Business Process Designer > BPMN Processes > Graphical elements / Task

Task

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A user task is performed by an employee as a part of a business process. Tasks are assigned automatically in the order they appear in the process diagram. They represent the steps that the process participants have to complete to achieve a specific outcome.

For example, in the purchase request process, employees will perform such tasks as fill in and consider the request, check stock availability, etc.

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How to configure a user task

All settings are configured on 4 tabs: General, Form, Deadline, and Connectors. You can add a template for the task name, select multiple-instance execution, change the form, specify a deadline, etc.

Double-click on the task shape in the process diagram to open the settings window.

General Tab

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The General tab contains the main information about the task:

  • Name*. In this field you have to specify the name of the task in the process diagram. It should be short and succinct to make the process easy to read.
  • Task name. To provide a more detailed task description to the executor, select the option Generate name from template. The executor will see the information entered in this field in the task list or on the task page. You might want to include context variables in the template by clicking on the (+) icon in the right corner of the Template field. task 2

If this option is not used, the text specified in the Name field will be displayed in the task list and on the form.  You can also add the DateTime function to the template by clicking the {f} sign.

  • Notification. When this option is selected, the executor will be notified about the assigned task.
  • Reassignment. Use this setting to allow or forbid an employee to reassign a task to other colleagues.
  • Multiple Instance. This setting is available only if a swimlane represents a group of users or a department. The task will be assigned to all employees within the group or department, but the system’s behavior will depend on the option selected:  
    • First Response. All the executors represented by the swimlane will be simultaneously assigned with the task. Once somebody starts working on the task, it will disappear from the task list of the other executors.
    • Parallel. The task will be assigned simultaneously to all executors specified in the swimlane settings. The process will continue only after all executors complete the task.
    • Sequential. Executors will be assigned with the task one after another. The process proceeds to the next step after all employees complete the task.

Please note that in case of a dynamic swimlane, the executors will be selected in the order they are specified in the variable that defines swimlane executors. For a static swimlane, the sequence is determined randomly.

Below you can find examples that help you better understand how to use multiple instance tasks properly.

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Example 1.

Consider the work of the warehouse. Any warehouse employee can prepare goods for shipping. It does not matter who exactly will be engaged in bundling and packaging; what really matters is to complete the task as quickly as possible. If you select the First Response option, the task will be assigned to each warehouse employee, and the one who is less busy at the moment will be able to immediately start doing it. As soon as ELMA365 gets confirmation that an employee has taken on the task (for this the employee needs to click on the confirmation button on the task page), it will cancel the task for other executors.

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Example 2.

Consider such a case, all meeting participants should be informed of its outcomes in writing. After the meeting is held, the outcomes are recorded in the system and sent to the participants. It is important that every employee who attended the meeting read this information, but the order in which the task will be executed does not matter. If you select the Parallel option, all meeting participants will be assigned with the task “read a report of the meeting outcomes”, and until each of them completes the task, the process will not move on.

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Example 3.

Suppose that several managers need to read and approve the report before the process continues. If you select the Sequential option, the system will first assign the task of reviewing the report to one manager, and after he or she approves the document, to another. In the connectors settings, you can specify how the system should behave if someone from the approvers rejects the report. To find out how to do it, read the Connectors article.

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Form Tab

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This tab allows you to configure the display of the task form. Drag the variables from the Context column to the Name on form column. To create a new variable, click the +Add button. Each variable is a field on the task form.

Specify which variables are required required, and which are read-only read only. Read-only fields can be hidden from the form if empty. Just click on the field's name in the list to open its settings and check the Hide if the field is empty box.

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This setting is not available for app-type fields.

If you add an App type variable to the form, you can select app fields and make them visible on the form. To do this, click on the App name in the column Name on form. In the pop-up window, go to the Properties tab, select the required fields and click Save.

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The fields will be added to the form and displayed under the app name.

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Even if a user doesn't have sufficient access permissions to edit app items, he or she will still be able to edit app fields on the task form. In this case, the user is not granted direct access to the app and will not be able to edit the item after filling out the form.

If the functionality of the standard form is not enough, create your own template using the form editor. Read more on how to do this in the Form templates article.

Deadline Tab

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For some tasks, it is crucial to meet deadlines and stay on schedule. This is especially true when you think about customer communications. Quickly handled applications and timely delivered goods provide your competitive advantage.

On this tab, you can customize the deadlines for the task, as well as determine what happens if the task is not done at the specified time.

There are two ways to set the task deadline:

  • Exact time. Specify how many minutes, hours or days will be spent on the task. The deadline can be specified taking into account the setting of the business calendar
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  • Variable. Sometimes it is impossible to determine how much time it requires to complete the task, but it is important that the work is done by a specific date. For example, an employee specifies the leave start and end dates, and the accountant must calculate the vacation pay and give the money 3 days before the employee takes his or her vacation. In this case, the task deadline time can be determined by the context variable.
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It may happen that the task will not be completed by the specified time, despite the deadlines. In this case, control tools are needed to timely respond to the situation and take necessary measures.

In the Notification field, you can specify the employees who will receive a notification if the executor does not meet the deadline. You can add a current user, a context variable (for example, the Initiator), a user group or an org chart item to determine the notification recipient.

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In the Interrupt field, define the next process step that must be taken if the executor does not complete the task in time. For this choose the appropriate connector name in the drop-down list.

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The process will automatically go down the selected connector if the task deadline is not met and the executor does not confirm that the task has been completed. In the process diagram, such connector has a clock icon.

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For example, for a company, it is very important to meet the order processing deadlines. Warehouse employees must timely check stock availability and, if necessary, purchase the missing goods. This task is limited in time. If the employee does not meet the deadline, ELMA365 will automatically assign the task to the purchasing manager to deal with the situation.

Connectors Tab

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On this tab, you can configure all the outgoing task connectors: edit the name, add confirmation, choose the button color, etc. To go to the settings, click on the name of the transition. Read more in the Connectors article.

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