Q1-1: Workflows Work Items, what you see and when

The Sunrise concepts of workflows and workitems are pretty wide-ranging, and used in a number of ways and with a number of names depending on who's talking about them.

When we talk about workflows, however, we're referring to one or more of workitems - arranged in some way. The workitems themselves represent something that someone (or a team of someones) needs to perform - it might be an asset upload, it might be an approval (which itself contains work items representing the steps) or it might be an 'auto ticky task' which is carried out by the system itself and represents a gate or a mechanism for joining other work items together.

What you see in Sunrise about items and workflows varies depending on who you are and which ones you're looking at, and can cause some considerable confusion until you get to grips with a few basics. Here's those basics!

"My Tasks"

The 'my tasks' view shows the workitems which are assigned to me, or to roles/groups of which I'm a member. If, for example, someone asks me to upload a file, then it'll appear in the my tasks view.

If someone asks my team to upload a file, then it'll appear on my tasks view too - but only until someone in my team claims it.

"Browse workflows"

The browse workflows page shows you all workflows (subject to your choice of filters, e.g. "only show running ones") which match one or more of the following conditions:

  • The workflow belongs to your domain (which usually represents a company, but could be a department or a team if you work for a large enterprise)
  • The workflow belongs to a different domain, but you're named on it as Accountable or Informed
  • The workflow belongs to a different domain, but a role/group you're a member of is named on it as Accountable or Informed

Those three are relatively self-explanatory - in a nutshell, they show you all the workflows that either belong to your company or where someone's associated you with the workflow itself.

We also show you, on that same screen, all workflows where:

  • The workflow creator has chosen to make it visible to people assigned to its tasks,

and either:

  • One of the workitems (aka 'tasks') on the workflow is assigned to you
  • One of the workitems on the workflow is assigned to a role/group you're a member of

So... what's not shown?

It's possible, then, for you to be able to see a task (a work item) on your tasks screen but NOT see the workflow on your browse workflows page. This happens when a task is assigned to you (or one of your groups) but the workflow creator has chosen not to make the workflow itself visible to assignees of its tasks.

You will still be able to click the 'workflow summary' tab on the task screen in this instance, but you'll only see your own task and not the rest of the details.

An example might help:

If you're a Project Manager for MegaRetailer, and you create a new project to represent your Christmas relaunch, you may not want to show all your suppliers all the details of the project. You'd want them to be able to complete the various tasks assigned to them, but not to see everything else that's going on (e.g. who the other suppliers are).

In that case, you'd choose to not make the workflow visible to all task assignees, and each supplier would be able to see only their own work items. They would NOT be able to see the project in their browse workflow pages.

However, you would still be able to see it in yours (because the workflow is in your domain). If you've added SBS Legal (who are doing all the legal checks for the whole project) to the workflow itself as Informed, then they'd see it in their browse workflows pages because it matches on a workflow assignee.

Same workflow, same assignments, different visibility - it's all about giving you fine-grained control of who can see what in your system.

Editing workflows

A final note on editing workflows; to edit them you need to have the WorkManager right (or higher - Domain Admins can always edit their domain's content) in the domain the workflow belongs to, or be the creator of the workflow. 

The WorkManager right is granted to roles, not users, so in practice that means you have to be a member of a role which has the WorkManager right. Your Domain Admin should be able to tell you which (if any) of your organisation's roles have that right. If the workflow belongs to a different domain, you'll need to be a member of a role that has WorkManager rights in that domain.

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