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If you have reached this far in the book, your mind may well be reeling with the number of new documents (based on business objects) and processes that you need to encounter to model and manage your business.

OpenERP's process module, which is installed automatically when a process-aware module is installed, shows you cross-functional processes and technical workflows for those nodes in the process that have them. This visualization is invaluable for documentation - but it also goes a step further. You can modify processes and workflows and even generate entirely new processes and workflows for your various document types.

If your starting point is a specific document, such as an invoice or order, then you will also be shown the exact position of that document on its process and workflow diagrams.

For this chapter you should start with a fresh database that includes demonstration data, with sale and its dependencies installed and no particular chart of accounts configured. process is one of those dependencies. Also install some of the hr modules for the second example in this chapter, such as hr_attendance, hr_contract, and hr_holidays.

The organization and quality of a company is typically related to its maturity. A mature company is one where processes are well established, and where staff do not waste much time searching for documents or trying to find out how to do their different tasks.

From this need for effective organization and explicit quality improvement, have appeared numerous tools:

  • The ISO9001 quality standard,

  • Business Process Management (BPM) tools,

  • Use Case workflows, and formalized standards such as UML,

  • The company Quality Manual.

The problem is that these tools are usually quite separate from your management system and often reserved for the use of just a few specific people in your company. They are treated separately rather than put at the heart of your management system. When you ask company staff about ISO9001 they usually see it as a constraint rather than a helpful daily management tool.

To help the company meet its quality requirements and to form these processes into assistance integrated with everyday work, OpenERP supplies a Corporate Intelligence® tool that enables you to put company processes at the heart of your management system.

The system enables:

  • new employees to learn how to use the software by graphically and dynamically, discovering how each document and action works,

  • easy access to the all the links to a document and everything that is attached to it,

  • people to see both a high-level map and the detail of all the company's processes,

  • access to a graphical model and integrated quality manual for rapid access that depends on the work context,

  • use of a knowledge base and capitalization of that knowledge for all of the company's actions in the form of interactive processes,

  • an employee to become more aware of his role in the whole environment.