Design and create business workflows automatically using Microsoft Excel Flow and - THR2008
All. Right good. Morning everyone. Thank, you for coming to the session i'm sasha-ann gandhi I'm a program manager for Microsoft, Visio and today. We'll be talking about how you can leverage Microsoft. Excel Visio. And flow to. Document. And execute. Your business processes, automatically. In a more data-driven and agile fashion. So. I'll walk you through a data. Visualizer, for process Maps which, enables, you to automatically. Create your business process workflows, by, capturing, the process definition in Excel and then. I'll talk about how, you can take your existing workflows. Created. With BPMN notations, in Visio and marked. Markup the diagrams with flow connectors, and execute the, exported. And executed, inflow so. I'll have bunch of demos for you throughout. The presentation. So. First of all let's get started with the new way to design, your process Maps it's called native visualizer. Wherein. You can use our pre-made Excel, sample. Templates. Or you can bring in your own process, data so, imagine capturing. Your process definition and Excel with each row. Identifying. An activity, in your process and you're, defining all the connections in Excel all. The dependencies the functions which perform each of the tasks and then, you can export, it to ratio and. You can create. Templates, for your organization. Using, stencils of your choice you can use the. Flow chart shapes the BPM and notations, or your own custom stencils. And. We allow you to keep, your diagram, and the data in sync which means that it's a two-way sync between the data and the diagram so if your data gets modified you. Can push the changes to ratio and if. You, make visual, changes right in the diagram you can take it back to the data and, of. Course we we. Want to promote standardization. Of the creation, of these diagrams so you can create templates, for your organization, which, which are kind of couple. Pairs of data templates. In Excel and Visio templates which, you can distribute, in, your organization, for people to map the processes, in a standardized, way. So. Let me quickly. Show you a demo. So. If. You go to Excel we have some pre-made templates in Excel which allow you to capture your process definition. The. Two of these right now one is to capture process definition for basic, flowcharts and the, other one is to do it for cross-functional, flowcharts, I. Have a pre-populated, template, so I will just switch to that. So. The example you see on screen is an, HR. Scenario. For a new, employee onboarding, it. Starts, with the. New new hire e a new hire getting added to a SharePoint list and then, an, approval, workflow gets triggered.
And Then. Once. The manager approves the joint joining of the new hire, in a particular department, there. Is there is a meeting which gets set up automatically, and there is an email which goes to the hiring manager and the employee but. The key to notice here is that we are allowing you to capture your activities, in a, data-driven, fashion, so, you have, your ID for each of the activities the description, and. The next step ID and which. Captures the dependencies, of the process it, could either be a next step or a previous step depending, on the choice, you make if, it's a decision, box which has multiple branches. You can capture, the definition, in a comma separated way and of course, you can call out the different parts of the process and. This. One is a BPM and template where I have. Notations. Which can be used to define the shapes as they would appear in Visio and finally. You can specify each. Activity is performed by which function, in in, the organization, and in. Which phase so if this is a single phase process, so all of its onboarding, but, if you have multiple phases you can even capture that. Now. What I'm going to do is that I'm, going to export this template to Visio, and keep. In mind you do not have to use the out of box template you, can I, just need to save it once. You. Can get in your own data you, can create your own templates. It's. A short session so I'm not covering all those aspects, but if you want to learn more about that we have a booth where. Where I can help you understand. How you can do that so. I exported, it to Visio, and it's now automatically, trying to create the entire workflow, by. Understanding the definition in Excel. Let. Me just close this right here and make some space. So. As you can see the. Workflow was automatically, created using. BB MN notations, and since. I use my own template, the title of the workflow automatically, got populated, all. The functions are are created. As for the definition in Excel so this. Makes it more, agile and more data-driven, and. Of course like I mentioned earlier the, data and diagram are associated. In a two way sync so. If something changes in Excel you use refresh to get the changes from Excel into Visio, if you. Make changes in Visio you can push it back to excel and we, support all sort of changes for example you could add new shapes you could modify the existing activities, you, could move. Your shapes from one swim lane to another swim lane if the responsibilities, change and all, of this can be kept in sync. Now. Moving. Back to my presentation. So. Far I've tried to cover how you can map your business processes, in a more agile, and data-driven way now, let's have a look how, you can take the business process workflow captured, in Visio to. Microsoft, flow where it actually gets executed. So. This is a new feature that we are working on and it's. Currently available to inside. Us to try out so, this, is if. You're familiar with the SharePoint workflow designer and Visio this, is kind of a spiritual successor to that feature where. You can capture your, workflow. Definition using BPMN shapes. In Visio and then, you, can take. Your or you can take your existing bpmn diagrams and then we have we support mocking. Up your diagram by adding flow connectors, which. Helps, you specify, how the, Microsoft, flow will be created, it. Will be much more clear when I show you the demo and.
You. Can use the out of box with your shapes to capture the business process flow and then, we have a set of input triggers and actions and, connectors. Which you can apply to the diagram and of. Course, we. Support. Visual. Supports collaboration, so, this makes catch a huge, flows, which have complex, branching easily. In an intuitive drag-and-drop. Fashion. Which you can share with your peers you can review it before you actually create, the flow in in the flow application. So. Here, is a glimpse of how it works, the, BPMN diagram is just like your standard workflow, which you would create in elysium. And. The. Diagram, below it has certain. Call-outs. As you see those. Call-outs, are the connectors the, triggers the actions that you would mark on your diagram and then. Finally, the third step is where you export it to flow in. Step. Two you are actually. Creating. A structure for your flow the, final parameters, to your flow you can you have to capture when you export it to flow directly so. Let's. Have a look at the demo. So. Before I go to the demo I just want to highlight the entry, points to the feature so. You can start creating the, SharePoint workflow as a BPM and diagram, from. Microsoft, flow application, directly there, is a create from flow a Visio diagram option, under the new tab, in flow you, can also go to the templates in flow where we have a bunch of templates. Which can help you getting started, so, these are, sample. Workflows, created, using BPM, and notations, in Visio which can help you understand, how, to capture, your, business. Workflow, using visual notations, in, in a fast and, easy manner. So. Let. Me switch, to the demo. Right, so I'll take a minute and go back to the diagram, that we had created. Yeah. There it is. So. Imagine again, the HR scenario, for contour. So employee onboarding where. You have three functions in an organization. The. HR the business and of course the employee who is the new hire and. This. Is this workflow captures, what. Happens when a new employee is hired and the HR professional and, the admin is managing, the employees onboarding, so. Imagine. All of. The employee data are getting captured in a SharePoint list.
Really. Sorry for the resolution, looks like it's not oh. It's. Better now right. So, imagine the employee database being captured as a SharePoint, list where, all of the employees who get added who, get hired get. Captured in the SharePoint list with, the employee ID the employee name the title the manager ID and so on and so forth now. The. Workflow actually calls out. That. When a new item is added in in the SharePoint list, you. Need to get the item details and then you need to check. The department, for the employee and accordingly, a workflow gets triggered so if the department, is allocated, which, is this part then. You start, and wait for an approval from the, department, head who, would have proved that yes this employee would join my department. And. Accordingly. If the. Approval status is accepted, we, would go and update the list in SharePoint, and if, it's rejected we, would send in notification. To HR, and then, of course in in in the case all approvals, are accepted, we, send, an onboarding, mail to the employee and then. Imagine an. Admin. Who is who is managing the organization. Structure for, for this contoso. Company. Is maintaining. An excel file now, this admin, need not have access to entire, SharePoint, lists but, this workflow triggers the. Update of an excel file which, captures the employee data so, for example. This. Would be the excel file, which. Captures, the employee data, now. Each time a new employee gets added to the SharePoint list the, workflow would trigger and if it's approved it would have update this excel file which, a separate. Admin. Is getting is, managing, what's. Interesting is that we. Have a new add-in in Excel where, you can visualize, this, organization. Structure as as, a diagram within Excel so each time a new employee gets hired in the end this diagram gets updated so that's the entire workflow which will be automated, starting. From the workflow in Visio and exporting, it to flow so, let's have a look how you can do that. So. We have these, two buttons here right in the process tab which, help you mark.
Up Your diagram. To create the flow in. The flow application, so, first, of all you need to click. Prepare to export. So. It identifies that there is a trigger in your workflow, and then, you can go ahead and mark what kind of, triggers. And actions from flow would, you like to apply to this particular shape. So. In, the triggers and actions tab. Give. It a moment to load. Yep. So this is where you can search for all the connections, and triggers that are available in Microsoft flow, and apply, it to each of the steps of your workflow, so. For example in this case this. Workflow starts with that SharePoint, list so, I need to go and look for a SharePoint. Trigger. When, when a new item gets added to a list. I can. Either search, for it. You just scroll through it. All, I'll just go ahead and filter, it by a share point. Right. So oh these are all the available triggers, so I can see that there is one trigger it says. Which. Is when an item is created, so. I'll. Go, ahead and apply this to my diagram. Sorry. Yeah. Similarly. I can go and apply all of the connectors to each of the steps for example this one would be another connector so I'll just switch to the, final diagram where I have applied all these connectors so as you can see this one has each. Of the shape has some of the other connected applied for example this one right here is getting. The item detail so this is again a SharePoint, connector which. Gets the item details from a SharePoint list and then, this one is an Outlook connector to, send the email to, HR and, if. I go ahead. There. Are a variety of connectors that has that has been applied to the diagram this one right here is an approval connector which. Is applied to this particular shape when the approval starts and finally. When the, extra needs to be updated I'm using an Excel connector to go and update that excel, file which is residing on a SharePoint library. So. Once I'm done with all of the connectors and it's applied to the diagram I just need to click on refresh so. It validates, my flow, this. Section of the pain that you see right here helps. You map your, flow. To. Help vision understand, what would the definition, look like so. Wilshire, detected a trigger automatically, and if you have any kind of gateway which, has branchings, you can use the map conditions, section to, call out what. What are your yes and no paths in the Gateway so, then where she understands, the meaning of your workflow and. This. Section right here will. Will point out if there are any issues which, are part of your workflow and then you can correct those issues this. Diagram cannot be has no issue so it's good to go and I, can just hit export to flow. So, it, automatically, picked up a name for the flow from the Visio file and it's signing me in and then. I, can just assign any name right here to my workflow and hit on create flow. It's. Now actually creating, the, workflow in Microsoft, flow and once. It's done you can click on this link and you. It'll take you to the flow app directly. So. There you go this is the work flow that was created, I can hit edit to. Complete my workflow because so far what I've done is that again. Just a, quick. Recap I started, with Excel to capture my workflow definition I created. My diagram and then I used the flow mock-ups to define how the flow would look like so, I have the structure in place and now I have to complete the flow once, I am in the flow application. So. This is where I can enter all the metadata which kind. Of is. Like which is a SharePoint, site and what's the list name and all that in. The interest of time I'm not completing, this this, one but, you can see that all of that diagram has now created this huge flow in in the flow application, if.
You, Have a very complex flow this. This interface. Kit tends to get a bit complex because of the branchings, but with the Visio diagram it's very intuitive when you understand, how the workflow, definition looks, like, you. Can even use which you're online to, share, this with with your colleagues who can then review it before. You create the flow definition, in Microsoft, flow and. Once. The flow is all set I, already. Have a flow which was created earlier so I can just go ahead and click new, right here so. Assume a new a new employee got hired and I. Just need to add the detail for the new employee so let's say I just, add the detail for, the new employee. So. Meghan, baon. Oh sorry this was the ID I. Just. Give an ID and I just made a name. Let's. Say I just give a title for. The employee and, a. Manager ID. The. Department for the employee and. Let's. Say I type. In my own email ID in the, manager. ID field. Another. One in the, employee, ID field so. What's gonna happen is that, as. Soon as the. New item gets added. The. Workflow gets triggered because the starting point of the workflow said each, time a new item gets, added to the SharePoint list the, workflow should execute and what. It does is that it sends me an email because. I'm the manager in the email ID for an approval for the new employee it goes and updates once. I prove it it goes and sends a mail to the employee and sets, up a meeting with the hiring manager and then finally it goes and updates that excel file where. Another. Persona who is the admin is maintaining, the org chart for, the employee for the organization, so. I'll. Just switch back to my deck so. This, is what we. Have so far in, terms of creation. Of flow. From. The Visio diagrams what, we're also working on is that assume that you already have created your. Workflows, and Microsoft flow what. If you want to visualize those workflows in in a flowchart fashion, so, that it's intuitive to understand, maybe you're modifying an existing workflow. Maybe you are giving it to the business to, review, how they, look like so, you can take your existing flows, and, export, them to a Visio diagram it's. Currently under development and, will, be available in the near future, what. You saw today is already available to try out in, for. Office insiders, but, you need vish your online client to for this which is the subscription, plan for you. So. If. You, want to learn more and, stay, connected with us these, are the channels where you can reach out to us. You can reach, out to us directly on either of these channels or you can write to us at at the email id below which is delveccio, at the rate Microsoft comm and. With. That I would open the floor for some questions, so. I guess we have a couple of minutes oh sorry. I'll just put it back up again and if there any questions I can take them now. Yep. Right, so great question so. Uh so. For the for the audience I think a question is that how, do you measure execution, time for each of the workflow steps and now can you monitor it in a certain way so. You. Can I think flow gives you the run status for each of your workflows, where you can see the execution time for all the steps and which. You connect to a variety of data sources like Excel SharePoint, or databases, so, if you can take the execution. Data from flow and export, it to let's say Excel then, you can connect your excel data to the Visio diagram and what. You can do is that you can overlay, that data on top of each of the shapes so imagine certain call-outs, appearing on top of each of the shapes which, tell you that okay this step to five seconds to execute and, it. Can be a widget on top of each of the shapes inside, of Visio and vision. Now integrates, with power bi so, if your execution, data is being pulled into a power bi dashboard then, you can embed your workflow, which, is. Which. Is the one you saw that, Visio diagram and take it into power bi and then you can connect it to power bi data and then, all of your execution, data can be shown, on top of the visual shapes in. In terms of an active dashboard. Do. We have any other question. All. Right go ahead. Yeah. Okay, so the question is what, if I have already created a workflow and have multiple instances of the workflow running and then, I make a change so will it impact the earlier instances, so uh currently. The diagram, and the flow are not linked, in any way it's like you create a diagram you export it to a flow so it's an independent flow so, each time you make a change a new workflow gets created in Microsoft flow however.
We Would like to understand, if you would like to keep the your. Visio workflow, and the Microsoft flow. Your. Asset linked together or do, you want would you like to have it separate so that's something you would like to learn from the users. Alright. Then thank, you so much for attending this session I hope it was worth your time thank you.