Manage approval workflows

We are working on expanding and improving the functions related to process governance. This section will be revised soon.

For more information about SAP Signavio Process Governance, contact sales@signavio.com.

You need an administrator account to use this function.

SAP Signavio Process Manager enables you to define and manage approval workflows for publishing diagrams. Approval workflows route a diagram to a predefined list of people, who need to approve that the diagram is ready to be published. This enables your organization to ensure the quality of all diagrams published in the SAP Signavio Process Collaboration Hub.

You can define approval workflows in SAP Signavio Process Governance . To define approval workflows, you need to purchase licenses for SAP Signavio Process Governance in addition to your SAP Signavio Process Manager licenses.

Activate the approval workflow feature

  1. To open the settings for the approval workflow feature, click Setup , then Manage approval workflows in the top drop-down menu of the explorer.

  2. If approval workflows are inactive, in a dialog you can activate the feature. Enable the check box and click Activate.

    The approval workflow function is activated.

  3. Click Next to confirm and start configuring the approval workflow preferences.

Now, you can manage your approval workflows.

Configure Approval Workflows

To effectively use approval workflows, you should restrict your user's rights to publish diagrams in the SAP Signavio Process Collaboration Hub. Read more about access rights management in the section Manage users and access rights .

  • To open the settings for the approval workflow feature, click Setup , then Manage approval workflows in the top drop-down menu of the explorer.

When the approval workflow feature is active, the following configurations are available:

  • Open your workspace in SAP Signavio Process Governance

    Clicking the link opens your SAP Signavio Process Governance workspace in a new browser tab, so you can manage your tasks and processes (approval workflows) there.

  • Manage approval workflows

    All approval workflows defined in SAP Signavio Process Governance (and the default approval workflow) are listed as links in this section. Click an approval workflow to edit.

  • Deactivate the approval workflow feature

    If you want to stop using the approval workflow feature, you can deactivate it.

  • Synchronize users with SAP Signavio Process Governance

    After you created new users in SAP Signavio Process Manager, you need to synchronize SAP Signavio Process Manager with SAP Signavio Process Governance, so your new users can be included in your approval workflows. Click Synchronize users now to create a SAP Signavio Process Governance account for all your SAP Signavio Process Manager users who did not have a SAP Signavio Process Governance account before.

If your organization is using SAP Signavio Process Governance for approval workflows in SAP Signavio Process Manager, synchronizing the workspace will delete SAP Signavio Process Governance users who have been previously deleted in SAP Signavio Process Manager.

Synchronize configuration with SAP Signavio Process Governance

You only need to click this button if there are problems with the configuration between your SAP Signavio Process Manager and SAP Signavio Process Governance workspaces, for example if the tenant ID is missing in SAP Signavio Process Governance. Usually, the configuration updates automatically when changes are made. If you do need to manually fix the configuration, click Synchronize configuration now to trigger a synchronization of all diagram states, SAP Signavio Process Manager URLs and the SAP Signavio Process Manager tenant ID.

Access control for approval workflows

If the option Use workflow access permissions is enabled, permissions for processes set in SAP Signavio Process Governance are used for approval workflows.

"Start process" permission and "See process" permission

When an approval workflow is created or edited in SAP Signavio Process Governance, it is possible to restrict who can see or start a process.

For details on how to set these permissions in SAP Signavio Process Governance, read more in section Access control.

  • If a user is permitted to see but not start an approval workflow, that workflow is visible as disabled in the drop-down list. In case this user still tries to start the approval workflow, an error message is shown.
  • If a user is not permitted to see a workflow, the workflow won't be listed.

If you enable the option Use workflow access permissions , every user who wants to start an approval workflow needs a SAP Signavio Process Governance account. If a user tries to start an approval workflow while not having an account for SAP Signavio Process Governance, an error message is shown.

Diagram states

You can also edit the diagram states within an approval workflow.

The table in the Diagram states tab contains all states a diagram can be in. Icon and name of a state are displayed in the explorer as soon as the state has been triggered for the corresponding diagram. If the check box Publish is activated, a diagram is automatically published in SAP Signavio Process Collaboration Hub after the corresponding status has been triggered. For this, it is necessary that your workspace includes SAP Signavio Process Collaboration Hub.

Edit the states by clicking the corresponding table fields:

Edit the states a diagram can have within an approval workflows

The Reset expiration column is only relevant if you want to configure Approval Expiration .

Changes in state configuration, as well as the deletion or creation of new states, are automatically transferred to SAP Signavio Process Governance and are instantly available when selecting states in the SAP Signavio Process Governance workspace.

  • To add a new state, click the + icon

  • To delete a state, click the trash button next to the corresponding column and confirm in the dialog.

You can assign diagram attributes for process participant roles. This enables you to define the roles of participants in processes within SAP Signavio Process Manager. In SAP Signavio Process Governance, you can then assign approval tasks to these roles.

For example, the default approval workflow process is assigning the task business approval to the process owner role. This means that the business approval for a process is automatically assigned to the user whom you have defined as the process owner in the corresponding attribute.

Participants

Configure the Participants attributes in the Participants tab.

Here, you can assign diagram attributes to SAP Signavio Process Governance roles. This requires the creation of corresponding attributes on BPMN diagram level in SAP Signavio Process Manager. Read more about custom attributes in the chapter Add and manage notation subsets .

When creating or editing a business process diagram, you can now add the email addresses of the corresponding participants to these attributes.

With this feature, you can only use the email addresses the corresponding users used to register themselves in SAP Signavio Process Governance.

When configuring approval workflows in SAP Signavio Process Governance you can assign responsibilities to the different participants.

Approval Expiration

In this tab you can set expiry dates for diagram approvals. Expiry dates ensure your diagrams are regularly re-checked, for example to fulfill compliance rules.

By default, the expiry frequency is set to Never .

  1. To define one static expiry frequency for all diagrams, set the drop-down menu Select how the timespan is determined to Fixed period .

  2. Define the expiry frequency in the field Number of months . In our example, the system triggers a new approval workflow after twelve months.

  3. To define the expiry frequency per diagram, set Select how the timespan is determined to Custom attribute (type: number) .

  4. Select the attribute you want to use to configure the frequency. To configure custom attributes, see section Add and manage notation subsets.

  5. Define the expiry frequency in the field Fallback value if attribute not set . This field serves as the default value if a diagram's expiry frequency attribute value is empty.

To select the workflow you want the system to trigger once a diagram approval expires, you need to switch to the Diagram states tab. Here you can define the states that are considered as approvals in the Reset expiration column.

To use both expiring and non-expiring approvals, set up a specific approval workflow that triggers only states that the expiry function doesn't regard as approved. For example, create the states Approved (expires) and Approved (no expiry) . Activate the check box Reset expiration only for Approved (expires) . Workflows triggering this state will expire, workflows triggering Approved (no expiry) won't.

Reapprovals

To schedule reapprovals, set an expiry period in the Approval Expiration tab and mark at least one of the diagram states in the Diagram states tab as Reset expiration .

Existing approvals

Existing approvals are affected by changing the Approval Expiration or the Diagram state configuration.

Approval Expiration

If you change the expiration timespan, the new expiration period is used to schedule the reapproval.

Example: If a diagram was approved two months ago and you set the reapproval period to one month, the reapproval workflow is triggered immediately.

Diagram state

If you change the diagram state that resets the expiration, reapprovals only depend on the new states. De-selected states are no longer considered for already initiated expiry periods. For the newly selected states, the expiry period is calculated from the time this state was reached.

Example: You have two diagram states, approved and rejected . So far, approved was activating the approval expiration, now you want to change the diagram state to rejected . As soon as the diagram state is changed, the reapprovals linked to approved are discarded by the system. The system also searches for revisions with the state rejected and recalculates the expiry period, starting from the date the diagram was set to rejected . This means that changing the diagram state does not immediately trigger the reapproval workflow, and that it may take less than the complete timespan for the reapproval workflow to be triggered.

Create and edit approval workflows

You can edit approval workflows and add further approval workflow processes.

To create or edit an approval workflow, follow these steps:

  1. Click Setup - Manage Approval Workflows in the top drop-down menu of the explorer.

  2. Either click Open workspace in SAP Signavio Process Governance or click a link to an existing approval workflow.

    In case you did not select a specific workflow, you are redirected to your SAP Signavio Process Governance workspace. Go to the Processes tab to see all existing processes, including your approval workflows.

  3. Select an approval workflow for editing it or click New process to create a new approval workflow.

  4. If you have created a new approval workflow, enter a name for the approval workflow and hit Enter.

Set the workflow trigger

If you have a SAP Signavio Process Governance stand-alone license, you need to define SAP Signavio approval as the trigger for the process.

In case you are using SAP Signavio Process Governance as part of SAP Signavio Process Manager, the approval workflow trigger is set automatically.

Create actions

Go to the Actions tab.

Here you can create actions for the approval workflow and link them with each other. To create the first process element, click the Start event button.

Change states

Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Process Manager drop down and select Set model state to create a new SAP Signavio Process Manager task.

  2. Connect start event and task.

  3. Label the task and select to which state the model should be changed by the trigger.

The states can be defined in SAP Signavio Process Manager, read more in section Diagram states.

When the task was executed in SAP Signavio Process Governance, SAP Signavio Process Manager automatically sets the diagram for which the approval workflow is executed, into this state.

Create and assign user tasks

You can use the interactive context menu to create the first user task and name the task.

Assign the task to one or several of your modeling users in the General tab.

Alternatively, you can assign the task to one of the process participant roles. This is recommended for most cases, as it eases approval workflow management when having several process owners and participants within the different processes.

Read more in section Roles in the SAP Signavio Process Governance user guide.

Adding fields for additional information

In the Form tab you can add several fields providing information about diagram.

To edit the field's information, like label and initial value, click the field and edit it in the dialog.

Add exclusive gateways

You can add an exclusive gateway followed by at least two SAP Signavio Process Manager Set model state tasks.

Read more in section Exclusive gateway in the SAP Signavio Process Governance user guide.

Define task labels

Define task labels as well as the state changes the tasks should trigger. If you want to end the workflow after these steps, add end events.

The gateway represents a user decision, meaning the user executing the previous task can decide which of the following tasks should be triggered.

When clicking the gateway, you can define the labels of the dialog that are displayed to the executing user when the corresponding decision is to be made.

To define the outcome or the possible process flows, name the task following a decision.

Set automatic decisions

Alternatively, gateways can be resolved automatically.

For this, you need to select Automatic decision and define the conditions for gateway resolution.

In our example, it does not make sense to resolve the gateway automatically. You can refer to the above illustration as a reference for automated gateway resolution in a similar case.

Publish the process

To make new approval workflow available from the explorer, click Publish to run this process.

Deactivate the approval workflow feature

To deactivate the approval workflow feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Explorer and go to Setup - Manage approval workflows.

  2. In the approval workflow management dialog, click Deactivate.

  3. Confirm the deactivation.