Effektif in university lectures

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By Katharina Clauberg

At the biggest university of Applied Sciences ‘HTW’ in Berlin, students of the lecture ‘Modeling of Application systems’ lead by Prof. Dr. Margret Stanierowski in the study course Business Computing learn how to model and implement business processes.

Besides the transfer of knowledge through lectures, practice-oriented project work is included. In this year’s summer semester, the Signavio Process Editor and the cloud-based workflow engine Effektif were applied in the course.

At first, the project groups were asked to model a business process in the Signavio Process Editor using BPMN 2.0. Afterwards the group created a workflow with Effektif that allowed the implementation of the process.
As Effektif is a very result-oriented and easy to implement workflow software, it has been chosen to automate the business processes within this lecture. It enabled the students to achieve their first results very quickly. In addition, due to the software’s clear cloud focus, no installation was required. The students were able to create their accounts and a joint workspace on their own and to start implementing the process in minutes.

After a project phase of 3 weeks, the groups presented their results. All features of Effektif were used extensively: The students created application forms, validated their input using JavaScript and forwarded the tasks to the responsible person. They implemented manual and automatic decisions in the process flow and conducted calculations using process data. After the presentations the students were asked to hand in feedback concerning their work with Effektif. Due to the positive experiences with this project group, it is planned to use Effektif in further lectures.

The task

Subsequently, the process of requesting vacations is presented. Using Effektif, the process can be implemented within minutes.
You are working at a company and you would like to plan your summer vacations. As the forms for requesting vacations are kept in the HR department, you pick up the forms in their office. The application form has a spreadsheet like design so that you can fill in all your desired vacation days continuously. After having filled in the form you submit it at your supervisor’s office.
As you fear that your boss might forget to share his decision, you are asking everyone in a while whether your request has been approved. During your research for a better solution for this process, you encounter Effektif. You decide to implement the process using Effektif:

  • At first, you create a form that can be filled in with all necessary information needed to request a vacation. This includes: name and surname of the submitter, start- and end-date of the vacations as well as a selection field with a list of the departmental heads in your organization. Afterwards, you create a task that calculates the length of the vacation based on the start and end date.
  • The next task of your workflow includes a form that shows the entered as well as the calculated values. This form will be shown to the department head that was selected in the request form.
  • He/She can either approve or deny the request and enter the reasons for the decision.
  • Dependent on the decision of the department head the process flow varies.  In the case of an approval, the submitter receives the information and the HR department receives the task to reduce the vacation entitlement accordingly. If the request is denied, only the submitter receives the information.