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Creating Categories for Requests

Categories are types, or variations, of a request. You use categories if you need to have to create different types of requests. For example, different categories can have different sets of fields displayed on the Details tab of a request, as well as different tabbed sections such as Notes, Attachments, Associations, and Scoring. And, different categories can have different workflows (gates). In the screenshot below, there are several request categories; the checkmarks indicate which sections are included with each category. The gates for the selected category are shown in the Gates list:

categories_and_gates.png

The screenshot below illustrates a new request whose category ("Request" - see screenshot above) includes Notes, Attachments, Scoring and at least one type of Association - if multiple types of associations are included, they all appear under one Associations tab. Note that these sections are configured to display for the user creating the request (see Show on New below). Because there are gates configured for this category and this is a new (unsubmitted) request, there is a Submit button - if no gates, then you would not see a Submit button. Finally, there are two types of "required" fields - the red asterisk denotes a field required in order to save, the red dagger denotes a field that is required before submitting. This allows you to start a request and save it before you have completed all required fields - there are only a couple of fields required to save.

category_tabs.png
 

Things to Know

  • A standard field called Gate Status is designed for use with requests that use gates. This field automatically updates as the request moves through the workflow. See Gate and Gate Status Fields. If you place this field on a gate-less request, it will not have any value.
  • The simple Status field (lookup list) can be used for gate-less requests.
  • If you configure a request category to support associations with other entities, those other entities must configure categories that support request associations. In other words, the association must be configured on both sides (for example, if a request is configured for project associations, but the project entity is not configured for request associations, there will be no projects available when attempting to Add a project to the request).
  • Request fields will retain their data even if a user converts an instance of a request to a category that does not include that field. For example, if the Priority field is shown on the Details section for Category A but not for Category B, the Priority field will show data for all reports, regardless of the request's current category. Data always stays with the field.
  • End users should be made aware that changing categories will not change the form until after they save. This can result in the display of some required fields that have no data, because those required fields were not part of the form displayed by the initial category. For example, if the user selects the IT Request category and then changes the category to Innovation Idea Request and saves, any required fields unique to the Innovation Idea Requests category will be empty because they did not appear on the IT Request form. Typically you cannot get into a state where required fields are empty once a form is saved (saving is prevented until required values are entered). The next time you edit the form you will be required to enter values for the required fields before you can save.

Request Gates

Gates are the building blocks of a workflow, providing opportunities for adding/reviewing information and giving intermediate and final approvals. Gates are not required for requests, but are commonly used. Each request category can have its own set of gates; at each gate the request can be configured to have fields shown or not, editable or not, to have default values or not, even be required or not.

There are a few options with regard to gates that are defined on the category. These include whether to show request guidelines, whether to send a notification to the requester upon submission (if requester is not submitter), and whether the request can be sent back to any gate - you'll see these options, shown below, on the New/Edit Category modal:

2018-12-27_11-26-46.png

Gates themselves are configured adjacent to a category, as shown below.

gate_list.png

 See Creating Gates for more information.

Note: Sequential gate flow is currently supported, meaning the request flows forward in a linear fashion and gates cannot be skipped. Advanced gate logic with the ability to skip gates is targeted for an upcoming release.

Sections to Appear in New Request Dialog (Show On New)

In addition to defining what sections (Notes, Attachments, Scoring, for example) appear in a category, you can also configure when those sections/tabs appear to the end user. You can configure sections to appear in the New Request modal when first creating a request - this is affectionately referred to as "show on new". 

You can specify which section(s) appear when creating a new request by choosing Show on New = Yes in the Create New Category dialog . If Show on New = Yes, then the section will appear (initially inactive) in the Create New Request dialog. Once the user saves the Details tab, these sections will become active and the request creator can access the tabs before closing the request. Remember that certain fields are required for Save vs Submit.

If you are using gates and Show on New = No for all sections, then only Details will appear in the Create New Request dialog and other sections will not appear until the request has been submitted (and Gate Status field shows a value other than New). See  Configuring Gate Fields/Show on New.

For example, the screenshots below show a new request that is configured to show the Scoring section section on new - notice that the Scoring tab is grayed out - and then the Scoring tab is active once Details is saved (no need to close request window):

show_on_new.png

Creating a request category

  1. From Admin/Setup/All Entities/Requests/Categories, choose New > New Category.
  2. Enter a title (required) and select the sections you want to include for this request category. The other non-required fields are described in the table below.

new_request_category.png

Field

Description

Title

(Required) The name of the category. Appears in the Category droplist when laying out details. If you have multiple categories, you can create different Details layouts for each.

Description

Informational text that will appear in the Description property for the Category field. This text displays as a tooltip upon hovering over the category within the New request options.

Sections to include/Show on New

Select the checkbox next to the tabs you wish to appear for requests of this category type. When gates are configured, the selected sections can be configured to be shown or hidden per gate.

Show on New determines if the section will appear in the New Request Dialog when users create the request (Show on New = Yes). See Show on New above for configuring the new request, and Configuring Gate Fields/Show on New for configuring whether/how to show fields at a gate.

Scoring Profile

If you include the Scoring section and have created the scoring profile for this category, select the profile from the Scoring Profile droplist. If you do not yet have a scoring profile, you can still create requests from this category, but the Scoring tab (if enabled) will not be available until you assign a scoring profile.

Note the following:

  • You can edit the request category at any time and initially assign a scoring profile.
  • Once you assign a scoring profile and score 1 or more requests, you can only change a scoring profile if all scored requests are approved. 
  • If there are any scored requests that are In Progress, on Hold, or Rejected, you cannot change the scoring profile.
  • Changing the scoring profile of an approved request will remove the current scores. If you subsequently re-select the original scoring profile, the associated scores will be reinstated.
Additional Options if Using Gates - If you are planning to configure gates for this category, choose any of the optional settings below.
Show Request Guidelines

Enable this checkbox to display a rich text editor (shown below) where you can provide information to help the requester complete requests of this category.

2018-12-27_17-04-30.png

This information will appear as a first step in the New Request Dialog. If you do not select this option, the requester will only see the request form and there will be no steps. 

Send notification to requester upon submission

Enable this checkbox to display a rich text editor (shown below) where you can compose an email that will be sent automatically to the requester when the request is submitted (and the request is submitted by someone other than the requester and the requester is a PPM Pro user).

2018-12-27_17-05-57.png

Allow request to be sent back to any gate

Enable this to make the Other Actions > Send Back to Prior Gate option available, which displays a modal (shown below) allowing the approver to specify a gate to send the request back, as well as enter an optional note. Enable the "Notify request" checkbox to alert the requester that the request has been bounced back.

2018-12-27_17-45-06.png

 

Active

Select the Active checkbox to make the category appear in the Category dropdown when configuring request Details, and the corresponding request type available to the end user when creating a new request. Categories are active by default. 

Copy entity details from category

Every category has a corresponding set of fields that you provide to the end user on the request's Details tab. When creating a category you can choose to copy detail fields from an existing category to use as a starting point. Select the name of the category from the droplist, or use None to indicate not to copy details. If you elect not to copy details, the new category will have just the basic default set of fields.

  1. If you select one or more sections, configure whether to "Show on New", as described above.
  2. Click Save.

Editing a Category

You can edit a Category by double-clicking it or selecting it and choosing Actions > Edit. The resulting modal is similar to the one above, without the option to "Copy entity details from category".

You can modify a category at any time. The end user will not see the changes until they refresh their screen. For example, you can add fields to a request Details section, but the end user won't see the new fields until they refresh the browser window. If the end user is on a different page when the change happens, they will see the fields when they navigate back to the Details section. Note, however, you can't add gates to a category or edit existing gates if there are any requests of that category type that are In Progress.

You cannot delete a category that has been used by a request. In other words, you can only delete categories that have never been used.

Copying a Category

You can copy a Category by selecting it and choosing New > Copy....  The resulting modal is similar to the one above, except that the "Copy entity details from category” option is set to the selected category.