Parallel Workflow

Premium Checkbox Feature

Usage of this feature requires account access to Premium Checkbox features. For queries related to your licence agreement, ask your account administrator to contact your Checkbox Account Manager.

Beta Feature

Further functionality will be added to Parallel Workflow in future releases


Why would you use a Parallel Workflow?

Parallel workflows allow multiple users to complete unique sections of an assessment simultaneously and independently. Once the sections are completed by all users, the assessment is then continued by the initial user.

For example, a new procurement request is being submitted and multiple stakeholders (e.g. Legal, Commercial, Risk teams, etc.) need to make an assessment of whether they should approve the request and/or provide comments/advice to the submitter. In this example, the Risk team will need to assess the compliance of the vendor with internal risk policies; the Legal team will need to review the vendor’s contract; and the Commercial team will need to share the commercial negotiation outcome. Parallel workflows allow these separate reviews to happen independently but simultaneously.

Note: If the reviews are dependent on each other (e.g. if the Risk team rejects the assessment, the Legal team should review it again), it is recommended to use Approval Workflows so only one approval is in progress at any one time. This ensures all teams approve of the request before moving forward.


What do I need to set up a parallel workflow?

To create a parallel workflow, you will need to use 2 types of workflow blocks:

  1. Parallel Workflow block to assign multiple users to unique routes and 
  2. Sequence Workflow block to converge all unique routes into one path that is assigned to the user who initiated the start of the parallel workflow.

The screenshot below is a simple example of how a parallel workflow can be set up in your App Studio.

Checkbox_2020-08-17_10-37-30.png


To create the above example of a parallel workflow, follow the instructions below.

 


How to set up a parallel workflow

  1. Add a Parallel block to your App, then add multiple branches flowing out of the Parallel block

    Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-38-44.png


  2. In the Property Editor of the Parallel Workflow block, customise the branch names and add a unique condition for each branch to conditionally assign a particular path to a specific user (or group of users with Workflow Groups)

    For example, in the screenshot below, the user has renamed each branch by department teams (e.g. Risk, Commercial and Legal). The unique paths of the multiple users are conditionally determined by the user’s previous response in selecting their respective department they work in.

    Notes:

    • You will notice that the branch names are shown over the respective routes
    • Ensure that at least one of the branch conditions will be satisfied. If none of the branch conditions are satisfied, you must have an alternative route that bypasses the Parallel block, otherwise, the assessment cannot progress past the initial Parallel block.

      Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-40-30.png


  3. Workflow Groups: For each parallel workflow branch, if you want to assign stakeholders through Workflow Groups, select the “Workflow Group” option, then click the “+” button to create a new Workflow Group. Learn more on how to set up a Workflow Group.

    For example, in the screenshot below, the user has created a Workflow Group to assign users from the Risk team to continue the assessment in the unique Risk branch.

    Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-41-37.png


  4. User Picker: Alternatively, if you want to assign stakeholders through a User Picker variable, set select the “User variable” option, then specify a member of the App's Project Team who will complete the branch by using the User Picker variable. Learn more about User Picker variables

    Note: No curly brackets are necessary for the user variable field.
    i.e. Correct - USER12; Incorrect - {{USER12}}

    For example, in the screenshot below, a user selected in the User Picker with the variable name “USER12” has been assigned to continue the assessment in the unique Commercial branch.

    Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-45-16.png

  5. Connect the ends of all unique branches in the parallel workflow to a single Sequence Workflow block, which will converge the multiple paths into a single path for the original user to continue the assessment

    Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-46-04.png


  6. In the Sequence Workflow block, click on “Email Builder” to customise the completion notification email that will notify the original user of the completion of all unique branches in the parallel workflow

    Note: Both subject and body fields in the Email Builder support static text and variables, including meta variables. See the full list of meta variables available for use.

    Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-52-26.png


  7. In the Parallel Workflow block, add a custom header and body in the Property Editor to provide guidance for the initial user kicking off the parallel workflow

    Note: This will not be shown to the users assigned to the branches. This custom text will be shown to the initial user submitting the approval request to check on the progress of each assigned workflow branch.

    Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-53-25.png


From the initial user’s perspective inside an assessment or preview, the custom header and body of the Parallel Workflow block will be shown like below.

Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-54-31.png

 

 

How does a user continue an assessment in a parallel workflow?

The user assigned to a unique branch in the parallel workflow can continue the Assessment on the parallel workflow page by clicking on the assessment URL link in their email notification. This will lead them to the first page in their branch.

Once the section in the unique branch has been completed, the user will receive the following message:

Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-55-16.png


The initial user who kicked off the assessment can see a summary of all branches and their statuses by checking the Completed Date.

Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-55-44.png


Users can also view the status of the assessment through the Project Team Dashboard. In this case, IT and Marketing teams are still in-progress of completing the their part of the Assessment.

Parallel_workflow_article_changes_-_Google_Docs_2020-08-17_10-56-16.png

 

Limitations

The following limitations presently apply to Parallel Workflow in its Beta version:

  • The Validator will not identify errors in the configuration of parallel workflows
  • Parallel Workflow does not support Bulk Assessment