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Coupa Success Portal

Workflow

Overview

Workflows in CLMA are predominantly used to support the Review & Approval of contracts. The purpose of them is to assign a task that needs to be Accepted/Rejected, and whose outcome can be tracked/audited.

The product comes standard with the following workflows:

Workflow Process

Description

Ad hoc Parallel Review and Approve

Enables a user to request approval from multiple Users at the same time

Serial Group Review and Approve

Enables a user to seek approval from multiple User Groups in serial

Ad hoc Review and Approve

Enables a user to request an ad hoc approval from a single User

Ad hoc Pooled Review and Approve

Enables a user to request approval from multiple Users or Groups at the same time

Parallel Group Review and Approve

Enables a user to seek approval from multiple User Groups at the same time

It is also possible to create bespoke workflows using the Workflow Engine (Alfresco Processing Services). Additional training is required in order to use this application. As a result, the recommendation is to use the Out-of-the-box (OOTB) workflows where possible.

Scoping Questions

  1. How does your approval process work today? Are there different approvers depending on the contract value?
  2. How do users know who they need to send the contract to for approval?

Design Options

Workflow permissions are split into 2 parts:

  • Permission to launch a workflow
  • Permission to create/maintain a bespoke workflow

For the first, the main consideration relates to ‘who may launch a workflow’. Normally this permission is tied to the role that drafts the contract. The removal of this feature for other roles is less about a concern that they can make an error, and more about removing unnecessary features to provide a cleaner UI. As such, don’t overthink this one.

The second item is more important as this will give access to Alfresco Processing Services (APS) and an untrained user may cause a lot of harm. This access should be reserved for CLMA administrators or persons designated to be responsible for workflows.

Using APS, it is possible to create bespoke workflows or to modify the OOTB workflows. The main use cases where this may be required are:

  • Automatically updating the contract status (enabling a configuration preventing sending the contract for signature until the Approval workflow has been positively completed)
  • Catering for more complex workflows (e.g. based on a Delegation of Authority matrix or signoff limits)

During initial implementation, please consult with a Coupa Solution Architect if bespoke workflows are being considered. Creating a workflow that is too complex may actually be detrimental to the longer term solution (if the design goes contrary to the longer term product direction).

Lastly, it is also possible to launch workflows via Compliance Manager.

Considerations

  1. When considering whether to use a workflow to groups, rather than individuals, please note that there is an additional step for a user to ‘claim’ the task from the group.
  2. It is also possible to launch the workflow at different “levels” within a contract record. If launched at document level, the link in the task / notification email will be to that document. If launched at the “transaction” level, the link would be to that transaction folder. The latter is used when the reviewer should review more than just the contract document. Linking to the folder enables them to see all the documents in that folder.
  3. When initiating a workflow, there is an option to ‘attach’. If used, this will include those document(s) in the notification email. This is potentially preferable when users which to review the document without logging into CLMA. (Please note however, that to mark the task as Approved/Rejected, they will still need to log into CLMA).
  4. When using OOTB workflows, the recipient needs to be manually selected. However, it is possible to build in the approval rules into the contract template, such that the system can flag who the required approvers are. (Please note that it is currently not possible to auto populate the approvers without creating a bespoke workflow.)
  5. (With the exception of the “Ad-hoc..” workflows,) the email notifications sent when a workflow is launched, are pre-configured. Although some content is dynamic (e.g. link to contract), the majority of the subject/body of the email is fixed. Changes can be made to the notification email template, however this is relatively complex and should ideally be avoided.
  6. Similar to the above, please note that the same email template will be used for multiple workflows. As such, it should remain generic enough that it is applicable across the different workflow types.
  7. If bespoke workflows are created, these will be owned by the customer. As such it will be the responsibility of the customer to test/maintain the workflows following each software release.

Risks

Attempting to orchestrate the whole business process via workflows. Workflows should only be used to facilitate the review and approval processes.

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