Question. If the two processes are distinct, why would you marry them together? A few things to think about....
1- Are you moving only the drawings through the entire process or just an ECN file, or both?
- We send just the ECN document through and the CAD files are moved from state to state after the ECN is complete. Meanwhile the drawings stay in either the "Prototype" or "Production" workflows.
With this setup we have 2 different ECN workflows, the Prototype ECN workflow only needs 1 signature, the Production ECN workflow is much more in depth.
I built in a rework loop that removes any previous signatures and send the file back to the "ECN Prep" state. From there is shows the comments given for the requested change, and goes back through the loop as if it was for the first time.
If the two processes are distinct, why would you marry them together?
My line of logic here is that for the formal and informal procceses, the start and end states of a drawing are the same (i.e. a drawing in the 'Approved' state could have come from either process). Hence the unified workflow.
We send just the ECN document through and the CAD files are moved from state to state after the ECN is complete. Meanwhile the drawings stay in either the "Prototype" or "Production" workflows
Our QA program doesn't have ECN forms, so it is the drawings going through the process. Basically, we have 6 separate signatures. If it gets rejected anywhere along the way, it goes back to the state before any signatures were added. I plan to have the PDM apply the signatures in the title block as it progresses through the various approvers, and remove the signatures if it gets rejected along the way (similar to your rework loop).
Looking through the admin guide, automatic transitions may help me out a bit. I can blow through all the unneeded signatures if a variable is set.
If only our CFO would get around to signing for the software I could get started testing....
We have some similar workflows. My answers to your questions:
"If an error or some other problem with the drawing is discovered, can the engineer easily change the state of the file(s) from 'Approved' to 'Work in Progress'? Do you have to have a distinct transition to handle this?
Yes you will. We call it rework. Also, make sure users don't have check-out rights in the "Approved" state. Sounds obvious but something to keep in mind.
For the formal drawings I have a 'Change Requested' transition which takes the drawings back to the 'Work in Progress' state, since the entire approval hierarchy has to happen on every change to these drawings.
Would the engineer simply use this same 'Change Requested' transition, make the necessary changes and then resubmit through the 'No Approval Required' transition?
Yes, if that's okay with your process. I would also recommend incrementing your revision number when you being to make a change. You may also want to create a variable in your metadata that tags the formal drawings as, well, 'formal'. Setting a flag like this can be used to make decisions inside a workflow for the user (ie. if variable X is '1' do this transition, otherwise do the other).
Hope this helps more than it confuses.