Defining Roles and Organizations

Participants are in most cases human resources which perform the work represented by an activity instance. Being assigned one or more activities, a participant can perform work items representing these activities by working off his worklist. A convenient way of modeling the resource assignments is to assign a role or an organization to each activity and let individual humans fill this role or belong to this organization. Also, both individual humans and roles can be assigned to one or more organizations.

Among participants, individual humans have a special status. You cannot change your business model each time an employee leaves your company or a new one enters. So humans must be created later in the runtime environment. Consequently, in your modeling environment you only use roles and organizations. Individual human performers are created and assigned to these roles and organizations in the Administration Perspective.

We will create a role of a call center agent to model the performer for the activity of case creation. Additionally, we will create a role of an engineer to model the performer for the activity Analyze To Solve. Then, we will create and associate an engineering organization with the remaining Deliver Patch activity we have modeled.

Creating a Role

Roles capture the workflow relevant properties for a performer of an activity or a collection of activities and provide a mechanism for associating participants with these activities. Each role must be both assigned to an activity and filled with human resources (users) to finally take part in the process. To create a role:

  1. In the diagram toolbar palette select Participants > Role.

Creating a New Role

  1. Click on the diagram canvas and place the role close to the first activity.
  2. Open the properties dialog of the newly created role and enter Callcenter Agent in the name field.
  3. Close the dialog by selecting OK.

Role Properties
Figure: Setting the properties of the new Role.

Repeat this step to create the Engineer Role. Place the second created role near the Analyze To Solve activity.

Assigning a Role to an Activity

A role establishes a connection between an activity and its performer, so it has to be connected to an activity on one side. On the other side it has to be resolved as explicit human-role assignment in the user managing facilities of the Infinity Process Platform Workflow Execution Perspective.

To assign the role of the Callcenter Agent to the Create Case:

  1. In the diagrams toolbar palette, select Connect
  2. Click the symbol representing the role.
  3. Click the symbol representing the activity Enter Data.

Assign role to activity
Figure: Assigning a Role to an Activity

We will later assign a user to the role in the Infinity Process Platform Administration Perspective.

Also assign the role Engineer to the activity Analyze To Solve.

Creating an Organization

Since the definitions of organizational units in an enterprise, like hierarchies of participants, refer to the entire model, we can use a model-bound diagram to define such structures. Any diagram at the model level could be used, and some modelers create a specifically named diagram for their organization (by choosing New Diagram on the context menu of the Model). However, another popular convention with Infinity Process Platform is to simply use the default model diagram as shown below.  

In the Outline view click the Default Diagram of the ACME Workflow Model.

model dflt diagram
Figure: Choosing Model Default Diagram

A blank diagram is opened in the diagram display area. Create a new organization in this diagram.

  1. In the diagram toolbar palette select Participants > Organizations.
  2. Place the organization symbol to the diagram.

Creating an Organization
Figure: Creating an Organization

Since we want the organization to represent the general organization of ACME Headquarters, the name and ID of the representation has to be changed. Change the properties of the organization you have just created:

  1. Double-click the newly created organization symbol in the diagram to open the properties dialog.
  2. Change the name of the organization to ACME Headquarters with the ID ACMEHeadquarters.

Assigning Members to an Organization

Your process model now contains the role Callcenter Agent and Engineer as well as the organization ACME Headquarters. There are no relationships between any of these model components. We want to assign both roles to the headquarters organization.

  1. In the Outline view select the participant Callcenter Agent and drag it into the diagram.
  2. In the diagram toolbar palette select Connect.
  3. Select the Callcenter Agent.
  4. Subsequently, click the ACME Headquarters organization symbol.

Connect Participants
Figure: Assigning a Member to an Organization

A list opens where you have to choose between Works For and Manager Of. Select Manager Of to make the Callcenter Agent role the team leader of the organization ACME Headquarters. Please refer to the section The Team Leader Role of the chapter Modeling the Organizational Structure for detailed information on the team leader role.

Now a connection between the organization and the role appears in the diagram as a visualization of the relationship between the two elements. Assign also the Engineer to the ACME Headquarters.

Organizational Structure
Figure: Organizational Structure

Now switch to the Support Case Management Process default diagram and assign the remaining activity Deliver Patch to the newly created organization:

  1. Double-click the Default diagram element pertaining to the process definition for the Support Case Management Process.
  2. Then drag the ACME Headquarters symbol from the Outline view to the diagram and make an assignment to the activity Deliver Patch. The relationships between the ACME Headquarters, the organization and the roles used in the model diagram will be automatically drawn in the diagram.

Your diagram of the ACME support case management process should look like the following now:

Support Case Management Process modeled in Infinity Process Platform
Figure: The Support Case Management Process modeled in Infinity Process Platform

! Tip: Infinity Process Platform diagrams adhere to the BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) standard.  The standard specifies how various model elements should appear on a diagram. In this tutorial, all the elements are shown on the diagram. Infinity Process Platform also permits the designer to construct a process definition with fewer modeling elements visible. For example, you can define participant roles, data, triggers and applications in the Outline view and use them in the properties dialogs of activities and transitions without showing them on the diagram. This approach does not document the process as thoroughly on the diagram,  but may be desirable for some solutions. Infinity Process Platform diagrams with fewer model elements visible are still BPMN compliant, but convey less process detail in the diagram itself. In all cases, every model element must be defined in the Outline view or it does not exist.  Activities, transitions and split-join gateways, at a minimum, are expected to appear on the visible diagram.