Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deadlinemonitoring in SAP Workflow

With SAP workflow, flexibility can make complexity.

When properly implemented though, SAP workflow makes a very solid basis for process automation.

In the past, I have written some blogs on SAP workflow, but so far, I have never mentioned the use of deadline monitoring.
Deadline monitoring is an easy to implement feature of SAP workflow, that helps the process in having tasks being performed on time.

Other articles on SAP workflow on this blog:
http://blog.acorel.nl/2013/02/event-linkage-types-in-sap-workflow.html
http://blog.acorel.nl/2011/09/interfering-in-running-workflow-using.html
http://blog.acorel.nl/2011/08/using-custom-objects-in-sap-workflow.html
http://blog.acorel.nl/2013/04/withdrawing-sap-workflow-tasks-using.html
http://blog.acorel.nl/2011/08/triggering-workflow-from-abap.html
http://blog.acorel.nl/2012/06/working-with-partner-determination.html

Functionality

Basically, deadline monitoring is as easy as it sounds. SAP Workflows will generate tasks that need to be performed by certain assigned users. Deadline monitoring enables you to implement calculations to when a task should be completed. These calculations can be complex or simple. For instance, a few days before shipment can be a good deadline for approving the shipment, or more in the CRM context, 3 to 5 days after a delivery could be a good time for an aftersales call.

Calculating the deadline

So, how does deadline monitoring fit in?
When implementing a task in SAP workflow, there is a tab called... 'Latest End'.

In this tab, the first thing you can do is select the reference date. This can be the workitem creation time, the workflow creation time (first workitem in the chain) or an expression.

Let's say we want to calculate the deadline based on a time in the delivery document (from the workflow container). In this case, we would use an expression, select the field from the container, and add (or substract) days from the date.

Implementing an action

This part is optional. You can choose to implement the sending of a message to a user or group of users. This could for instance be used as an escalation process. In this case, a standard subworkflow will be triggered, sending the message. This can be achieved by selecting 'Display text', implementing the user determination and adding the text in the box under the 'Display text' option.

If you require more complex processing when the deadline of a task is met, you can also choose to implement a 'Modeled' action.

This will automatically add a workitem outcome, which can be used to model further processing in the workflow builder.

Result

The result depends of course on what you have implemented. The one thing you get for free in SAP CRM at least is the icons adding a little love and happiness to the otherwise kind of boring worklist.
  • Green meaning 'not yet due'
  • Yellow meaning 'due today'
  • Red meaning 'overdue'

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