In this blog we’ll take a look at how we can build an input task to allow us to build our planning event and workflow within the solution. Workflow is a capability that always get discussed and requested for planning and the solution offers an integrated way of setting this up and kicking the process off.
The business scenario used in this blog is for a simple spend plan for our business units. We have 2015 actuals and want to plan for 2016.
The model (which planning enabled and has already been built) has a dimension of “Organisation” type which allows us to assign a person responsible – this is the driver to allow us to push the planning input tasks out to those individuals (note that these users need to be users with Cloud for Analytics and with e-mail addresses assigned to the accounts this will drive the e-mail notifications).
First up is creating a new story with a crosstab component, linked to the model. After choosing the appropriate measures and dimensions in the row/columns the crosstab is ready. Note that crosstabs replace the previous report concept, see this blog for further details. In this example the Cost Element dimension, like the Business Unit, also has a hierarchy assigned to it. We’ll focus on the Internal Labor figure.
We can then create the input task by selecting the icon as a property of the crosstab within the story (I’m creating the input task under my user – Matt Potts).
After giving the task a name, description, due date and setting up a reminder if required (set to a number of days before the due date) then we can assign the contributors to the planning input process.
The assignees can then be selected from the Organisation Dimension (in this our Business Unit dimension was marked at the organisation type). In our case we will select the R&D business line (which falls under the responsibility of Aggy Works).
Creating the input task the triggers the process (creating an event in the calendar, a notification in the C4A notifications inbox and sending of e-mail notifications). It has also created an event in the Event calendar.
Logging on as the user Aggy Works we can see a task alert has been created. We can click on this to view the task which we can then choose to accept or decline.
The data is filter to the business unit of the user, R&D (as per the input task that was created).
After accepting the task we can start to update/modify the planning values (for My Version of the budget). In this case we’ll change the Internal Labor spend. The current budget for Internal Labor spend is at £33,021,885. We’ll modify this by increasing it by £100,000 (note that this will also update the values in the parent and child nodes of the Cost Element hierarchy).
We can click done once finished, this updates the numbers relative to the delta change we have inputted. This will also send a notification back to the approver (my account).
When logging back into my account I have a task notification asking me to approve the input task and clicking on the notification takes me to the input form, I can change the view version to see what the assignee(s) have changed. I can then approve or reject the changes (rejecting will push the task back to the assignee).
After approving the task (and because I only had one assignee) I’m then able to complete the input task.
The completion of the import task update the original budget for Internal Labor from £33,021,885 to £33,121,885.
Whilst this is a really simple example, it demonstrates the ease of creating a workflow for planning in the solution. This is something which business users could own and manage in the Cloud for Analytics solution to deliver a planning model with workflow – without the need for any system configuration or complex setup.