Defining a workflow

A state transition model, commonly referred to as a workflow, defines the states of a work item and the actions that users take to move the work item from one state to another. Typically, a state transition model starts with an Open or Submitted state and ends with a state that reflects the final condition of the work item, such as Resolved or Closed.

Before you begin

For a description of the predefined process templates and associated workflows that are included with the Change and Configuration Management (CCM) application, see the Process Description page for a project area that is based on the template.

About this task

In IBM® Engineering Workflow Management, you define the state transition model by specifying a workflow and then binding that workflow to a work item type category. A type category can have only one workflow. All work item types that are associated with the category use the workflow that is bound to that category.

You can modify a workflow, create a workflow, or create a workflow that is based on an existing workflow.

Procedure

To define a workflow in the Eclipse client:

  1. Open the Workflows page:
    1. In the Team Artifacts view of the Work Items perspective, right-click the project area and select Open.
    2. Click the Process Configuration tab.
    3. Expand Project Configuration > Configuration Data > Work Items, and then click Workflows.
  2. Create a workflow or copy an existing workflow and modify it:
    • To create a workflow, click Add. Enter a name and identifier for the new workflow. Click OK.
    • To create a workflow that is based on another workflow, select the workflow and click Duplicate.
    • To remove current workflows, click Remove.
  3. Add a state:
    1. In the States section, click Add.
    2. Enter a name and brief description for the state.
    3. Select Show Resolution to display any configured resolutions for that state in a list beside the state list. For example, when a defect is resolved, you can have a resolution such as Fixed, Duplicate, or Invalid.
    4. Select a group that is appropriate for the state. For example, the Open group is appropriate for the Submitted state. If none of the available state groups are appropriate, you can modify an existing state group or add a state group in the State Groups section of the Workflows page.
      Important: When defining workflow in IBM Engineering Workflow Management project area, you see the option Duplicate Resolution, with a list of values such as None Resolution orDuplicate. If you set the value to Duplicate, when adding a duplicate of link to the Work Item type, the state of that work item is changed to Resolved, and its resolution is change to Duplicated. If adding a Duplicated by link, the state and resolution fields of the target work item are changed to Resolved and Duplicated by respectively.
    5. Select an icon from the set of icons that are included in the process template, or click Add Icons and select your own graphics file to use as the icon for the state.
    6. Click OK.
    To define all states in the workflow, repeat step 3.
  4. In the Transitions section, a matrix illustrates the state transition model. The row headings contain the From state, and the column headings contain the Target state. The intersecting cells contain the actions that users take to move the work item from the From state to the Target state. To add an action, complete the next steps.
    1. Click a cell, click the down arrow, and select New Action.
    2. Enter a name for the action and click OK.
    Continue to add actions necessary to support your state transition model. At a minimum, provide actions to enable users to move the work item from its original state to its final state.
  5. Optional: To create actions from the Actions section, complete the next steps.
    1. Click Add and enter a name, description, and target state.
    2. You can select an icon that is included with the process template, or click Add Icons and select your own graphics file to use as the icon for the state.
    3. Click OK.
    4. To associate resolutions with actions, select an action, then select a configured resolution from the list to the right.
    5. Use the Edit and Remove buttons to modify or delete an action.
  6. In the Workflow section, set the main workflow actions.
    1. In the Start action field, select the action that is used to place the work item in its initial state.
    2. In the Resolve action field, select the action that is used to move the work item to a resolved state.
    3. In the Reopen action field, select the action that is used to reopen a work item that is in a resolved state.
  7. Add a resolution:
    1. In the Resolutions section, click Add.
    2. Enter a name and brief description for the manner in which a work item can be resolved. For example, you might define resolutions such as Fixed, Fixed indirectly, and Not a bug.
    3. Select or add an icon for the resolution, then click OK.
      Note: State groups for resolutions allow further differentiation of resolved states. State groups are useful for complex workflows with different impacts of a resolution. For example, you can have resolutions that are fixed, tested, and verified for the Resolved state. To differentiate bug fixes that are confirmed in a staging environment versus in production, you can define the state groups Closed:[fixed, tested] and Deployed:[verified]. You can then query for all resolved defects that are not verified yet on a production system by using the state group Closed.
    To define all resolutions in the workflow, repeat step 7.
  8. In the Actions section, for each action that can be resolved, select those resolutions and the order in which they are displayed in the work item editor and other places throughout the user interface. To set the order of the resolutions, in the Resolution table, click Move Up and Move Down.
  9. In the States section, for each state, set the order in which to display the available actions in the work item editor and other places throughout the user interface. Select a state. To set the order of the actions, in the Actions table, click Move Up and Move Down. You can also use the Add, Edit, or Remove buttons to add, edit, or remove actions.
  10. In the State Groups section, add a state group. State groups allow related workflow states to be associated with each other. Existing groups are In Progress, Open, and Closed. You can associate State groups with workflow resolutions down to the action resolution. You can also associate State groups with OSLC Groups, which are used in Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) based product integrations.
    Note: For work items in a state group that is mapped to the Closed category, summary information is displayed dimmed in plans. Depending on the operating system on which Eclipse is running, summary information on the Links tab of work items is displayed either dimmed or with strikethrough formatting:

    • Windows operating system icon Summary information on the Links tab is displayed with strikethrough formatting.
    • Mac OS X operating system icon Summary information on the Links tab is displayed dimmed.
  11. Click Save to save your changes.
  12. To associate a type category with the new workflow:
    1. In the Configuration menu, click Types and Attributes.
    2. Select a type that is associated with the type category for which to designate the new workflow.
    3. Select the new workflow, and then click Save to save your changes.
    Attention: If you change the workflow association for a type category, all work item types that are associated with that category also adopt the new workflow.

Results

The new workflow applies to all work item types that belong to the work item type category to which it is bound.

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