Phased rollout


This documentation supports the 21.05 version of BMC Service Request Management. To view an earlier version, select the version from the Product version menu.

Learning about work order management

When a user creates a service request, depending on the type of the service request, work orders are created either automatically or by a work order manager to complete the backend fulfilment work that is needed to complete the service request. More than one work order can be created for one service request. The work order manager can divide a work order into tasks and can assign each task to different assignees. Work orders can also be assigned to different support groups.

For example, to fulfil a service request, a work order manager can create a work order as a related record for an incident, the modification of a configuration item, or for correcting a known error.

Process overview

The following diagram illustrates the work order management process:

Phase 1: Service request creation

When a user creates a service request for the IT department, for example, to fix the user's IT equipment or infrastructure, the control is handed over to the incident management process.

The control is handed over to the change management process if:

  • The service request causes a service to become unavailable or degraded during service hours
  • The functionality of a service has become different
  • The CMDB requires an update

In all other cases, the service request moves to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Service request fulfillment by using work orders

If the service request was created by a service catalog template containing the fulfillment workflow for implementing the service request, one or more work orders are created automatically and auto-assigned to the applicable support group.

If work orders are not automatically assigned to the applicable support group, or if the work order was created manually, the service desk analyst or specialist reviews the work orders that were created by the template and determines if additional tasks are required. If required, additional tasks are created and linked to the request.

Next, the service desk analyst or specialist determines which of the created work orders can be completed without involving others and assigns these work orders to self.

For each remaining work order, the service desk analyst or specialist determines who is the most appropriate team member to complete the work order, or lets the system auto-assign the work order to other people.

Work orders that should be completed by other service desk analysts or specialists are assigned to the following team members:

  • The most appropriate team member in the same group as the service desk analyst or specialist handling the request
  • The request manager of the target support group, if the most appropriate specialist is in another group 

When assigning the work order as part of an entire request fulfillment workflow, the order in which these should be completed is considered. This ensures only those work orders are assigned that do not require other tasks to be completed first.

Phase 3: Service Request Closure

The service desk analyst or specialist responsible for handling the request completes the work order assigned to self. When required, additional tasks are created and assigned.

When all work orders are completed successfully, the service request is completed.

Work order life cycle 

The status of a work order indicates the current position of the record in its life cycle. You can configure the application to send out notifications during status transitions to alert users that certain events have occurred.

The following table describes the different status values in the work order lifecycle. When you change the status of a work order, you can include a status reason. Status reasons are available for some work order statuses, but not all. For more information about work order status, see Work order status transitions




Initial status, or user saves a draft of the work order. This status can have two status reasons:

  • Initial status: Default assignment value for new work orders
  • Awaiting Request Assignee: The Request Assignee is still to be assigned


The Pending status might be due to any of the following reasons:

  • The work order assignee or Request Manager needs additional information.
  • Indicates whether an error occurred for some reason, for example, inaccurate data. Service request is created with an error. No work order is created.

The work order can be in Pending status due to any of the following status reasons:

  • Client Hold: Client has asked the service desk to temporarily stop working on the work order.
  • Client Additional Information Requested: The client needs to provide some information
  • Client Action Required: Awaiting some action from the client
  • Support Contact Hold: The agent assigned to the incident request is currently working on other work orders or is awaiting response from someone in a second or third tier support group.
  • Local Site Action Required: Waiting for some type of action to be taken at the location where the work order was created.
  • Purchase Order Approval: A purchase that requires approval is needed to move the work order to the next status.
  • Supplier Delivery: Awaiting the delivery of a good or service from a supplier before the work order can be moved to the next status.
  • Third Party Vendor Action Reqd: Awaiting an action from a third-party vendor before the work order can be moved to the next status.
  • Infrastructure Change: The work order cannot move to the next status until an infrastructure change occurs

Waiting Approval

If work order approvals have been implemented, this status indicates that the work order has been submitted and is pending for approval.

Work order approvals are not implemented out of the box.


A work order is created, but the work has not started.

In Progress

The work order is being implemented.


If work order approvals have been implemented, this status indicates that the approver has rejected the work order.

Work order approvals are not implemented out of the box.


The service request associated with this work order was cancelled, or the work order was cancelled.


When the last task on a work order is closed, the status of the work order is automatically set to Completed.

When all tasks are set to closed with the reason as successful, the work order status reason is Successful. If any one of the tasks is closed but is not successful, the work order status reason is set as Successful with Issues.


The following descriptions can apply:

  • Closed without any issues
  • Closed but with some issues
  • Closed by the system after the service request was retained in Completed status for 15 days

Note: Users with one of the following permissions can modify a closed work order:

  • Work Order Submitter
  • Work Order User
  • Work Order Master

User roles in work order

Work order management includes two user roles—work order manager and work order assignee. Additionally, you can assign work order Functional Roles to provide additional capability to the users, not based on permission group, but in the context of the support group to which the work order is related.

In large companies, the work order manager's main responsibilities usually involve planning and oversight. However, in small companies the work order manager might also function as the work order assignee who performs the tasks for the work order. In the work order management application, users with either the Work Order Manager or Work Order Assignee functional role can be assigned to individual work orders, so you can choose how to apply these roles in your organization.

When a work order is created, according the specified criteria, it is automatically assigned to the appropriate work order assignee. The supervisor, group, or individual can be notified of assigned work orders by email. Using the assignment engine, related tasks are automatically assigned to the appropriate work order assignee.

The following table describes the user roles for work order management:

User roleDescription
Work order manager

The work order manager is responsible for the quality and integrity of the work order management process.

The work order manager's activities and responsibilities can include the following:

  • Synchronizing work orders with service requests
  • Creating tasks to use with work orders
  • Handling work assignments
  • Monitoring support staff activity involved in implementing the work order
  • Planning work orders, which includes identifying, creating, and sequencing the tasks that must be performed to accomplish the work order
  • Scheduling people and resources to implement each task
  • Tracking work orders and tasks

The work order manager can have the following permissions and functional roles:

  • Work Order Master or Work Order User permission—Provides access to the Work Order Console, individual work orders, and the Overview Console. Users with Work Order Master permissions must belong to a support group to modify work orders belonging to that support group. For more information, see Roles and permissions in BMC Service Request Management.
  • Work Order Manager functional role—Allows the user to be assigned to individual work orders. 

To work with tasks, the user needs Task User permissions. For information about other levels of task permissions required, for example, to create task templates, see  Task Management System permissions Open link .

Using the Task Management System (TMS) functionality is optional with work orders. You can create work orders that do not use TMS tasks.

Work order assignee

Work order assignees are responsible for planning and implementing assigned work orders. They are usually people with specialized abilities in the support department of larger organizations. The work order assignee might be working actively on the work order, or coordinating the efforts of other groups or individuals working on tasks, if necessary.

Assignee activities and responsibilities include the following:

  • Gathering appropriate information based on the work order assigned
  • Providing status updates to requesters on request
  • Plan the task schedule
  • Executing the tasks that make up a work order
  • Reviewing all completed tasks, if more than one work order assignee helped complete the overall work order
  • Determining requester satisfaction with the overall work order

Work order notifications

When a work order moves to a new status (for example, Pending or In Progress), the application generates notifications. Based on their group or role, users might receive notifications during various work order lifecycle stages.

The Manager and Assignee groups receive notifications when they are assigned a work order, if no individual is assigned in the group. 


If you have both BMC Service Request Management and BMC Helix ITSM installed, notifications to end users from fulfillment applications such as Incident Management, Change Management, and Work Order Management are disabled so that users do not receive multiple notifications during the fulfillment process. For example, end users should only get notifications from service requests that they submit, not from work orders generated on the back end. Notifications to the work order manager and assignee are sent as usual.

Testing your knowledge

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Only persons with the functional role of Work Order Assignee or Work Order Manager can assign (or be assigned to) work orders.

The work order request manager is responsible for the quality and integrity of the work order management process.

Work order assignees are responsible for planning and implementing assigned work orders.

Do you want to learn more?

When you're ready to get started, see Managing work orders.

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