Create More Informative PR and PO Release Workflows

  • by Jocelyn Dart, Senior Solution Consultant, SAP Consulting
  • August 1, 2004
The instructional texts that SAP provides with its workflow templates for purchase requisition and purchase order releases can be a little confusing. In addition, you might want to add information specific to your situation. Fortunately, modifying this text requires only the simple configuration steps described here.
Key Concept
Keep in mind that your workflow texts must accommodate two types of users or agents: experienced and inexperienced. The experienced users often need no more than the subject text to know what to do with the work, while an inexperienced user probably needs the instructions in the long text before proceeding. Your subject text, then, needs to accurately label the work, and the long text must provide clear directions.

Some of the most commonly used workflow templates that SAP provides are the purchase requisition (PR) and purchase order (PO) release workflows. With minimal configuration, the workflow lets you both control and accelerate the release strategy process, pushing requisitions and orders requiring release to the relevant approvers. You can often use the original workflow definition unchanged. However, both of these workflows have one little problem: The instructional texts sent along with the work are annoyingly uninformative. This is an easy problem to fix — if you know how.

One of the nicer benefits of workflow is the ability to send instructions along with the work. Good instructions help the agents — the people sent work by the workflow — to quickly assess what work needs to be done and its urgency. They also provide reminders of good business practice and reduce the training required when introducing new agents to the workflow. The standard programs to send email reminders to agents that work is sitting in their workflow inbox can also echo this text in the message.

Jocelyn Dart

Jocelyn Dart is a senior solution consultant at SAP Consulting working in Australia/New Zealand. She currently specializes in workflow and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). As well as speaking at various SAPPHIREs and at ASUG, Jocelyn is a co-author of the book, Practical Workflow for SAP.

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