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January 25, 2014
Activity Guides: Orchestrate Business Process in PeopleSoft 9.2

Oracle’s release of PeopleSoft 9.2 once again shows its dedication to streamlining business processes with Activity Guides.

Activity Guides, which were first introduced in 8.53, have immensely improved in 9.2. Activity Guides are workplaces in which users are presented with actions or tasks designed by an administrator that are to be completed by a guided process. These guided processes link together separate transactions in order to complete a business process. Activity Guides are a PeopleTools feature that allow you to define guided procedures for a user or group of users to complete. Activity Guides can be used for in many ways, including:

  • • The on-boarding of a new employee
  • • Benefits enrollment.
  • • Life event changes (delivered in 9.2)
  • • Period-end closing
  • • System or feature re-configuration

PeopleSoft 9.2 delivers a guided business process for Life Events using Activity Guides.  Administrators can define tasks such as marriage or divorce, enabling users to easily change information that is pertinent to the business process. Employees process a self-service life event when there is a change in their benefits enrollment as a result of a life event, such as change in marital status, child birth or adoption. To process a life event, the user selects from the list of available life events. The user will be then guided through the required sub-steps, optional steps or action items to complete the life event. The activity guide pagelet will list all action items within the life event. The status of each action item changes as the user navigates through the item. If an employee gets married, for example, he can change his/her status and last name, and attach a marriage license within the Activity Guide.

Activity Guide buttons enable easy navigation, saving processing a life event to continue at later point, as well as actions such as cancel/delete. When a life event is completed, the activity guide will provide a visual indication.

Users can perform the following activities while processing a life event:

  • • Upload require documents: The system displays dynamically, based on the type of employee and life event, as well as document type(s) required to upload
  • • Change benefits enrollment
  • • Review benefits election to make further changes

PeopleSoft delivers out-of-the-box tools for the following life events: Marriage, Child Birth, Adoption and Divorce.

Activity Guides provide users the ability to record events without Benefits Administrator intervention.  With this new feature, the user has one central place to change or update their benefits enrollment,  personal data and Payroll.

Delivered Activity Guides can be configured to change the order of steps, make required or optional steps and, finally, provide personalized text.  Each Life Event can have its own informational text that your administrator defines to meet your requirements. This ease of use will cut down time for HR and speed up business processes, ultimately increasing user satisfaction.

Successful implementation of Activity Guides will simplify the business process once a guide is set up. PeopleSoft has aimed to make the setup of these guides as easy as possible in 9.2. An administrator will need to determine a set complex tasks which are to be completed by individual or groups of users. Once these tasks have been identified and categorized, the administrator will turn them into Activity Items -- individual steps or tasks that are defined in the Activity Guide and need to be completed by employees. After an Activity Guide has been completed, it can be interfaced with the WorkCenter, where it will display next to the transactional pagelet.

Activity Guides are very powerful and useful. They can walk users through infrequently performed self-service tasks or help power users performing complex administrative functions.   PeopleSoft 9.2 and PeopleTools 8.53 power business process with even more flexibility, allowing administrators to orchestrate business processes with any customization. The Activity will definitely cut down time for HR and Finance departments and will inevitably speed up your business processes. They provide hard dollar savings to justify an upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2.

And finally: Matthew Haavisto in the PeopleSoft Technology Blog points us to this great video on how to create a simple activity guide. Take a look:

Consult with Ataway’s Team of Experts today, and learn how we can help you set up Activity Guides or prepare for a 9.2 upgrade.

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