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From the Maximo Support Desk - Functionality of Work Type Options for Flow Control

Technical Blog Post


From the Maximo Support Desk - Functionality of Work Type Options for Flow Control


"What does this button do?"

I've been working with Maximo customers in a support capacity for a number of years now, but I haven't lost my ear for detecting that delicate blend of mild frustration and proactive curiosity in a client's voice when he or she asks me about various features and functionalities of Maximo that the client is not yet aware of, or familiar with yet.  It is in these moments when I realize that my existence here at IBM is on a metaphysical plane of great integrity.  Is that too much of an "over the top" description for a support person?  Yes, I thought so, but this is just a fun way to let you know that we Support Engineers can be your medium to bring forth Maximo knowledge and the "unknown" functionalities to your Users!

I recently had the chance to do this.  I had the pleasure of working with a Maximo customer on an issue and while we were viewing the Organizations application, this intrepid Maximo user began asking me about many of the options and settings that he was unfamiliar with even though they had nothing to do with the issue that we were troubleshooting.  In particular, he asked me what the functionality of the Start Status and Complete Status values that can be entered in the Work Type dialog from within the Organizations module.

One thing that Maximo users have discovered over the years is that a lot of functionality enhancements in one application create enhanced functionality and potential configuration enhancements in other applications, and this is one such example.  This particular client was hoping that these fields would be an easy, automatic way to initialize the Status of all new Work Orders to a synonym value of his choosing.  Although that would be a nice feature in certain business scenarios, I was able to show him an additional configuration ability for Maximo Flow Control, which he was already using and would now like to enhance his site's usage of this with pre-configured Start and Complete statuses.  If Maximo were a video game, we may have been presented with a splash screen that says, "Congratulations, Hidden Functionality achievement unlocked!"

Note: The initial status of a Work Order record is not set from values that are entered in the details/Process Flow section of the Work Type dialog. These values are only used when the Flow Control functionality is enabled.

In summary, the steps to view and configure this are:

Open the Work Type dialog:

  1.     Go To Administration | Organizations
  2.     Open the record for the appropriate Organization
  3.     Select Action | Work Order Options | Work Type
  4.     Click Filter
  5.     In the Work Order Class field enter "workorder" and press Enter
  6.     For any of the WORKORDER rows, expand the details
  7.     This will reveal the Process Flow section where values can be selected for Start Status and Complete Status

These fields in the Work Type dialog are used to define when Work Order tasks that are under Flow Control can be started and completed. If you are not familiar with Flow Control, it is a functionality in which tasks can be automatically started (via status change) upon completion of other tasks that are defined as predecessors.

In order for the Work Order, or its tasks to be changed to a desired status, the Parent Work Order needs to be manually changed to this status either manually, or by indicating the Status in the originating PM.  Additionally, the Job Plan and resulting Work Orders must have the Flow Control option in use (flagged).

Finally, here is the link to a more straightforward description of the steps above to configure Work Types to be used in the Flow Control feature of Work Orders. (easier to reference this step-by-step document than this wordy narrative!)  The document found at this URL also provides a link to a narrated presentation that illustrates Flow Control in Maximo, as well.


Tom Richardson is an IBM Maximo Support Engineer and frequent contributor to the Asset Management Blog community.  For a complete index of links to his articles, visit
Index of articles by Tom Richardson, Support Engineer

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