Featured Topics Education Series: WorkCenter of My Universe - Part 3

Title: WorkCenter of My Universe – Part 3
Author: Chris Lopac, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Blog Series Overview:
The Featured Topics Education Blog Series is sponsored and hosted by the HEUG Campus Community Advisory Group, with the intention to assist and educate the user community about featured topics of interest to the community.  To view other articles in the series, please go to the Article Index for the Featured Topics Blog Series.

Article Overview:
Back in July I ended my blog by saying I needed to go make a lasagna. It turned out amazing. The lasagna was delicious - beautiful, filling, and my family kept coming back for more. Similarly, if you build a WorkCenter that meets the needs of your users, they will constantly come back to use it and get their fill!

Last month, in WorkCenter of My Universe – Part 2, I spent time going over some of the main configuration pages used to build out a WorkCenter, but the blog stopped short of building the WorkCenter out completely. The reasoning behind that is simple, there is so much content and functionality within this last configuration page, that it really deserves its own blog.

Article:
In the last blog, I compared all of the configuration steps of a WorkCenter to that of a lasagna, from The Pan to the The Prep Work to the Layering the Lasagna. So much of the WorkCenter configuration builds upon itself, similar to when one makes a lasagna!

The remaining configuration is still considered the Layering the Lasagna. You are so close to being complete, all the pieces are coming together, and the WorkCenter is taking shape!

This entire blog covers the Configure Pagelets (Navigation: Enterprise Components > WorkCenter/Dashboards > Configure Pagelets), which has 5 separate tabs that allow for the functionality of the WorkCenter to shine.

ChrisWC1.PNG

WorkCenter/Dashboard
Within the WorkCenter/Dashboard tab, there are a few pieces you need to plug in, in order to tie all of the separate configuration pages together. After you name your configuration ID and give a brief description, you will need to open a new window and navigate back to the ‘Manage WorkCenter Dashboards’ page (PeopleTools > Portal > WorkCenter > Manage WorkCenter Dashboards). This is where you get both, the Workcenter Menu Item value, as well as the Dashboard/Homepage Menu Item.

The WorkCenter Menu Item is populated with the Link Name within the Dashboard Page Link. Additionally, the Dashboard/Homepage Menu Item is populated with the Dashboard Name. If your Workcenter is fluid, you can control which of the 4 delivered grouplets are displayed. If your WorkCenter is not fluid, you can control this via the Manage WorkCenter Pages configuration page.

My Work
This is where users can leverage functionality such as worklists and filters. This functionality allows data to be more front and center. This allows for data/results to essentially be pushed to staff. In my mind, the filters allow for exception reporting, where users are assigned worklists. As of now, we do not use the filter functionality, but see the potential!

Anytime you make a change, don’t forget to hit the ‘Activate My Work Settings’! This button needs to be hit each time you make a change and anytime you migrate to a new environment.

Also, there’s functionality to “group” certain items, functions, processes, URL’s together. This functionality exists on each of the tabs through this configuration. Depending on your business needs, you may find it helpful to group certain pages together to make it easier for a business process owner to find/navigate to the pages they need!

Links
Imagine onboarding a staff member and not having to tell them to bookmark 20 links in their web browser(s). Imagine not having to share your PeopleSoft “favorites” and trying to remember what the actual name for a page is, because you named it something else. Imagine not having to share Word Documents of notes or business processes, where you need to give access to a network drive or dust off notes from a folder within a folder within an icon on your desktop! Imagine being able to simply have that new employee navigate to a WorkCenter within PeopleSoft and say, “Everything you need to complete your job is in this one place!”
 
The Links section allows for the “one-stop shop” concept to really shine! The Links section allows you to add in any URL, to allow a user the ability to navigate to their favorite web pages in a more seamless manner. The Links section allows for you to tack in PeopleSoft pages, where you can make your own “favorites”, whether it’s to group pages needed for a business process or to group the “best of” pages from a particular module.

For our office, we’ve been able to add in links for items like:

  • Wiki Pages
    • We’ve been able to take notes / documents that would normally be kept in Word Docs and created Wiki Pages, that we can then link back to the WorkCenter
  • Policies and Procedure Manual
    • Wiki Pages for Internal Reference and Guidance
  • Office / Staff Webpage
  • 3rd Party Vendors
  • Outside Agencies
  • PeopleSoft Pages (favorites/pages used to complete a task/business process)

Anytime you make a change, don’t forget to hit the ‘Activate Links Settings’! This button needs to be hit each time you make a change and anytime you migrate to a new environment. Additionally, don’t forget to tack in the security for URL’s!

Queries
Within Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft delivers most reports as queries as well, where a user can simply navigate to Query Manager to run the “report”. The nice part about this is, it allows us the ability to “clone” the delivered query and make additional changes that better fit either our business process or our need.

Within the WorkCenter, users have the ability to view live query results. No more searching for queries or various versions of a query within Query Manager, as users can see all of the queries to complete their tasks from the WorkCenter.

Additionally, if you want to take the queries a step further, you can build the query to “drilldown” to a particular page by creating an Expression within the query. Therefore, users can run a query from the WorkCenter and navigate to a page by clicking on a hyperlink within the query results!

It’s essential to set up the Security for each query, whether you make it public or tie it to a particular permission list or role. Failure to configure each query will result in the query not appearing for users.

Anytime you make a change, don’t forget to hit the ‘Activate Queries Settings’! This button needs to be hit each time you make a change and anytime you migrate to a new environment.

Reports/Processes
I view the Reports/Processes part as being a separate area to house “internal” links. Personally, I leverage the Links area and differentiate “internal” vs “external” links there, but the functionality is delivered where you can specifically call out reports or processes in this section!

Anytime you make a change, don’t forget to hit the ‘Activate Reports/Processes Settings’! This button needs to be hit each time you make a change and anytime you migrate to a new environment. Additionally, similar to the Links section, don’t forget to tack in the security for URL’s!

Turning On the Oven/Baking the Lasagna
I’ve mentioned this within each of the config pages, but want to call out how important the ‘Activate --- Settings’ button is! Just like you preheat or turn on the oven, you need to actually turn on the functionality within the configuration pages. Any time you make a change to any of the sections we just talked about, you must “Activate”. This includes when you migrate your changes from one environment to another, you update security for a URL or query, or you simply add in a new link! If you never “activate” your settings, you will never see all of your hard work pay off!

Next time, I’ll provide some examples as to how our office has tailored WorkCenters to meet the needs of our users, whether it’s for a particular business process or one for an entire team to utilize!

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