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Policy overrides and suspended work items

Updated on November 22, 2021

Auditors, quality control examiners, and compliance staff can set up rules that detect and automatically halt unusual business exceptions in an application. When desired, they can ensure that work items that record inappropriate situations or processing that violates policies are detected and suspended immediately, regardless of the cause.

The policy override capability supports the detection, tracking, and disposition of such unusual situations. Other work on the work item is blocked until the review completes, and records the an outcome (of Allow or Deny). As with ordinary flows, the complete and detailed work item history of a policy override review flow provides enduring evidence that appropriate procedures were followed.

Business exceptions may occur from many sources — human error, systems failure, software failure, invalid data, unanticipated external situations, or criminal or fraudulent activity. When appropriately designed, your application can detect and suspend processing without any prejudgment of the cause or source. Expert reviewers — operating independently from previously involved parties — can then research, analyze, and remedy problems as appropriate.

They can allow a business exception to be waived, amounting to a case-by-case policy override.


A business exception can be defined through a test involving work item property values.

For example, a secured loan amount may be limited to a fixed maximum percent of the value of collateral. In practice, the value of collateral (such as pledged stock holdings) may change from day to day or hour to hour. Changes to collateral or to the loan balance that exceed the limit may occur at any time.

As another example, in most businesses, payments to an employee ordinarily are not to be processed by that employee. While good design may attempt to prevent such situations when a work item and the its parties are initially entered, changes made later — innocently or not — might allow this situation to arise. A test that compares the names of operators who update the case with the names of payees or credit parties is needed.

Finally, business exceptions may be raised based on a pattern of facts that seen individually are less suspicious. Through a computed property in a cover object, conditions in potentially hundreds of member work items can be tallied or summarized. For example, if a dollar limit of $1000.00 is imposed on each member in a cover, an exception can be raised when more than 50 percent of the members are at that limit amount or close to it.

Processing scenario

  1. To perform an assignment on her worklist, user Mary enters a dollar amount of $14,000 into an amount field on the flow action form. Mary has complied with all the policies and standards of her job.
  2. Separately, in another assignment for another flow executing on the same work item, John updates an account number for a work party. The new account number indicates that the account is closed because of bankruptcy. John also has performed his job responsibilities appropriately.
  3. Based on a when condition test in a Declare OnChange rule, a business exception occurs. As a result, the work item status changes to Pending-PolicyOverride, and all the currently executing flows are halted.
  4. Open assignments for currently executing flows are removed from worklists and work queues; affected users are notified by email.
  5. A review flow identified in the Declare OnChange rule starts. The flow execution routes an assignment to a reviewer.
  6. While suspended, the work item appears in the Problem Flow report.
  7. The reviewer may update the work item, change values, add attachments, and research to reach a verdict.
  8. The reviewer records a verdict of Allow or Deny.

Supporting rules

These standard rules support this facility:

  • The Work-.SuspendFlows activity
  • The Assign-Suspend class holds assignments for suspended work items. To see a list of assignments, navigate to Dev Studio Case ManagementToolsWork AdminSuspended Work Assignments.
  • The sample flow is Work-.PolicyOverride, which calls Work-.PolicyOverrideFinish.
  • The work item status is Pending-PolicyOverride.
  • The Policy Overrides item appears in the Overlay menu only for users who hold the @baseclass.ViewProDex privilege.

Processing depends on the existence of calendar instances ( Data-Admin-Calendar ) for the current year and the time zone of the operator.

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