Defining a workflow in the web client

A state transition model, commonly referred to as a workflow, defines the states that a work item can be in 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 disposition 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.


  1. In the project's work item customization pages, open the Workflows page.
    Attention: To avoid losing unsaved changes, do not use your browser's back and forward buttons to navigate among work item pages. If you leave the Workflows page to edit elements on another page, click the Workflows link in the Work Items page menu to continue editing.
  2. In the Choose the Workflow to edit section, click Add.
  3. Enter a name for the new workflow in the ID field. By default, the Name field is populated with the same value that you enter in the ID field. You can edit the Name field value. Click OK.
  4. Add a state:
    1. In the States section, click Add.
    2. Enter a name and brief description for the state.
    3. Optional: Select a group that is appropriate for the state. For example, the open group would be appropriate for the Submitted state. If none of the available state groups are appropriate, you can use the Eclipse client to modify an existing state group or to add a state group in the State Groups section of the Workflows page.
      Note: For work items in a state group that is mapped to the Closed category, summary information displays with strikethrough formatting in plans and on the Links tab of related work items.
    4. You can select one of the existing icons that is included with the process template. Alternatively, if you want an icon that is not in the list, click Browse and navigate to a graphics file to use as the icon.
    5. Click OK.
    Repeat this process to define all states in the workflow.
  5. 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. In the Actions section, click Add.
    2. Enter a name for the action. Optionally, select a target state and an icon. Then, 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.
  6. Set the main workflow actions in the Details section:
    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.
      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.
    Repeat this process to define all resolutions in the workflow.
  8. Click Save to save your changes.
  9. To associate a type category with the new workflow:
    1. Click Types and Attributes in the Work Items page menu.
    2. Select a type that is associated with the type category for which you want to designate the new workflow.
    3. Select the new workflow, 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.


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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