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Configuring Parallel Approvers Notification

Using Oracle Approvals Management for


Oracle Self-Service Human Resources
(R11i10/R12)
An Oracle White Paper
November 2007

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Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary ........................................................................... 3


1.1 Release Level ..................................................................................................... 3
2. Introduction .......................................................................................... 3
3. References ............................................................................................. 3
4. Parallel Approval Process ....................................................................... 3
5. Configuration for Parallel Approver Notification ................... 4
5.1 Pre-requisites.................................................................................................... 4
5.2 Setup Steps........................................................................................................ 4
6. Real Time Execution....................................................................... 17
7. Limitations Known.......................................................................... 28
8. Conclusion .......................................................................................... 28

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1. Executive Summary
The Approval process in an organization may make use of Approver groups – where a group of people is
assigned to an Approver group. AME allows us to define approver groups as part of the approval process
and designate the group to approve a transaction approval. AME has the flexibility of allowing Parallel
Approvers Notification. The approval notification in this case will be triggered for all the members in
parallel within an approver group. However, the availability of this feature in integrating products depends
on whether this feature is implemented/supported in those products. This white paper intends to provide a
configurable option within SSHR to handle Parallel Notification of approvers in an approver group.

1.1 Release Level

Important: This document is meant for HRMS 11.5.10 FP K Rup1 and forward.

2. Introduction
AME provides us the flexibility to define the approval processes based on an organization’s requirements
without writing programming code. Business users can define the approval rules for the organization based
on the approval policies of their organization. If a business case requires approvers from a group of
approvers that does not exist as a chain of authority in an approver hierarchy supported by AME, then this
requires us to define an approver group containing the approvers. An Approver group must be assigned a
name, description, and members. The members must be ordered. The order number of the members
determines the order in which they are notified. The order numbers do not need to be unique. For example,
if we assign all of a group’s members the order number one, the group will typically be notified in parallel.

3. References
Implementing Oracle Approvals Management
http://metalink.oracle.com/cgi-bin/cr/getfile_cr.cgi?282964

Implementing Oracle Self-Service Human Resources (SSHR) 4.2


http://metalink.oracle.com/cgi-bin/cr/getfile_cr.cgi?284440

4. Parallel Approval Process


Approver-group parallelization is controlled explicitly via the approver-group order numbers that a
transaction type assigns the approver groups. An approver group determines its members’ order numbers
using the group’s Voting regime, and also the member order numbers assigned to static members or
generated for dynamic members. Dynamic members are assigned sequential member order numbers
according to the order in which the group’s SQL query returns the members. Approver-group voting
regimes can have any of four values serial, consensus, first-responder-wins and order number. The

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values determine not only the order numbers of the group members, but also whether all group members or
one amongst them must approve the item.

The scope of this white paper is limited to the ‘first-responder-wins’ voting regime only.

The first-responder-wins regime assigns group order number one to all members. All the members in the
group are notified. In this case, only the first responder must approve; all other members’ responses are
recorded but ignored.

5. Configuration for Parallel Approver Notification


SSHR can be configured to achieve the parallel notification of approvers within a group. This requires a
few set up steps, which are detailed below.

5.1 Pre-requisites

1. Access to CoreHR responsibility – HRMS Manager responsibility


2. Access to Approvals Management Business Analyst responsibility – Approver Group set up
3. Availability of ‘Position Control Roles’ Approver Type in AME setup

5.2 Setup Steps

1. Define Roles:
Using HRMS Manager responsibility define roles and assign the Person names to the roles who
are part of an approver group. For each approver group for which parallel notification is required,
define a corresponding role in the Maintain Roles form with the same members assigned to the
role as in the approver group.

Navigation: US HRMS Manager responsibility Æ Transaction Maintenance Æ Roles Æ Maintain


Roles Æ Users

2. Approver Group set up:


Using Approvals Management Business Analyst responsibility within AME, select the
Transaction Type and define attributes/conditions as required for the business case. Define the
approver group with Voting regime ‘first-responder-wins and add the Roles defined in Step 1 as
approver group members with Approver Type ‘Position Control Roles’. Add those roles to which
the corresponding group members were assigned whom we want to be the members of the
approver group. Give order number for the roles so that if we are using multiple roles/groups for
approval, the members of each of role will be notified based on the order number assigned to the
roles. Define Approval Rule with action type set to require approval from the approver groups.

Navigation: Approvals Management Business Analyst responsibility Æ Business Analyst


Dashboard Æ Select Transaction Type Æ Define Attributes Æ Conditions Æ Define Approver
Groups Æ Add Group Members (Roles) Æ Define Rule

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3. Availability of ‘Position Control Roles’ Approver Type in AME setup

While defining Approver group, the dropdown for Approver Type under Add Group Members
should have ‘Position Control Roles’. This is determined by the AME set up at the time of
implementation. Using Approvals Management Administrator responsibility, navigate to
Approver Types via the quick link on the right side of the page. Check if PQH_Role is present in
the list of Approver Types. If Yes, cancel from the page and navigate to Configuration variables
via quick link. The ‘Allow All Approver Types’ variable should be set to Yes.
Important: This variable option cannot be reverted back to No once set to Yes.

Navigation: Approvals Management Administrator responsibility Æ Admin Dashboard Æ Quick


Links - Approver Types
Approvals Management Administrator responsibility Æ Admin Dashboard Æ Quick Links Æ
Configuration Variables

Illustration

To illustrate the above setup steps, we will use the example of ‘Change Hours’ function in
Manager Self Service.

Setting up Roles

We will define two roles Role 1 and Role 2 and assign two users Antony Cyril, Antony Zery
and Antony Samuel, Antony Metilda to each role respectively.
Antony Cyril & Antony Zery are the members of the first approval group for which we require
parallel notification.
Similarly, Antony Samuel & Antony Metilda are the members of the second approval group for
which we require parallel notification.
Use the HRMS Manager responsibility to define roles.

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Transaction Type

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We will use the seeded AME Transaction Type for SSHR ‘Oracle Self Service Human
Resources’.

Use the Approvals Management Business Analyst responsibility to select the Transaction Type
from the Business Analyst Dashboard.
Click on Setup of the Transaction Type to define Attributes/Conditions/Action Types/Approver
Groups.

Alternatively, select the Transaction Type from the ‘Approval Process Setup’ window on the right
side of Business Analyst Dashboard and go to Attributes/Conditions/Action Types/Approver
Groups/Rules as required.

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OR

Defining Attribute

For this example we will use the existing attribute WORKFLOW_PROCESS_NAME. No action
needs to be performed in the Attribute window since we are using the seeded attribute.

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Defining Conditions

We will use the condition ‘WORKFLOW_PROCESS_NAME in


(HR_CHANGE_HOURS_JSP_PRC)’ where HR_CHANGE_HOURS_JSP_PRC is the seeded
SSHR function Change Hours.
Go to the Conditions tab to define the regular condition.
Click on Create to define a new condition
Search for the attribute WORKFLOW_PROCESS_NAME to define condition for the attribute.

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Defining Approval Groups

Create two Approval Groups, Group 1 and Group 2 corresponding to the two roles defined earlier.
For Group 1, Add ‘Approvers’ as ‘Role 1’ with order number 1 of Position Control Roles type
For Group 2, Add ‘Approvers’ as ‘Role 2’ with order number 2 of Position Control Roles type
Use Voting Regime ‘first-responder-wins’ for both the approver groups.

Go to Approver Groups tab to define the approver groups.

Click on Create to define a new Approver Group.

Group 1 with order number 1 and Voting Regime – First Responder Wins

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Click on Add Another Row under Group Members on the bottom of the Create New Approver
Group page

Add Role 1 as Approver of Approver Type Position Control Roles. The order number defaults to 1
Click Apply

Click on Create to add the next Approver Group

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Group 2 with order number 2 and Voting Regime – First Responder Wins

Add Role 2 as Approver of Approver Type Position Control Roles. The order number defaults to
1.Click Apply

Defining Rules

Define a Rule with Action Type ‘Require Approval from Group 1’ and ‘Require Approval from
Group 2’.

Go to Rules Tab. Click on Create to define a new Rule using the Approver Groups defined above

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Click on Next

Select the Condition defined earlier and click on Continue

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Click on Next

Add Action of ‘Require Approval from Group 1’ of Action Type approval group – chain of
authority

Click on Add Action to add the second approver group – Group 2

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The Group 2 is added. Click on Next

Click on Finish

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6. Real Time Execution
1.Log in to the application and use Manager Self-Service responsibility

2. Navigate to Change Hours function

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4. Select an Employee Jane John

5. Go to Action

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6. Change the Work Hours and click Next

7. Make changes to Pay if required. In this example we are not changing the Pay. Click Next

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8. Review the list of approvers generated by AME in the Change Hours: Review Page
Verify the list displays Role 1 and Role 2 as the approvers

8. Submit the transaction

10. Log in as Antony Cyril and check the workflow notification

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11. Verify the approval notification for the Change Hours of John, Jane is displayed

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12. Do not approve the notification, logout without performing any action on the notification

13. Log in as Antony Zery and check the workflow notification

14. Verify the approval notification for the Change Hours of John, Jane is displayed

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15. Parallel notification is achieved since both the members of the approver group received the
notification

16. Approve the notification in ZERYUSER (Antony, Zery) login


17. Login as Antony, Cyril and verify that the notification no longer displays in the Open
Notifications List. Verify the same for Antony Zery also

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18. The notification displays in the All Notifications list for Antony Cyril and Antony Zery.

19. Click on the notification to view the Action History

20. Log in Antony Samuel and check the workflow notification

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21. Verify the approval notification for the Change Hours of John, Jane is displayed

22. Do not approve the notification, logout without performing any action on the notification

23. Log in as Antony, Metilda and check the workflow notification

24. Verify the approval notification for the Change Hours of John, Jane is displayed

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25. Parallel notification is achieved since both the members of the approver group received the
notification. The members of this group are notified after approval from the first group (role 1)
since the order number of this group is 2.

26. Approve the notification in Antony, Metilda’s login

27. Login as Antony, Samuel and verify that the notification no longer displays in the Open
Notifications List.

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28. The notification displays in the All Notifications list as a closed notification for Antony,
Samuel and Antony, Metilda

29. Click on the notification to view the Action History

Note: If an approver in Role 2 rejects the notification, the rejection action appears in the action
history of the notification in ‘All Notifications’ list for the other members in Role 1 and
Role 2 with a status of closed as shown below. There is no rejection notification sent to
the previous approver in the chain in this case. This is existing functionality and this
behaviour is not limited to this workaround.

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7. Limitations Known

1. In the above example, if any member in group 2 performs return for correction, the return for
correction can only be done to that member in group 1 who acted upon it earlier. For the other
members of the two groups, the action history of the approval notification in ‘All Notifications’
list shows the return for correction action with a status of ‘closed’ for the notification.

2. Similarly if a member in group 1 returns for correction, the other group members are not
notified of the return for correction. For the other members of group 1, their ‘All Notifications’
list shows the action history of the notification with Return for Correction action and with a
status of ‘closed’ for the notification.

3. When approver is part of a role, the corresponding role-name would be appearing in the List of
approvers displayed in the Review page and in the notifications generated. The role-name to
which the approver belongs to replaces the actual approver name in the notifications and on the
review page. (Similar to how the role-names are displayed in the ‘From’ column in the above
screenshot under #29.)

4. The Roles defined are static and cannot be made dynamic. If there are changes to the approvers
assigned to the roles, then the roles need to be manually updated to reflect the changes. For
example, if a role comprises of three approvers and if one of them is terminated, then the
terminated approver must be manually removed from the role.

5. The notifications generated by using this workaround will not be available under the function
‘All Actions Awaiting Your Attention’ where the notifications list is derived based on recipient
being login person user. When this workaround based on roles defined in Oracle HRMS is used,
it is recommended to access notifications from homepage worklist or using the workflow user
web applications responsibility

8. Conclusion
The process described in this whitepaper is a configurable workaround to achieve Parallel Notification of
Approvers within an approver group in SSHR. Though this feature is available in AME, the integrating
products may or may not support this feature.
Keeping in mind the limitations of this workaround, it is a fairly straightforward process to achieve parallel
notification within SSHR.
Disclaimer: Although various combinations of scenarios have been explored and tested within the scope of
this whitepaper, there may be some complex scenarios applicable specifically to your business, which you
are required to test.

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Configuring Parallel Approver Notification Using AME for Oracle SSHR
November 2007
Author: Rosamma Sonia Varghese
Contributing Authors: Dheerendra Batra

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