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Case life cycle elements

Updated on May 11, 2022

Visualize your work, organize tasks, and achieve the goals of your business process by defining the case life cycle. Creating the case life cycle is a technique that you can use to model a path that your case follows to resolution by grouping tasks in a logical and practical way.

After you identify the main elements and their relationships in your case types, start dividing your business processes into smaller parts. As a result, you can design your case type in the same way as you think about your work. Each case life cycle consists of the following elements that you can iteratively define:
  • Stages that consist of processes
  • Processes that consist of steps
  • Steps that are either automations or user actions


Stages are milestones in the case type, and they can indicate a transition of work from one department to another. For example, if your case type is to hire a candidate, you can create Application review, Interview, Decision, and Job offer stages, where each stage includes a set of different actions, and is performed by a different group of people, as shown in the following figure:

Stages in a case life cycle
Case Designer with a life cycle that includes four stages.


A process consists of a series of tasks, or steps, and visualizes a set of actions within a stage. For example, for Application review stage of hiring a candidate, you can add processes for Collecting personal information and Collecting documents, as shown in the following figure:

Sequential processes in a stage
A stage with two sequential processes.

By adding multiple processes, you group tasks into logical phases and model the order in which case workers complete tasks, because a case moves to the next process when all of the steps from the previous process are complete.

To speed up case resolution, you can configure parallel processes that involve more case workers simultaneously. For example, in the Check references stage of hiring a candidate, one HR worker conducts a reference check and the other HR worker checks work history of a candidate, as shown in the following figure:

Parallel processes in a stage
Case Designer with two processes that run in parallel.

Creating processes saves time because you can reuse a process in different stages and case types. For example, you can reuse the Collecting documents process from the reviewing job applications in other case types.


Steps are the smallest elements of a case life cycle and represent single tasks or assignments. A step can be a user action or an automation that an application performs. For example, for a Collect personal information process, you can add a Send email step, which is an automation that sends a message to a job applicant, and a Collect information step, which is an action that a user performs, as shown in the following figure:

Steps in a process
A process with three steps.
Define the case life cycle by completing the following actions:
  • Stages in a case life cycle

    Stages in your case life cycle visualize the milestones in the journey towards your business goals. By creating stages, you organize work into sequential and logical phases that help you achieve your business objectives.

  • Processes in a case life cycle

    Processes in stages organize related tasks in your business case. With processes, you can control the order of events in your case, in addition to who performs the work and in what manner.

  • Steps in a case life cycle

    A step in your case life cycle represents a single assignment in your business process. By adding a step, you define a task that a user, your application, or an external application performs to move a case closer to resolution.

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