Learning Concepts at This Station:
Create a digital work stream to manage a business process
Understanding work stream components
Creating an email template to notify and engage users
Today we will create a work stream to manage leave of absence requests. Access your Streams Management dashboard. In the top right corner of your screen click on the gear icon by your profile photo. In the pull-down menu, select “Streams Management” to access your Stream Definition Canvas.
Click on the big + sign to create a new stream.
In the configuration popup, you will see that there are 3 ways we can create streams.
We can create streams by
1) using a wizard. This is the fastest way to create a stream. We would simply use fields to create and define the stream.
2) We could create a stream by importing a CSV file.
3) We could create a stream by importing a previously created definition. This is useful when you want to import a stream from another account.
Choose “Create Using Wizard” by clicking on that radio button. Give the stream a title. We will call it “Leave of Absence.” Add a description. “This stream will be used to manage leave of absence requests.”
Next, we will define what information we will capture and track. Give the information a name. We will call it “Request.” Under this field you will see the text “Add another field.” Click on that to add 4 fields.
In the first Title field, type in “Employee Number.” This will be the name of the field that is shown on the user interface above the field in which employee numbers will be stored. The Name of the field will auto populate. This is what Pulpstream uses to organize the information on the back end. Don’t worry about this field right now. The Type of information this field will contain will be text, so select “Text Field” in the pull-down menu.
In the second Title field, type in “Start Date.” Again the name autopopulates. The type of field that this will be is a “Date,” so select that in the pull-down menu.
In the third Title field, type in “End Date.” The Type of information is a “Date,” so select that in the pull-down menu.
In the fourth Title field, type in “Email Address.” The type of information is an “Email” address Select that in the pull-down menu.
At this point your fields would look like this:
Next we will add another field to specify the type of leave that is being requested. Find the Add another field text and click it again to create a new row of fields.
In the Title field, type in “Type of Leave.” The name autopopulates as usual. We are going to give the user a list of choices, so select “Enumeration” from the pull-down menu. We will give the user 8 choices, so click the “add another choice” text 8 times.
In the options, type in FMLA, Maternity/ Paternity, Sick Leave (5 days or more), Paid Family Leave, Personal, Military, Jury/ Witness Duty, Bereavement (5 days or more).
You can change the values that are stored in the database. For example, with our sick and bereavement leave options we have parenthesis in the user interface labels that contain clarifying information. This is not useful in a database. We will edit these to delete the information in parenthesis to tidy our database.
Next, add 2 more fields.
The first field, we will title “Supporting Documentation.” The type of information will be “File Attachments.”
The second field we will title “Employee Signature.” This type of information will be Image Attachments.
At this point your screen should look like this:
Click on the Done button to save your changes.
You have now created the first version of your work stream. Look at your Stream Definition Canvas to see the first version of the Work Stream that will manage this business process. Click on the stream to examine it. This will take you to the Stream Definition tab, where you will see your Stream Definition Canvas . Pulpstream has created a simple stream to represent the for you. It starts when the “Request Form” is submitted. Next it will send an email in the “Send Report” step. Then the process comes to an end, which you see here represented by that End step. It’s the circle with an X on it. To the right of your stream, you will see the Components Catalog. This is where you will find components with which you can construct your streams.
You have a few Components that were created for you. One is a data component called Request. You will also have a form associated with that. It is called Request Form and appears in the Forms section of your Components Catalog.
Below this you will find roles and permissions, stages and escalations, documents, and email templates.
Every Stream has the following components:
1) A Stream Flow - This is the core workflow that defines the business process you are managing.
2) Data Component - This is like a database table. It contains various fields. Data Components can be placed inside of each other with a type of field called a “Child Data List.” This is useful for creating a Master Detail Relationship. For example, an incident can have many witnesses.
3) Forms - A form is what a user sees on their digital screen. It is based on information in a Data Component.
4) Roles - Roles are collections of users. A role participant can be determined dynamically or it can be static. Roles are used to specify task ownership.
5) Stages and Escalations - Stages are the milestones that are shown on the detail view of a record.
6) Documents - Documents are Word files that are used as templates to generate Pdf versions of data, which can be printed digitally or physically. (The fastest way to generate this kind of template is to open a form and click on the gear icon. Select “Generate Print Template.”)
7) Email Templates - These are templates that use field merge values to send emails. You can use the Smart Email step to create one.
Let’s edit our Request Data Component. Hover your mouse over that Data Component to reveal the edit function.
Click on it to open it. In the Edit Data Component popup, you will see all the fields that we declared to the creation wizard. Go the the Fields tab. We need to update this Data Component with the format that we declared in the Employee Smart Object. Select Employee number in the field list by clicking on it. If it is purple, it is highlighted. Under the title, name, and type fields, find the Input format field. Enter the input format we used earlier. ##-#####.
Save the field. Save the form.
Next we will edit the request form that the system generated for us. In the Forms section of your Components Catalog, find the “Request Form.” Click on that to edit it.
In the Request Form popup, notice that all the fields are placed in the order we specified them. We want the user to fill out all the fields, so we will make them required. Click on the field to open its properties. In the Field Attributes pull-down menu, select “Required.” Do this for all the fields.
Scroll to the bottom to edit the properties of the signature field. Hover your mouse over the field to reveal the dotted lines and the edit pencil icon. Click on that to edit this. Change the Display type to “Signature” by selecting that in the Display As pull-down menu. Save your changes to the field.
Next we will put instructions on the leave request form. Click on the Add Controls button. Underneath that, find the Text control. Click on that and hold your mouse down to drag it over to the top of the form. In the configuration popup you can add instructions, HTML links to a policy page, and change the font and color. Use this to customize the interface to support your brand identity and business culture.
Add instructions. Next, let's add a link to a corporate leave policy document that people can use to refresh their memories about leave policies. Click on the icon that looks like a link in a chain.
Add a link to the corporate policy.
You’ll see the changes on the form.
Back on the Stream Definition Canvas, double click on the “Send Report” step to open it.
Notice that this step is configured to send an email to “Record Submitter.” In other words, it is sending an email to the person who submitted a request, which in turn created a record of that request. It is using a template that was automatically created. That is called “Record Creation Email.” Close out this window.
Go back to your Stream Definition Canvas. In your Email Templates catalog, open the email template by clicking on it.
In our template screen, let's edit this to suit our needs. Use the field merge value finder to populate information that is stored in our Smart Objects. Access this by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.
If we want the email to include supporting documentation, we can specify which attachments to include in the pull-down menu below the body of the email. In the attach from contents of File and Image attachments fields pull-down menu select “Supporting Documentation.” Check the box to convert Word templates to pdf.
Make your email template look like this one.
Save your changes.
Now if you like we can create a test record to see our progress. On your Stream Definition Canvas, click on the gear icon in the top right part of the screen. In the pull-down menu, select “Create Test Record.”
Thus concludes our visit to this Skill Station. Clearly there is more to be done with this process, such as validating the employee start and end dates, linking the employee number to the Smart Object record, and checking to see if the employee has accrued a leave days balance. We will accomplish these things at the next Skill Stations.