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Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary

Flexible Workflow Steps

Dear SAP Friends,

Welcome to another interesting topic, Flexible Workflow

In this blog will see steps on how to activate Flexible workflow.

Just a quick overview of Flexible workflow

1.       It’s a Release strategy of PR & PO

2.       Easy to maintain & Understand no Transport Requests are required

Note:- TR will be generated when we activate Flexible workflow in IMG and remaining are non-TR based. System wise we can maintain.

3.       Only one Release strategy can be used at a time either classic or Flexible Workflow

4.       Need to Activate Flexible Workflow

5.       FWF is maintained in Fiori “Manage Workflows for Purchase Order”

FWF- Flexible Workflow

Refer SAP S/4HANA Flexible Workflow Overview and Comparison with SAP Business Workflow by Alan Rickayzen

Now let’s see first how to activate FWF

1.       Go to IMG → Materials Management → Purchasing → Purchase Order → Release Procedure for Purchase Orders → Activate Flexible Workflow for Purchase Orders

2.       Activate which document type you want to have FWF

–         It’s based on document type for ex:- NB we can have FWF and UB we can have Classic Workflow

3.       Once done save. Transport request will be generated

4.       Now open “Manage Workflows for Purchase order” App

5.       Choose add

6.       Give Workflow name and description for understanding purpose

Even we can set timelines for PO release status

7.       Go to start conditions tab

As per business requirement, we can select the precondition to start the workflow

Only if the condition met then only created PO will be coming to workflow or else it will be released automatically

We can have more conditions as per business requirements.

8.       Go to step sequence and choose add to maintain more conditions like a responsible person, PO values etc.

9.       By default, Step type will be set to Automatic release of PO drop down and change to release of PO

10.  Go to Recipient and select Role / User as per business

–         User means we can select specific user-id

–         Role means, that role has to be assigned to responsible person user-id

Note in order to have responsible persons User ID’s and there Names to be displayed in users list means we need to create Employee and assign to Business partner refer to https://blogs.sap.com/2019/07/17/employee-as-a-business-partner-and-synchronization-with-hr-data/

Select a responsible person from the user’s list

If you selected multiple users for release, we have an option like one of the recipient approval is enough or all approvals is required, we can select as per requirement

11.  Go to step condition to add conditions like Currency, PO value, Material group, Company Code etc,

If wanted we can keep or else leave blank as we already maintain precondition in the initial stage.

12.  Once done click on add

13.  And then save

14.  And then activate

Once it’s activated we can’t edit only deactivate or delete

With this, we completed all the required steps

Now, let’s check we maintained all correctly or not.

Will create PO

During Workflow creation we maintained 2 conditions

–         Document type = NB

–         PO Value greater than 20 USD

Both conditions our PO fulfil’s

PO created

Now if I open PO in change mode will get below information

It triggered FWF.

Now let’s Approve / release PO

Open My Inbox App.

As one PO is in my bucket for approval on tile only we can see notifications ?

We have the following options

–         Approve

–         Reject

–         Show log

–         Claim (initiate process)

–         Forward

If you feel it must be approved by someone else, not by you, we can do it.

–         Suspend (Hold)

Now let’s Approve PO

It’s done

If you are going on vacation like how we keep out of office mail with backup contact person ? same, we can do hear as well

In my inbox app click me area and select manage my substitutes

By selecting planned leave or unplanned leave ? Click add new substitute

By selecting from date and to date

Save

Now whatever PO is create and triggered to FWF it will go to my substitute

If you want to see all the list of POs’ that you approved so far there is an app for that as well

My Outbox

Note:- all above content doesn’t have sensitive info so don’t waste your time for reporting

If the same My Inbox App is configured in mobile means, see the beauty of SAP Fiori

Encourage Fiori and get the most advanced features of it and make life easy and smooth.

 

Please share, Like and Comment anything else you want to share or add points.

Thanks & Regards

Ruthvik Chowdary

SME – S/4 HANA Manufacturing & Procurement

SAP Ariba P2P

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      84 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Sai Krishna Vallurupalli
      Sai Krishna Vallurupalli

      Excellent,  its really useful

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Sai Krishna Vallurupalli ?

      Author's profile photo venu gopal
      venu gopal

      Dear Ruthvik,

       

      Excellent document ..keep it up..

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you venu gopal Please share with others as well.

      Author's profile photo Praveen Kumar L V
      Praveen Kumar L V

      Hi,

      Nice document. Should  the flexible workflow be activated only for one document type?

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author
      Thank you, Glad, you liked. No, you can activate for all documents based on requirements and even few Flexible workflows and few Classic workflows.
      Author's profile photo Amit Sharma
      Amit Sharma

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Explained very well.... Thank you for sharing.

      Keep it up 🙂

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Amit Sharmafor your support and liking my article please share among those who require knowledge on FWF

      Author's profile photo Pravin Mandgaonkar
      Pravin Mandgaonkar

      Nice document Ruthvik..! Thanks for sharing..

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Pravin Mandgaonkar

      Share same with others who has requirement

      Author's profile photo Lavanya G
      Lavanya G

      Hi Ruthvik Chowdary

      really nice detailed document of workflows. great effort. ?

      I Have a Question can the same process followed for Finance Related Functionality as well?

      Same question i have posted as well can you please guide me

      https://answers.sap.com/questions/12939024/flexible-workflows-for-finance.html

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Lavanya

      Thank you, glad you liked my article,

      I'm not expert in Finance but i will try to share information as per my knowledge

      below Apps are available which i feel are related to finance

      1. Earmarked Funds: Approval
      2. Manage Workflows - For Bank Accounts
      3. Manage Workflows for General Journal Entry Verification
      4. Manage Workflows for Supplier Invoices

      Thanks & Regards

      Ruthvik Chowdary

      Author's profile photo Lavanya G
      Lavanya G

      Thank you Ruthvik Chowdary for your help

      Author's profile photo Pradeep Ravoori
      Pradeep Ravoori

      Awesome bro.

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Glad you liked my article Follow me to get more

      Author's profile photo Vijay Kumar
      Vijay Kumar

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Really very good explanation of FWF.

      We r lucky... Thanks for sharing ?

      Waiting for more to come about sourcing and procurement with new functionality & innovation in 1909

       

       

       

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Vijay ?

      Sure you will be seeing soon.

      Author's profile photo Naga Seerla
      Naga Seerla

      Hello Ruthvik,

      Could you let me know, if this functionality is available in on-premise version (perhaps 1909) as well.

      P.S: We are currently on 1610 SPS 0 and would be upgrading to 1909 in couple months.

      Thanks,

      Naga

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Naga Seerla

      This functionality is available from 1809 version onwards you can get when you upgrade to 1909

      Author's profile photo Mithun Kumar
      Mithun Kumar

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Thanks for the informative blog. I'd like to understand more about the step conditions and how do they work. Are they different from the Pre-conditions we add on the 1st screen?

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Mithun Kumar

      Thank you 🙂

      Yes Preconditions are different and step condition is different

      A precondition is used to initiate the workflow

      Step condition is used to determine which document will get for approval process

       

      Author's profile photo Mithun Kumar
      Mithun Kumar

      Thanks Ruthvik Chowdary

      During a custom development and extensive debugging, I realized a major difference between how the Pre-conditions and step conditions are evaluated.

      During evaluation of a step condition, the code doesn’t get the workflow’s or the workItem’s container at all. So as I was trying to check a “container variable = my condition parameter” condition, it always failed, even when the container has the correct value for that variable. Due to this my step was always 'Skipped'.

      However, if the same condition is used as a pre-condition, this evaluation was successful, as the container is being read properly.

      Have you noticed the same? Or am I doing something wrong here?

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author
       I am not that knowledgeable in Technical stuff I'm functional
      How every Precondition is the starting step for logic if the condition is matched then only it enters into workflow 2nd condition step condition
      First of all, Precondition should match then only Workflow will initiate
      Author's profile photo Ramesh Kothapally
      Ramesh Kothapally

      Hi Rithvik,

       

      Thank you!!!

      It is excellent and very informative.

       

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you very much

      Author's profile photo Francesco Fuiano
      Francesco Fuiano

      Hi Rithvik,

       

      Thanks for sharing!

      I have a question regarding information provided on the approve/reject message.. Up to 1909 version,does it exist any standard setting to provide additional information or the only way is a customisation?

       

      Thanks in advance,

      Francesco

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Francesco,

      It available from 1710 version we can Give Approve/Reject Messages no additional settings are required by default it will be coming

      Author's profile photo Francesco Fuiano
      Francesco Fuiano

      Yes Ruthvik, I was wondering if we can add other information with standard. For example, standard price or last PO price or PO vendor

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Yes we can add selection conditions as per requirement

      Please do watch https://youtu.be/-iwJw2uyOao

      Author's profile photo May Li
      May Li

      It's a great documentation!!!

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you May Li

      Author's profile photo Gonzalo Simon
      Gonzalo Simon

      Hello,

       

      Do you know how to configure the notification that the requestor should receive when a PR/PO gets rejected?

       

      I am not getting them and no idea where to configure them.

       

      thank you very much

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Notification in the Sence you need to maintain action task what to do when rejected so the requestor will get notification

      Author's profile photo Amba Prasad Bonala
      Amba Prasad Bonala

      HI Rithvik,

      Thanks for the document…

      These conditions are standard? Cant we add any more Pre conditions..

      And Existing Configuration like Release groups, Release codes etc., are not required right?

      Thanks,

      Prasad

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Amba Prasad Bonala

      We can add our own conditions as well

      old Release groups, Release codes not required to configure if we go with flexible workflows

      Author's profile photo Paul Messer
      Paul Messer

      How can you add your own pre-conditions in S/4HANA On Premise?

      Author's profile photo Heiko Volkmer
      Heiko Volkmer

      Hi Paul, did you find a solution? I am looking for it too! Thanks Heiko

      Author's profile photo Paul Messer
      Paul Messer

      Hi Volkmer,

       

      yes. As of 1909 OP you can implement your own preconditions using custom BaDIs BADI SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_DEF and BADI SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_EVAL

       

      BR

      Paul

      Author's profile photo nikhil jacob
      nikhil jacob

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Nice Documentation and This helped me during my On-Prem Implementation.

       

      Related to the Approval process in Fiori - Do you have idea on the below;

      1. As you know, Approve/Reject comments will be updated back in SAP GUI. What about Attachments ? Any Mechanism to bring back attachments to SAP GUI
      2. Manage Substitutes - Any Pre-requisite setup required in HCM . I tried Maintaining Leaves for the Approver in PA30 - but couldn't setup any Substitutes for the same Approver

      Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      H nikhil jacob

      Attachments we can add-in during approving in my inbox app and the same will be shown in GUI if  DMS is installed

      Manage Substitutes this option also available in my inbox only please refer above mentioned steps

      Author's profile photo nikhil jacob
      nikhil jacob

      Hi Rutvik,

      Thanks for your Answer.

      You mean - if DMS is installed , we can see the attachments in ME23N?

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Yes

      Author's profile photo Amruta Kulkarni
      Amruta Kulkarni

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Can we send emails in outlook once workflow is triggered?

      Also can we provide option to approve from outlook email (like a link)?

      Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Amruta Kulkarni

      I'm Not sure about this but with the help of UI5 Consultant we can do i guess so

      Author's profile photo Riju Varghese
      Riju Varghese

      Hi Ruthvik,

       

      Nicely explained.

       

      I have one question. How will i re-trigger a purchase order. Generally my while uploading legacy PO those PO are auto approved. Now if i want to re-trigger those Purchase Order, how i gonna do that?

       

      Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author
      Riju Varghese Once PO's are uploaded from the legacy system the same status will come over, and Re-trigger is not possible as per my knowledge
      Author's profile photo Avish Mittal
      Avish Mittal

      Hi Ruthvik,

       

      Nice blog and explained in detail.

      I have a question, if I have created a custom Workflow Scenario and want to trigger it for any particular order type (Let's say 'NB'). So how can I configure this?

       

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author
      Avish Mittal Custome changes can be added with help of UI5 and Developer
      Author's profile photo Rajendra Reddy Chukka
      Rajendra Reddy Chukka

      Hi Ruthvik,

      I am able to achieve all the steps following your document but once Standard PO is created I am getting "workflow instance not found". Can you please suggest.

      Thanks!!

      Author's profile photo Yateesh Hoblidar
      Yateesh Hoblidar

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Thank you for sharing the knowledge on the Flexible Workflow. Was wondering if you could configure the below scenario in Flexible Workflow.

      Requirement:

      I create a Purchase Requisition for 1000$ and it should go to Approver-1 for first-level approval and then to Approver-2 for second level approval and then be completely approved. If Approver-1 or Approver-2 rejects the PR, then it must come to me so that I can correct it, and resubmit.

       

      In the Exception Handling of the Manage Workflow app, we have set ‘Restart Workflow’.

      In the system now, when the Approver-2 rejects the PR, the system is sending the PR back to Approver-1!

      Regards,

      Yateesh

      Author's profile photo Mithun Kumar
      Mithun Kumar

      Yateesh,

      I don't think you should set anything in the Exception handling, for your requirement. The system is behaving correctly as per your setting.

      Author's profile photo Yateesh Hoblidar
      Yateesh Hoblidar

      Hi Mithun,

      I attempted your suggestion, but not setting an exception handling is not an option. 'Do Nothing - Cancel Workflow' is the default, and we cannot remove it (only change it to something else)!

      Yateesh

      Author's profile photo Mithun Kumar
      Mithun Kumar

      Yes, "Do Nothing" is the option that'd work for you. Cancel workflow is a separate option that you don't want to set.

      Author's profile photo Yateesh Hoblidar
      Yateesh Hoblidar

      Hi Mithun,

      'Do Nothing' is the only option for the activity, 'Cancel Workflow' is one of the 4 options for the action. We need to select one of those 4.

      Author's profile photo Mithun Kumar
      Mithun Kumar

      Ah yes, My mistake. I meant the Cancel Workflow is the option that’d work for you. Since you need the PR to come back to the creator for modification, upon rejection, the WF instance is not required at that point, and should be cancelled.

      Once the you make modifications and save the PR again, a new instance of WF is triggered from the beginning.

      Here's how all the workflows at our customer is set up:

      Author's profile photo Yateesh Hoblidar
      Yateesh Hoblidar

      Hi Mithun,

      Upon Rejection the requisition goes to the 'Held' status and cannot be edited. One can only copy that PR and recreate a new one with the requested changes. SAP Note - 2919925

      Author's profile photo Nabanita Barua
      Nabanita Barua

      Hi ,

      I have maintained all these steps . I have created one Non stock PO document type for PO .

      While selecting that document type in flexible workflow it is showing "Not Sent" under Status of workflow . Even in Header Flexible workflow tab is not appearing .

       

      Pls suggest .

      Author's profile photo Mithun Kumar
      Mithun Kumar

      Ruthvik Chowdary, do you know if we can add any new exception handling options under the Steps?

      Currently for PO, on Rejection is available. But we want to add, for example, "No agent found" under exception handling, so that we can cancel/restart WFL.

      Author's profile photo Birgit Raithmeier
      Birgit Raithmeier

      Hello Ruthvik Chowdary,

       

      Thank you for your great instruction.

       

      I have a question regarding the "Withdraw from approval" function. This function is available in the Fiori in order to "pause" the workflow and edit the PO again. But we cannot find this function in the SAP GUI (t-code ME23N).

       

      Do you know, if this function is also available in the SAP GUI and not only in Fiori?

       

      Many thanks in advance.

       

      Best regards,

      Birgit

      Author's profile photo Saranya S
      Saranya S

      Hello ,

       

      Nice Document !!

       

      In case of Flexible WF For PO release , is there any settings for the Change PO to trigger a Workflow ?

      Author's profile photo Tom Käser
      Tom Käser

      Hi Saranya,

      with release OP2020 a new customizing was implemented.

      SPRO -> MM -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Flexible Workflow for Purchase Orders -> Manage Conditions to Restart Flexible Workflow

      What's new - Manage Workflows for Purchase Orders

      Best regards

      Tom

      Author's profile photo Kishor Sarode
      Kishor Sarode

      Hi Ritwik,

      Nicely Explained, I want to Create fully custom FWF scenario  in Tax and Revenue Management module, although I have created one custom scenario but not able to activate and trigger it.

      can you guide me or some documentation on custom FWF.

       

      Thanks in advance,

       

      Regards,

      Kishor,,

      Author's profile photo Arif Imam
      Arif Imam

      Hi Ritwik,

      Very well explained document as well as the demo. Few query regarding the FWF

      1.  I would like to know whether we can set the approval sequence like the purchase Manager should release first and then the Finance Manager.
      2. Is it possible to track who approved or rejected the purchase order?
      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Yes for both

      1. the order you assign user id will be the sequence of approval
      2. in PO there will be a tab called FWF in that we can check
      Author's profile photo Yannik Flohr
      Yannik Flohr

      Hi Ruthvik,

      very nice explanation for technical rookies like me.

       

      My question is the following:

      Can I use flexible workflows for condition contracts? Where can i activate and setting it up?

      As an example:

      A  Condition Contract is created by a user and after saving a message should appear in managers inbox to reject or accept.

       

      Thank you for your time!

       

      Best regards from Germany!

      Author's profile photo Madalin Negrea
      Madalin Negrea

      Hi all,

      I am facing a strange problem at one of PR Flexi WFL, which i cannot reproduce.

      S4 release 1909, PR flexible WFL on item level ... the problem is that randomly like in the last 3 months around 4 PR's got fully approved ( workflow completed ) but the PR processing status was not updated - is still "In Release" instead of "Release completed", no errors in WFL, no dumps nothing. What can be the root cause ? did anyone experienced something similar ? any hints what should i check ?

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Madalin Negrea

      i faced the same problem with PO due to system network or some back end even documents are approved it's got getting status updated,

       

      Author's profile photo Madalin Negrea
      Madalin Negrea

      Hi Ruthvik Chowdary ,

       

      Thanks for feedback

      Author's profile photo Martin Unger
      Martin Unger

      Hi Madalin Negrea,

      were you able to find the cause for the PR processing status not changing from "In Release" to "Release completed"?

      I am facing the same problem. And your blog comment seems to be the only entry on the internet so far mentioning this particular problem.

      Best regards

      Martin

      Author's profile photo Muthu Govindasamy
      Muthu Govindasamy

      Hello Ruthvik

       

      IS outbox app available for onpremise ?

       

      Thank you

      Muthu

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Yes its available

      Author's profile photo Muthu Govindasamy
      Muthu Govindasamy

      thanks Rithvik

       

      i could not find it in fiori library

       

      can you share the fiori app id please for s4hana 2020 fs00

       

      thanks

      Muthu

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Add SAP_BR_MANAGER role this will only bring out box App in fiori

      Author's profile photo Muthu Govindasamy
      Muthu Govindasamy

      i have approver role and having MY INBox but i could not see MY Outbox in 2020 OP

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Add below 2 roles as well and check, because in 2020 FPS00 to FPS02 i can see in my system

      SAP_BR_EMPLOYEE

      SAP_BR_MANAGER

      Author's profile photo Muthu Govindasamy
      Muthu Govindasamy

      thanks Ruthwik

      Please share the APP ID for outbox

      I am also having both roles but i am in FS00

       

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      both Inbox and outbox are showing the same App ID strangely when I see in-app details

      Author's profile photo raghavendra Gowda
      raghavendra Gowda

      Hi Ruthvik,

       

      How can we See all the Approvers Name irrespective of Release Status.

      Like for levels 1 level is approved and status will show as released with approver name, but Remaining two approvers name not able to see in PO Flexible workflow tab

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author
      At the moment in 2020 FPS02, we can see the completed level and current level of approval name only not more
      Author's profile photo Hanna Brecher
      Hanna Brecher

      Ruthvik, this is great. Very clear explanation. Thank you very much. Quick question - can additional workflow conditions be added? Or are we limited only to those conditions that come with the workflow?

       

      Thank you,

      Hanna

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you  Hanna Brecher

      Yes we can have additional conditions as well

      Author's profile photo Sankar Dharmaraj
      Sankar Dharmaraj

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Very Nice, well explained blog !!!

      I have couple of questions

       

      1. Can we use flexible work flow and classic workflow together if yes , how we can achieve this?
      2. What is the use/purpose of step type - Automatic Release of Purchase order

      Thanks in advance for your support.

       

      Regards,

      Sankar D

       

      Author's profile photo Ruthvik Chowdary
      Ruthvik Chowdary
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sankar Dharmaraj

      Thank you for sharing your comments.

      Yes, we can use both FWF & Classic but it can be used as Document type only NB can be FWF STO Document can be Classic but not both.

      Purpose type only determines whether it has to send to approval or approve it automatically

      Author's profile photo Duong Phan Thi
      Duong Phan Thi

      Hi Ruthvik,

      Thk you for your sharing,

      And I have a question that: if I use flexible WF and then can we see wf in this function?