Who is a Citizen Developer?

Citizen Developer is a person who has no formal training or work experience as a software developer, but uses available tools and platforms to create applications or customize existing technology solutions. They are often people from other areas, such as entrepreneurs, business analysts, operations department specialists, or serial employees.

The main characteristic of Citizen Developer is the ability to create solutions without the involvement of professional programmers. This is due to low-code or no-code platforms, which enable the development of applications by using ready-made modules, graphical interfaces and visual tools. This allows a Citizen Developer to focus on solving a business problem or creating a tool that meets his or her specific needs, without having to call to the IT department.

The decision has been made

If you are convinced that your organization needs a workflow system (you can read about what a workflow system is and whether it is worth implementing here), then it’s time to act.
There are at least a few ways. Here we will address two of them.

By the Book

  1. Find an analyst, preferably an external one not affiliated with a single software vendor, to help your organization determine what processes should be included in the scope of the implementation, and then define them. Our experience suggests that it’s a good idea to start with a limited scope, such as two key processes, and only implement others in successive stages. Implementing ten at once will take “ages” and carry a high risk of failure.
  2. On the basis of the analysis, choose a system and a software provider. In our opinion, the key is to be guided by the criterion of the chance of implementation success (unfortunately, many IT implementations fail). Of course, in the real world there will be many factors that will limit your options and force you to make compromises, the most obvious of which will be budget.
  3. Sign a contract so that your interests are protected. Pay attention to, among other things, copyright, maintenance costs, the possibility and cost of modification when your needs change, and even the permissibility of changing suppliers if for some reason you were no longer comfortable with your chosen one.
  4. Take care of issues related to integrations with external systems. Remember that this important area is likely to involve multiple parties (different vendors), check technical and formal possibilities. If you are changing the system – discuss issues of migration of historical data.
  5. Implement a workflow system and enjoy the results. Monitor, modify, streamline and expand to more business areas.

Who is this path for?

  • you can budget significant resources for preparatory work, implementation and subsequent maintenance,
  • the processes you are thinking about are critical to your organization (e.g., they are its core business),
  • you have enough time,
  • your organization has adequate resources (analytical, substantive, IT, legal, etc.) or can acquire them.

In Vogue

Do it yourself or with a little help.

This path has many enthusiasts, but also a large group of opponents.

To use an analogy, one can cite an example from the furniture industry. We can order a piece of furniture created to our order based on a unique design; or we can order a ready-made product, which will be delivered to us and assembled by a professional team, which in some cases will also make minor modifications – to fit our needs. Finally, we can use a ready-made product, which we ourselves will bring home and assemble based on instructions – often modular, which will allow many modifications and adjustments. Of course, in the latter case, too, it is possible to use external support – not necessarily the manufacturer.
There are workflow systems on the market that are quick and easy to implement, which of course may (although not necessarily) involve making many compromises. The providers of some of them will not allow, for example, installations on your server, modifications, integrations, flat-rate billing unrelated to the number of users, instances, space, etc.
However, there are also those that are not particularly different from the so-called traditional ones, and allow you to start with simpler and cheaper implementations, while at the same time giving you the opportunity to later migrate to more complex versions with extensive capabilities.

Who is this route for?

  • you don’t have a big budget (or maybe you don’t have one at all),
  • you want to test different possibilities before reaching for a target solution,
  • the system you are looking for is to handle less critical processes, such as in the back office,
  • you don’t have time for a long implementation – the processes are supposed to take off in a few weeks (or maybe even days).

I can’t make a decision

Which of these paths is better for your organization depends on many factors.

When you can’t decide, consider the following approach:
Use gateway #2 (In Vogue) in the least expensive form possible, thinking about both the cost of the software and your or an external involvement. Adopting such a solution is a good test of whether a workflow system will even take hold in your company and fulfill its role.
It may show that it is sufficient and you don’t need to invest in anything more expensive. Or it may show that you definitely need to look for another system or method of implementation, but then both you and your organization will already be at a completely different level of knowledge and will know exactly what to look for when making the target choice.

How to get started with Dew-X?

Low-code (LCDP: low-code development platform) is the idea that applications are created faster by eliminating or minimizing hand coding.  Creation is possible in a graphical user interface using drag-and-drop, adding pre-made elements, etc.

It is said that the approach leads to “democratization” of application development. Business users, e.g. team leaders, project managers, or analysts with little or no programming skills become so-called “citizen developers” and tailor the system to the needs of their organizations on their own.

In the sources, you can also find the term no-code (NCDP: no-code development platform), which refers to a way of developing applications in which no manual coding is required.

Dew-X is at the same time a low-code and no-code platform, i.e. that most business goals can be achieved without programming, but if special effects are required, it is possible to enrich the application with components created by the developer’s hand-coding.

Best value has many meanings.
If something is free, it probably easily deserves to be called the best value for money. However, sometimes free of charge goes hand in hand with low quality.

This is not the case here. Dew-X didn’t just get a badge:

Dew-X workflow system and file archive

but in addition an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5

Dew-X workflow system and file archive

on probably the best IT system evaluation platform

It’s nice that our system is positively received by users.
Such a high rating and badge that we can use is a great summary of 2023.

We are particularly pleased that Dew-X is perceived as easy of use

Dew-X workflow system and file archive

which is not easy to achieve in the context of the complexity of document workflow business issues.

The fact is that this was one of our goals from the very beginning.


Now we are even more motivated.

Namespaces are entities that bind data, processes and documents, but do not have workflow mechanisms of their own.

Namespaces are intended to allow the creation of entities such as clients, projects, as well as working time records or a register of incoming letters. They allow you to create objects with similar features to workflow forms, but managed and presented differently.

Main principles

Namespaces, next to workflow and document archive, are an important element of the system. Main features:

  1. A separate place in the menu and a separate set of namespaces created per organization
  2. Tabular data presentation layout
  3. The metadata of each record is always represented in the form of an identifier, a three-letter acronym with sequential numbering, the date of creation and the date of last modification
  4. Each record may have a short label (Name), which is not mandatory, although strongly recommended
  5. Each Namespace record can be related with any number of records from the same or another Namespace on a many-to-many basis. Related records are represented on a separate tab (does not apply to associations to the same Namespace)
  6. Each completed process instance that has been related with a record is visible on a separate tab
  7. Each ongoing process instance that has been related with a record should be visible on a separate tab
  8. Each record contains an operation history available to authorized users, which shows changes to field values in the record (apart from adding a comment)
  9. Each record has a separate comments section, which allows you to post any number of notes for anyone who has access to this record. Comments create their own timeline visible on the tab, regardless of the operation history
  10. Namespaces have permissions in the areas of creating, auditing, viewing, deleting, or changing definitions, but administrators or the record creator can grant separate permissions per record. By default, each record has the same permissions as the Namespace in which it was created.
  11. Each record can be changed any number of times
  12. Each Namespace may be edited by any authorized user
  13. A field added to a Namespace definition can only be deleted if it has no value in any record of that Namespace. Otherwise, the user can hide them so that they are not visible
  14. Each field, regardless of type, must have a unique name within a given Namespace
  15. It is not possible to change the type of the field created. If we want to make such a change, remove the field and then add it with the appropriate type (e.g. if we want to change the field type from number to date, etc.)
  16. Each definition has its own icon, acronym and name given when creating it. The acronym cannot be edited at later stages, the name and icon can be changed at any time.
  17. Highlighted variables, i.e. values by which we can browse and search for records, are defined in any number, but limited to certain types.

You can read about the differences between workflow and Namespaces here

The primary purpose of Namespaces is to represent sets of data that do not require flow. However, most business areas can be presented either in a static form or in a flow form.

There are also areas that can be presented in both forms. Finally, there are also those where the flow is limited to one activity of the process – in this case, a static presentation is also a much better solution.

A great example of the duality of business situations of this type is the issue of incoming (cost) invoices. In Dew-X, you can implement this as either a document workflow, a Namespace, or both. In the first situation, we create a process definition (e.g. cost invoices), which may include activities such as registration, substantive description, approvals or accounting verification. After the cost invoice is received, it is loaded into the workflow, creating an instance, and follows its path as defined.

In the second case, we create a Namespace called “Incoming invoices”. It has no flow, but we can use fields such as status or payment status to define where it is now, and to include information on the acceptance, validity or compliance of the document in the comments.

In the third case, the invoice flow takes place in the processes section, and the namespace linked via integration is used to manage and search it after the process is completed.

Namespaces are better suited where permissions and record navigation are more important.

The differences between static representation (Namespaces) and workflow (processes) and recommendations for using a specific one are included below:

  • Permissions – excluding administrators and people with the Search role, a user can see a given process instance only if he/she participated in it or was CC’d. However, he sees all processes within the organization. In the case of Namespaces, the user will see a given Namespace if it belongs to authorized users. In terms of records in a given Namespace, he can see those with default visibility and those to which he has been personally added. Where there is extensive specificity of permissions, it is better to use namespaces.
  • Navigation – within the processes, the user can see the instances that he has to perform, those in which he participated (both in progress and completed) and those that have been CC’d to him. Processes are represented as cards containing a maximum of three pieces of data (highlighted variables). After entering and exiting a given card, it is highlighted on the list, unless it has already been forwarded by us or has ended. In the case of Namespaces, individual records are presented as rows in a table described with metadata and any number of highlighted variables.
    Thanks to the large amount of data and tabular layout, Namespaces allow you to obtain more information without going into details. However, namespaces are static – so their state does not change except when a given record is deleted or the user loses permissions to it. For this reason, namespaces are less suitable for business situations where it is important to quickly and intuitively obtain information about the current progress or location of a given record. The record is navigated on the data and history tab. In the first tab we see the current state of data, and in the history tab we see how they have changed. In the case of a process in progress, by default we go to the tab related to the current activity of the process, and the data status from previous activity is represented in the form of tabs – one per activity.
  • Search – Namespaces allow you to precisely search table values using multiple variables at once. However, the nature of the search is always LIKE %%, which means “Similar to” regardless of whether the value in the column is text, number or date. The exception are two system dates that allow you to search by date range. The AND operator, which connects individual filters, is the connector for individual queries. The more filters completed, the more precise the results become. The main search engine of the system does not allow searching by values – selecting “Namespaces” from the options of this search engine and indicating a specific one will take the user to its view. Searching in processes takes place in one of three contexts (to do, in progress, completed) and allows you to search a set using one value contained in up to three distinguished variables. However, processes allow their contents to be searched using the system’s main search engine. If we want detailed searches from large sets, Namespaces will be better. Where the search is most often done by a specific parameter (e.g. process ID, project name), processes will work better
  • Responsibility – processes, by definition, allow for easy determination of the person responsible for a given process instance and the current status. A given instance may be held by one person or by many people – individually designated or belonging to a group. In the latter case, the action of only one, most or all of them may be needed to advance the process. However, the processes are equipped with a retry mechanism with an escalation option. When creating a process, we can determine how long a given activity should take by default and how many times this time pool can be refreshed before the process ends or rolls back. In the case of processes, responsibility is very clear to determine, and streamlining the process is much easier. In the case of Namespaces, no one is personally responsible for a given record, except in situations where permissions are granted to one or a narrow group of people. Due to its static nature, there are no issues of escalation or deadlines. You can support this process by configuring appropriate fields (e.g. date of next contact, responsible person), but they do not generate any action in the system and require the supervisor to review the progress in a non-automated way.
  • Data recording – processes, apart from the values in Data sheets, can also save values per activity. This means that a variable with the same name (e.g. decision) occurring at several activities will have as many values as there were activities. Even if such a variable is to be used as a distinguished variable in the process, the creator must indicate from which activity it will come. In the case of Namespaces, this variable will be versioned. Each change is saved in the history, but on the data tab we can only see the last state of this variable. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages – we recommend using the process approach when it is extremely important to specify the source of data – it is similar to other people putting the same stamp on the document. The Namespaces approach is better when current variable values are given more weight than their historical equivalents. Of course, such a dilemma should only be considered when we want to store frequently changed information under the same name. Otherwise, both approaches will be equally good.

You can read more about Namespaces here

workflow-zastosowanie-w-jakiej-branzy-dew-x-

It is commonly believed that if something is for everything, it is for nothing.
On one hand, there is a lot of truth in this, but on the other hand, this wisdom is often overused. I mention this because if I were to say that a workflow system can find application in every industry, some readers would likely react intuitively in exactly that way.

Our perspective changes when we ask the question: In which industry would a text editor or, even better, an email program find application?

Here, surely no one has any doubt that it would be in every industry. This is because they are universal tools that facilitate our work, acting like a blank sheet of paper until we perform any actions with them.

What is a workflow system?

It is an IT tool that allows for algorithmic task flow between users. It is easier to understand with examples. A workflow system can assist in optimizing processes such as:

  • Circulation of cost invoices
  • Incoming correspondence
  • Purchase requests
  • Leave applications
  • Support
  • Complaint handling
  • Contract approval

As seen, the above processes are not specific to any particular industry.

workflow-wykorzystanie-w-przedsiebiorstwie-dew-x

Does this mean that the circulation of invoices looks the same in every industry and every company?

Certainly not. Here, an analogy to the mentioned blank sheet of paper is helpful.

In a workflow system, we can design process definitions to be adapted to a specific industry, company, department, or business area. The common features remain the idea of a process flow and the interface of a particular system. However, different inputs may appear, various actors will be involved, the flow definition will differ, and the product of this process will vary.

This means that whether a workflow system finds application in our company should be determined by criteria other than just industry fit. But that is a topic for a separate article.

I will, however, draw attention to a separate issue, which is the competence of those implementing it.

Beautiful and functional furniture will not be created just because the workshop where they are produced has the best tools. The desired result comes together with the design, materials, skills of the workers, and their motivation. The same applies to the implementation of document and case management systems.

When deciding to implement one, choose carefully the people who will carry it out, or if you have them in your team, use easily configurable low-code tools to avoid becoming a hostage to a specific vendor.

Zapraszamy do kontaktu

elektroniczny obieg dokumentów w firmie aplikacja Dew-x

Many entrepreneurs and managers would like to implement an electronic document workflow system in their companies. Digital transformation, digitization of documents, DMS… these are very current topics and there is a lot of talk about them in business. It seems that the sooner these solutions are implemented in companies, the better.

However, how to assess whether a company is ready for electronic document workflow? There are several issues that are worth analyzing and answering specific questions will give us an answer.

What is document workflow?

We deal with the circulation of documents every day and this was happening long before the era of computers. The company receives an invoice, employees fill out leave applications, offices send letters, contractors submit offers in tenders, management board members sign contracts… All these activities generate the need to involve specific people in the document workflow process. Each document sometimes goes through a certain formal path several times, it is repeatable, according to a pattern created by a given company, institution or office.

aplikacja workflow dew-x

This process, described in its most abbreviated form, is nothing more than the flow of information between various people or objects. The information contained in the documents is processed. This process of document flow among people who perform a specific set of activities is called “workflow”.

Electronic document workflow – what is the difference?

This type of document circulation is, of course, digitized, i.e. supported by information technology. It is very likely that in every company that has a computer, handles e-mails, uses accounting programs, electronic signatures or stores scanned documents – electronic document workflow takes place.

However, business owners may feel somewhat dissatisfied and feel that this “involuntary” electronic document flow is not sufficient because it is not formalized in any way. However, documents are often circulated in paper form, have stamps, and are written in a paper register. There is a desire to put this process into a specific framework.

How and when to do it?

It is worth helping yourself by answering one of the important questions: how many people participate in the flow of documents? One person is not enough to implement major changes, but a few people may be enough to start the process. Several dozen people involved in the daily circulation of documents is a situation in which action should definitely be taken.

The next question concerns the mode of work – does it take place stationary in one location? If so, the flow of documents and matters is simple and does not require radical changes and digitization, because the path of their circulation is short and not time-consuming. However, in a situation where we are dealing with work in several offices, company branches, locations, or even remote work, a workflow system seems to be necessary.

Is Electronic Document Workflow profitable and does the investment ever pay off?

This is an issue that is difficult to assess unambiguously, because a lot depends on the company owner’s definition of “profitability” in a given industry. The document workflow system optimizes administrative work, commonly known as the “back office”. This type of work usually never brings an increase in sales, it is aimed at generating savings rather than profit.

narzędzie do workflow aplikacja Dew-x

The purchase and implementation of a workflow system is not cheap either. Subsequent maintenance of a given system also costs money. Internal costs should also be added, such as the involvement of people in training the team.

“We’re probably not ready for this…” – what then?

Let’s not give up. The market has several systems that operate in the “cloud” and are equipped with predefined templates of popular processes. Checking such a solution is a good test of whether the system will be accepted at all in a given company and will fulfill its role. Sometimes it turns out that it is sufficient and there is no need to invest in expensive systems, and sometimes companies decide to make purchases seeing a number of benefits. It is worth knowing that from 2022 there will be one modern and completely free document workflow system.

Invest in people

Implementing a workflow system often comes with a number of concerns. Most often in the context of employees whose bosses state that they are not ready for changes and prefer the traditional form of document flow. Life often proves that this is not true.

People are afraid of change, and fear most often only has big eyes. Leaving your comfort zone requires strong determination. Managers will play an important role here as they must be the driving force behind good, long-term changes.

Using free document workflow systems will primarily allow the team of employees to get used to a possible new work pattern. They will feel the benefits themselves or verify what needs to be improved. Only then will it be worth making the decision to invest money. Because a good investment is certainly one that we are sure is being used appropriately.

Are you interested in implementing a workflow system in your company?

Use our fully free Dew-X application, which will make document flow in your company simpler and more effective. Contact us now to easily and quickly manage everyday processes in your company with this tool.

Please contact us

Some hyperlinks are very long and say nothing about the target.
This happens, for example, when we provide a link to the contract file located on a network drive.
Such links, or more precisely, their structure, sometimes cause concerns for some users.

For this reason, in addition to the link field (where only the target address is visible), we have added a plug-in that allows you to place links with an editable label on forms.
The link will still be long and unfriendly, but the label may already sound very appealing, e.g. “sales agreement”.

Link with label

We will be present at the upcoming Morphology of Leadership Conference with prizes!

We will draw five attractive prizes among the participants, loosely related to our cosmic main theme. These will include comets, meteors and red dwarfs.

Nagrody

The conference will take place on November 15, 2023 in the clouds (the real ones), specifically on the top floor of Olivia Star Top in Gdańsk.

Incidentally, Olivia Star Top is one of the companies that actively uses the Dew-X system.

If for some reason you have not registered yet, do it now – registration link https://www.morfologiaprzywodztwa.pl/

Highlighted fields

As you probably know from the Knowledge Base, when creating or modifying a process definition you should specify from 1 to 3 variables (“Highlighted fields” option) that are worth showing on the tab of a given process instance

highlighted fields

For vacation requests, this can be, for example: name, last name and date range, and for invoices: name, tax ID and net amount. These fields will be visible on the task tab without going into its details.

The view of task cards presented on the dashboard is different from the instance card visible in a given process. There is less space on it, among other things, because it also contains the name of the organization and the name of the process.

Many system users reported to us the need to also “stuff” highlighted variables on this tab.

We did it!

From now on, when you hover over an icon

ikona i

highlighted fields will appear on the tooltip, and when you click on this icon, they will be displayed in a small window:

Highlighted fields in Dew-X

This functionality is also available in the mobile version.

Processes can take place in an analogue way, but when we talk about workflow today, software usually comes to mind, called: workflow management system (WfMS or WFMS) or business process management system (BPMS).

These are tools to configure, execute and monitor a defined sequence of processes and tasks. These systems can be process-oriented or data-oriented.

To illustrate the use of this type of tool, let’s imagine the flow of a vacation request.

An employee wants to take a few days of vacation leave and therefore fills out a vacation application form. This type of electronic form contains at least: the applicant’s first name, last name and position as well as the date range on which they want to be vacant.

What could the flow of this process look like? For example like this:

Holiday request. Vacation process

an electronic document flow system, subsequent actors of this process simply fill their forms (or return the process to one of the previous steps).

Many business processes are more complicated – below you will find an example of a professional scheme of an incoming correspondence process map:

Incoming correspondence diagram

You can find more information about electronic document workflow here: https://dew-x.com/en/about-workflow/

Automatic form switching

When we send a task to ourselves, we no longer have to go to it from the dashboard.

The form will be displayed automatically

It may seem that this situation is quite rare – why send yourself tasks?

However, there are several reasons, such as:

  • we replace someone,
  • we want our tasks to be clearly separated in the process history,
  • we test a new or modified process definition.

This will save us a few clicks!

Admin button

With the increase in the number of functionalities available to administrators from the instance level, it was advisable to concentrate them under one button. This makes the navigation bar more transparent and clearly separates user-available and administrative functions.

Button Admin

From now on, administrators can return or delete an instance, change a user, and add other CCs from here.

This is one of the most popular business processes implemented during the implementation of workflow systems.

It occurs in almost every organization.

The flow of cost (purchase) invoices is the first and obvious process that is recommended for optimization using a document workflow system. As the organization develops, their number increases, so traditional methods of working with these documents are no longer effective.

It usually proceeds according to the following scheme:

  • Invoice registration
  • Descriptions
  • Acceptances
  • Accounting verification

Often, the workflow system is integrated with the financial and accounting system in order to place data there after processing the invoice.

Reasons to implement electronic workflow of financial documents:

  • cost control and optimization
  • large number of invoices received
  • distributed organizational structure
  • complex acceptance process
  • dynamic growth of the company
  • optimization of other internal processes
  • integration of the cost description and acceptance process with other systems, e.g. financial and accounting
  • integration with other processes, e.g. purchasing
Invoices and proforms diagram

The advanced search engine allowed searching for process instances using many parameters, such as:

  • Type – you can choose All, only Ongoing or only Completed Instances
  • Start Dates – select the range
  • End dates – select the range
  • Identifier – if you are looking for a specific instance and you know its number, enter it in this field (you can read more about the identifier here: click)
  • Phrase – enter any phrase, the system will search the database for it.

However, there was a need to searching also by user.

Why?

There are many reasons, e.g. absence (vacation, pregnancy, change of job, illness, etc.). Searching for tasks that are held by a given user will allow you to delegate them to another person.

Sometimes this type of search may have audit value – we will find out what matters a given user was dealing with, e.g. in a given time period.

Therefore, we have introduced two additional search parameters:

  • Currently at User – search for instances of processes that are currently at the given person
  • User – search for instances in which the indicated person participated in the flow or which were added CC

More about searching here

When we want to utilize the Dew-X system, for example, to handle error reports, even if the individuals we invited to use it are external to the Organization, they can see the complete list of its members internally when sending a task. This behavior of the system is correct, although not always desired.

In such a situation, one possible solution could be the following procedure:

  1. Create a new Organization, e.g., MyCompany – Support
  2. Create a new process, e.g., “Error Reporting.” You can use a ready-made template and customize it according to your needs, or if you have prepared it previously in another organization, you can import it from a file.
  3. Invite users to this organization, both from outside your company who will be able to report errors and from within who will handle them.
  4. Assign/change the status of each user, including yourself, to “Outside the organization.”
  5. Add a technical user, e.g., tickets@yourdomain.com (the email address to which notifications about new reports will be sent). If you don’t have this type of email address, create one with your provider. Of course, instead of a technical address, you can designate one or several individuals (email addresses) for this purpose. Only this user (or users) should have the “Inside the organization” status.
  6. External individuals (your clients) reporting errors will only see the selected user(s). If you have created an additional email address, remember to handle it, as email notifications will be sent there, and also log in to Dew-X using that specific account.

From this point on, your clients will be able to report errors, seeing only the users you have chosen.

Can all users delete tasks (process instances)?

No.

Only administrators (Admin role) and the Owner of a given Organization have such permission.

You can read more about roles and permissions here

And about viewing and changing permissions here

However, there is one situation in which a “regular” user can delete a process instance – he has this right if he created it himself.

Delete in Dew-X

He can use this permission before he sends the task to the next person(s) and when the task comes back to him for the first step.  This is a necessary functionality, because the idea is not to clutter the system with instances of processes that will not be processed anyway when making a mistake noticed at the start of the process or indicated by subsequent participants.

Several clients reported to us the need to enable selected users to search among all process instances, not just those in which the searcher participated.

Of course, there has always been such a possibility. However, it was associated with the need to give these people administrative powers. This, in turn, meant that together with the search, such people gained the ability to change the permissions of other users, change task performers, edit process definitions, and finally delete instances, and even entire processes.

We decided to remedy this by introducing a new role: searcher (Search)

Roles changing in Dew-X

From now on, in the user panel, the Owner or Admin can assign the role of “Search” to any person, giving them the described permissions.

Who should be given this role? For example:

  • secretarial staff
  • assistants
  • accountant

You can read more about roles and permissions here: click

Retrie

When we complete our assigned tasks sometimes does not depend on us alone, e.g. we are waiting for some external data or suitable weather, or the issue is postponed by external institutions, etc.

Sometimes the execution of a given step is not important and we can afford to postpone it many times.

There are also times when it’s difficult to predict how much time in a particular case should be assumed for its completion.

If when creating or editing a process definition we take these or other cases into account, we can use the “Retry” functionality.

You can find it below the “Deadline (hours)” function.

Retries in Dew-X

Number of retries

The default value is “0”. This means that a task that is not completed before the deadline according to the definition, will go back to the previous one or end at the given activity.

Value of “1” is one additional chance; “2” is two, that is, including the base time, three cycles, etc.

Note: when sending a task the user can change the execution time set in the definition once. This change will only affect the first cycle. If retries have been set, they will last as long as it was assumed for this activity in the process definition.

Each time a user fails to complete a task that has the retry option enabled (value greater than 0) they will receive an email notification informing them that they have just been given an additional chance to complete it.

If there is a reason to inform other people in the organization about the non-completion of a task, use the “Escalate to” option.

In this item, for each activity (except the first one), you can specify the user or users who will receive an e-mail notification each time, informing who, in which activity, in which process and in which organization did not complete the task on time.

Timecops (that’s what we call them) can only be people belonging to the organization, both with “inside” and “outside” status.

Note: in special situations the timecop may not have the permissions to access the contents of a task, such as when they have not participated in the task or have not been CC’ed and they do not have administrative rights.

If a retry is provided for the activity, the timecop will receive a notification each time the deadline of a given cycle expires.

Escalate in Dew-X

What to do when many different activities should be performed at the same time by several different departments/people?

For example, payment and accounting at an external accounting office should be done in parallel.

There are at least two ways to achieve this goal.

1. Each task can be delegated to multiple users instead of one. In this case, it is always decided whether the actions of one (any of them) or everyone are required. The form on such a step could include fields for multiple “departments”, such as a checkbox: Has a payment been made? (Yes/No) and fields for the accounting office. Everyone would fill in their own.

These fields would have to be optional (not required) for the process to go forward.

2. One or more of these users can always or sometimes (there will not always be such a need – there are prepaid invoices) be added CC (https://dew-x.com/en/cc-carbon-copy/) on a particular step – such information can be displayed in the body of the form in the form of instructions. The effect will be that, for example, the person responsible for payments will receive a notification that a DW has been added and will have access to this instance. They will not have any task to perform, but will be able to use all the collected data, so, for example, perform a transfer. The process at that time will already be in the accounting office, which will take care of the posting.  For the sake of order, you can add another “Confirmation of payment” after the “Posting” step, on which the person responsible for payments, already after the fact, can check the checkbox: Was the payment made? (Yes/No) and completes the entire process instance.

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine that you can do without mobile devices, especially a phone.

In the older workflow systems, mobile applications were not used. At first they were not there yet, and then it seemed that this area was reserved for desktop work.

Now, of course, it’s different.

From the very beginning we were guided by the idea of “mobile first”.

We decided on Progressive Web App (PWA).

How do I install Dew-X on my phone or other device?

  1. Open https://workflow.dew-x.com/ in your phone or tablet browser
  2. Log in to your account or if you don’t have one yet, register
  3. Find the installer icon – down arrow at the bottom of the screen (last menu item)
Instalacja aplikacji Dew-X

The Dew-X icon will appear on your screen and from now on you will be able to launch the Dew-X mobile app in this way.

If your device supports biometric authentication, you can enable it for this application as well.

Document Management System (DMS) is software that allows you to manage documents.

DMS is also known as File archive, Electronic Archives or Electronic Document Management (EDM).

This IT tools have multiple applications, e.g.:

  • registering, assigning attributes, classifying
  • version controlling
  • access management
  • searching
  • viewing

DMS is most often used to manage contracts, e.g. with customers, suppliers or employees, invoices, protocols, HR documents, call recordings, technical documentation etc.

DMSs are the predecessors of workflow systems (BPMS). Nowadays, they are integrated with them or DMS and BPMS functionalities/modules appear in one common tool.

There is sometimes a need for a user who is not involved in the flow of a given case to have the opportunity to familiarize himself with it. That’s what the CC functionality is for.

It can be either a person who will not participate in this instance of the process at all, or a person who will be added to it in later stage.

Add CC Again in Dew-X

In addition to the ability to add CC, we have created an another tab (next to data and history) so that you can easily check when, who and with whom a given task has been shared.

CC Tab in Dew-X

You can find more about this in the manual

The Gartner Digital Markets report identifies Top 9 software investment trends to watch in 2023.

It’s all interesting, but Trend No. 3 caught our attention in particular, which shows that 69% (a sample of over 1,500 companies in five countries) of buyers struggle to justify and fund new technology investments. In a broader context, this may be closely related to economic uncertainty, which has been identified as the biggest business challenge in 2023 (Trend No. 1).

Global Software Buying Trends Gartner Digital Markets

We have similar observations. Most of the Dew-X users we spoke to indicate that the main reason for interest in Dew-X is its free nature or low cost of implementation and maintenance on-premises.

The latter aspect closely corresponds to the security concerns, which is highlighted by 37% of buyers in the Gartner Digital Markets report. In our case, about 5% of organizations expect a higher level of security than offered in the shared version, which they understand as the possibility of installing the system in their own infrastructure or in a cloud of their choice and control (which, of course, does not exhaust the subject of security). This is one of the most important selection criteria for them, next to the functionality of the software and ease of use.

Coming back to Trend No. 3, 41% find compatibility with existing systems as a challenge, and 40% struggle to identify the right technology. We are also doing well with these two areas. In the first case, there is an API and optional integration services at your disposal, and in the second case, it will partly help to be able to test the software at no cost (except, of course, your own commitment) in the full range of functionality.

Link to the full report

The global version of Dew-X has everything you need to run and use the document workflow for free.

Some Dew-X users ask us if it is possible to install the system on their own servers.

The answer to this question is: YES

Such installations already exist and are doing very well. However, for a number of quite obvious reasons, they are not offered for free.

So the next question arises, what is the difference between these two versions?

The main differences are presented in the table:

Paid or free Dew-X

As you can see, there may be at least a few reasons why you should consider the paid version. These three are the most common:

  • I must or prefer to have documents on a server under my control
  • I need specific functionality not found in Dew-X
  • I want to integrate with my other systems in a way that is not available in the global version

If you are interested in the paid version of the system, write to us: hello@dew-x.com or fill out and send the contact form

As you probably already know, in Dew-X we do not directly reflect the organizational structure. In our opinion, this allows for better management of processes, e.g. through easier design of processes for business areas or matrix structures unrelated to the formal structure of the organization.

However, this does not mean that the lack of structure is an advantage in every case.
When, for various reasons, we want to limit the visibility of certain processes for some users, e.g. related to strategy, HR, complaints, investments, marketing, etc., reflecting the structure would be very useful.

In such a situation, the best solution will be to use “organizations” as company departments or task areas.

Apply the following procedure:

  1. Use your Organization, e.g. MyCompany, for processes available to everyone, e.g. leaves, ideas, messages, incoming correspondence, etc.
  2. Create separate organizations for each department/topic/area where you want to restrict access, e.g.:
    MyCompany Board
    MyCompany HR
    MyCompany Investments
    MyCompany Complaints
    MyCompany
    Marketing
  3. In each of them, build an appropriate set of processes, e.g. “Recruitment”, “Training”, etc. in HR.
  4. In each of the “organizations”, invite only those users that you want to have access to the given set of processes.

Thus, the same people will be able to access one, several or all internal “organizations”.

More about Organizations: click

Related to this topic is the issue of roles and permissions: click

During our implementation of a purchasing process in a restaurant chain, the question arose as to why Global Tables are not used in the available process templates?

We agree that both Global Tables and Dictionaries would be very useful in them.

Especially in the definitions of the invoice workflow process or purchase requests. So why were neither Global Tables nor Dictionaries used there?

The reason is very simple.

Both Global Tables and Dictionaries are added outside the process editor – in a given Organization, we create them in the administration module so that they are available for each of the various process definitions that we will create in it.
Placing Global Tables and Dictionaries by us would mean that the template added in this way in your organization would not allow the flow of the process – it would lack global tables and dictionaries to which it could refer. Apart from the fact that, for example, in dictionaries we wouldn’t know what you would like to put 😊

So, if you think, as we do, that in some processes Global Tables and Dictionaries are useful, add them first in the administration module, and then place them in the process definitions you created (from scratch or based on templates).

Note: there is nothing to prevent you from copying the process definitions you created with references to global tables and dictionaries – as long as you do it in the same Organization, everything will work. You can also transfer them to other organizations, but then, before publishing the process, add global tables and dictionaries, and then, when editing the process definition, add them in place of the previous ones.

More about Dictionaries: click
More about Global Tables: click