Frequently Asked Questions
What is this new Workflow that I keep reading about?
The University is ready to introduce enhanced Workflow for eRecruit (Okanagan campus at a later date), ePAF, and Position Management. This same workflow technology will also be implemented in the new Online Payment Tool being released later this year in FMS. Transactions entered into these systems often require approval by multiple people, including signing authorities. Approvers will be notified by email and approvals done electronically in HRMS and FMS (via hyperlink), instead of the old process associated with paper forms.
What precipitated the workflow project?
The success of Workflow is a campus-wide responsibility, underpinning many of the universities critical business applications. It ensures HRMS is compliant with university signing policy.
Why am I receiving emails regarding the Workflow upgrade?
It is important that the workflow upgrade team keep all workflow users informed of events that affect transactions entered into HRMS, or the way they are approved. Typically, workflow users fall into two categories: people that initiate transactions, and people that approve transactions. Some users do both. Both groups of users benefit from improvements to the workflow technology being implemented via the workflow project. The workflow enhancements will also bring many new approvers into the system and it is also important to make these approvers aware of their responsibilities.
What email address is used to communicate system changes to users and how is it maintained?
Email addresses for all employees exist in 2 places within HRMS. The location familiar to most employees is the emails available in Faculty and Staff Self-Service. These emails can be updated by the employee in Self-Service, or by most department administrators. These emails are used with the central Broadcast email system used by IT. However, workflow does not use these email addresses to communicate with approvers and initiators. Instead, it uses a special email address stored in each user’s security profile. This email address cannot be updated via Self-Service. Each HRMS user (initiator or approver) can update their security profile email address by signing onto HRMS and accessing ‘My Workflow Profile’ from the left-side menu.
Run HRMS Query “401_WF_APPROVER_EMAIL” to get a complete list of all approvers for your department.
I have also heard about Faculty eRecruit, how is this related to the new Workflow?
Enhanced workflow is also a prerequisite to the launch of faculty eRecruit to academic departments on the Vancouver campus (and later, the Okanagan campus). Faculty eRecruit is being rolled out in 4 waves, and started in February 2013. For more information go here: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/hr-networks/2013/01/faculty-erecruit-roll-out-waves/
I have also heard about a new Online Payment Tool, how is this related to the new Workflow?
This same workflow technology will also be implemented in the new Online Payment Tool being released later this year in FMS. For more information go here: https://finance.ubc.ca/procure-pay
Will I be able to perform approvals outside of a campus location?
If you are approving HRMS transactions from a non-campus location, you may need to run the VPN software first to ensure you have a secure, encrypted connection to UBC and the HRMS application. You can find instruction on how to install VPN here https://it.ubc.ca/services/email-voice-internet/myvpn
Where can I find more information regarding UBC’s security policies?
For more information on the use of email addresses for business purposes please see the UBC Information Security Manual, page 9, section 1.2.2 at http://www.it.ubc.ca/sites/it.ubc.ca/files/uploads/__shared/assets/UBC_Information_Security_Manual.pdf
When will the workflow enhancements be implemented?
We are planning to implement the enhancements on the weekend of February 23rd. You will see the changes when you come into work on Monday, February 25th.
HRMS will be unavailable for part of this weekend (Feb 23/24) while the enhancements are installed.
What are the new processes surrounding Workflow?
Once an electronic transaction is entered and submitted, the identified approver is sent an email that takes them (via hyperlink) into HRMS or FMS, where the transaction can be reviewed, and approved or sent back to the initiator for more information. Signing authorities will use CWL to sign in and complete workflow approvals. You may have already experienced electronic workflow in the HRMS eRecruit and ePAF systems. Workflow will involve faculty and staff at all levels of the University.
What are the key improvements to the new Workflow?
- Storing workflow rules for all systems in a central repository.
- The ability to have multiple approvers.
- Approvers being able to delegate to someone else when on vacation.
- Having pre-established back-up approvers.
- Being able to review your approvers prior to workflow launching.
- Being able to add an additional approver on a one-time basis to a specific transaction.
- Using the official signing authority database maintained in FMS to identify the appropriate P/G approvers.
For a full list of enhancements, go here: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/information-systems/hrms/hrms-uniform-workflow/
How will this affect current approvals in Position Management?
- It was always the intention to have departmental approvals in Position Management. These are being added as part of the new Workflow project.
- New ‘Submit’ buttons have been added to allow you to submit department and central approvals independently or together, and to optionally submit these approvals if they are not normally required.
- Since all workflow rules are now maintained in a new central repository, the ‘eRecruit Approvers’ tab has been removed.
- The information on the ‘Approval Status’ tab has been reformatted and enhanced to match eRecruit and ePAF. You will now see the flowchart that tracks approval progress.
- The incumbent name has been added to the search page so you can see who is in each position (for your positions only).
Will job applicants be affected by the workflow enhancements, what about existing transactions?
- Job applicants will not be affected by these enhancements. No on-line features they use are changing.
- All existing positions and eRecruit/ePAF transactions will remain intact. Under rare circumstances, we may be forced to Pushback or Recycle a transaction. This only applies around the Feb 23rd weekend. If this occurs, we will let you know and you will need to resubmit the transaction.
Are my previous workflow rules being moved into the new central repository?
- Unfortunately, the old approval rules you provided for eRecruit and ePAF are not compatible with the new central repository.
- Over the last year, new approval rules were collected from most departments. These new rules are now in the repository.
- If your department did not provide new approval rules, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you attempt to submit a transaction with no/broken approval rules, it will reject until you correct the situation. A new form will be available shortly on the HR website for you to submit approval rule changes
- You can run HRMS Query “400_HRMS_WORKFLOW_RULES” to see your approval rules for all transaction types.
If the primary financial officer changes in the signing authority system to accommodate HR transactions, how does that affect travel and expense transactions when they are automated later this year?
- There are situations in the new travel and expense system that explicitly require a Head’s approval. Changing the signing authority in FMS that is designated as the primary financial officer will not affect our ability to send an approval to the Head.
- There is another condition in T&E that requires an approval by a one-over. Again, changing the signing authorities will not affect this.
- There is a condition that requires an approval by a PI. Again, no worries.
However, all T&E transaction must also be approved by a signing authority for the P/G. We will look for the primary financial officer identified in the signing authority system to identify this person. Since there is only one primary flag in the signing authority system, it will have to be the same person selected for HR transactions.
What about approvers with no prior experience in HRMS?
- Approvers receive an email letting them know they need to go into HRMS to do an approval. A hyperlink takes them to the Worklist page where they see any outstanding approvals that need their attention. This has not changed.
- The integration to the FMS signing authority systems will introduce many new approvers to HRMS.
- To help them along, we have added a new hyperlink to the approval emails directing them to the HR website where they can get instruction on how to do an approval.
- You can see these instructions here: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/information-systems/hrms/hrms-uniform-workflow/quick-help-guides/
- If you want to see a list of approvers for your department, run HRMS Query “401_WF_APPROVER_EMAIL”.
Which people qualify for an auto-created approver ID in HRMS?
- All signing authorities identified in the FMS Signing Authority system.
- All staff (active or on leave) that are greater than pay grade 6 and are: M&P, Excluded M&P and Service Unit Directors.
- All faculty (paid or unpaid, active or on leave) and are: Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Senior Instructors, Instructors, Librarians and Program Directors.
- All Deans (active or on leave).
- All Senior Executives (academic and administrative, active or on leave).
What about HRMS security access?
- For existing HRMS update users that initiate transactions, there is no change to HRMS security access – Position Management, ePAF or eRecruit.
- For existing HRMS approvers for these 3 systems, there is no need to request any changes to HRMS security access.
- The following people may not have HRMS approver access: Some approvers identified in the workflow spreadsheets collected from you over the past year, some signing authorities, and new managers hired throughout the year. In most cases, there is no need to request HRMS approver security access for these people. They will be given this access automatically. If a person is missed, approval access can be requested via the regular HRMS access forms.
Where can I find more information regarding the new Workflow project?
For more information on the Workflow project, read below or visit our site at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/information-systems/hrms/hrms-uniform-workflow/ (more information to be added soon).
Where can I find more information regarding the Online Payment Tool project?
You can find more information on the Online Payment Tool project here (http://finance.ubc.ca/projects/purchase-and-payment-simplification-program-ppsp/about-te).
Is there someone I can talk to if I have any further questions?
- Please contact Robert Boudreau at email@example.com or 2-8142.