Task Exceptions & Quick Tasks

There are two typical scenarios in which you add an exception to a user input task. The initial form and the confirmation dialog. Below, both patterns in a one process model. I will describe the patterns, the issue, and the solution below.

Initial Form

To allow a user to initiate a process entering some data, you create a process model and an interface. Then you assign that interface as the Process Start Form. This way, the process will initiate as the user submits the interface. In case the user closes the browser, navigates away or clicks the top-right X to close a popup dialog, nothing happens.

Now, there are scenarios in which you cannot use the Process Start Form feature. You then add a User Input Task to the model and enable chaining to navigate the user directly to this interface as he initiates the process. The problem here is that you then have an active process instance, even if the user navigates away. This task will then be listed in the user’s task list.

To get rid of this task, you then add an exception, which works like a timeout. The issue here is, that you need to give the user enough time to fill out the form, but also want to keep the timeout as short as possible to prevent the task from showing up in the task list.

Confirmation Dialog

Appian will show a small “Action completed” after you submit a task. Every so often this is not enough, and you have to show a more sophisticated confirmation dialog. For example, to allow the user to navigate to a just created case record.

You then add a User Input Task using the same Exception pattern as for the Initial Form. This time you can keep the timeout shorter, but still risk the task to show up in the task list.

The Solution

Appian has a rarely used feature which is called Quick Tasks. Follow this link to the Appian documentation: https://docs.appian.com/suite/help/22.2/Process_Model_Recipes.html#creating-a-quick-task

Background: When you create a Process Backed Record, Quick Tasks will be displayed as related actions in the record. They are not assigned, but initiated by a user any time.

The important detail is, that a Quick Task will never show up in a user’s task list, as it is not meant to be assigned. Make both tasks Quick Tasks as shown below.

This modification is also visible in the Process Model, indicated by a small icon.

As a result, you can relax the timeout period and do not have to worry about a confusing task showing up in the user’s task list.

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