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RSM US LLP

Workflow Engine for Microsoft Dynamics AX’s HR module


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A visitor to one of my earlier blogs, “Human Resources and ERP are a Powerful Combination” emailed me a question about the workflow engine for Microsoft Dynamics AX's HR module.

Specifically he asked, "we have found the AX Workflow engine is not extended into the HR module (like it is for other modules) and our prospect wants to onboard new employees, and then fire off workflow (i.e. perhaps to the I.T. department to have them set them up a login to the network, another to supply a laptop etc etc). Did you provide this with the AX workflow, or was is something that was developed?"

My answer to him:

I understand exactly what you would like to do and have just completed doing exactly that for a client.  My client had the same needs, in that they wanted the HR Manager to kick off a process which causes  the system to trigger a series of events during onboarding.  Here is how it works:

  1. After interview process, application status of candidate is changed to ‘Hire’ or ‘Reject’
  2. If Hire, workflow is triggered to do the following:
    • Notify IT to prepare network login, cell phone, and laptop
    • Notify security to prepare badge and parking pass
    • Notify Admin to schedule orientation class and prepare materials
    • Notify department head of new employee

We also do a similar workflow to manage the hiring process.  The issue was that like you, I found the out-of-the-box system resources lacking for doing this.  You could try to manage it by setting up ‘Alerts’ but that is not very user friendly to manage.  What we ended up doing was going with an ISV called Elevate HR (http://elevate-hr.com/).  They have extensions for Dynamics AX that provide for workflows as well as set-up wizards and some other nice HR features not found in standard Dynamics AX.  It is seamless to the end user as all added functionality appears in AX.

By: John Hannan, RSM - www.rsmus.com/dynamics

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3 Responses to “Workflow Engine for Microsoft Dynamics AX’s HR module”

  1. Liz says:

    Hi,

    my organisation is considering Dynamics AX as an ERP solution, and I am seconded as subject matter expert & internal lead on the HR element of the project.

    I’m trying to understand what core “out of the box” workflow functionality the Dynamics HR module actually has, as a range of workflows relating to the annual appraisal process, learning and development event booking and confirmation, as well as new joiners and leavers are all key requirements for us.

    This blog and other information I have read seem to indicate that there are eiher no or very few HR process related workflows available without additional configuration or the use of an ISV- is this correct? You mention that customised workflows can be developed, which we could certinly build into our specifications- however, once created, are such customised workflows easy to maintain/ amend using internal I.T. support, or are they likely to require further specialist consultancy work?

    Many thanks

    Liz

  2. John Hannan says:

    Hi Celeste,

    Thanks for reading my post and for your comment. You are correct in the fact that there are no out-of-the-box workflows in AX2012. From my point of view, this leaves a few options to consider for how your organization will handle HR related workflow processes such as Onboarding and Offboarding. I see 4 possible choices:

    1. Create Custom Workflows in AX2012 – Dynamics AX allows for customized workflows to be developed in any module that could fit your needs.
    2. Utilize a 3rd Party Solution – You could research the capabilities of the Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the AX HR space and determine if their offerings meet your needs.
    3. Use the AX Notification Capability – The AX e-mail/pop-up notification capabilities do work on any table in the system. I could envision a carefully designed set of notifications by where people in the process are notified at different stages during a business process that it is their turn to take action. This is not as robust as workflow but is standard product.
    4. Use Manual Processes – Of course, it is always an option to use manual processes outside of the system. This could be coupled with an inquiry to Microsoft on if HR Workflows are planned for future releases of the product.

    I hope this helps you and best of luck in your implementation!

    John

  3. Celeste says:

    Hi

    I am a DAX2012 developer. My company’s main business is labour related, which means most of the customisations we do in Ax is on the HRM module.

    Only after I’ve developed the workflow artifacts I saw that you can’t create a workflow in the HRM module.

    How can I get around that issue?