A field indicating a person’s “status” with respect to the organisation is a standard feature of all IAM implementations. Over many solutions I’ve boiled it down to four status values that satisfy all the lifecycle use cases I’ve come across:
- Pending – We know about this person but their hire (or re-hire) date is in the future,
- Active – Active employment or other relationship,
- Suspended – A temporary state where all accounts are disabled but otherwise unchanged, perhaps due to long leave or temporary suspension of duties,
- Inactive – Relationship with the organisation has ceased.
The designer of the IAM solution shouldn’t have to be concerned with why a person is in any one of these states – all we need to know is:
- how to identify the status, and
- what to do when the status changes.
Obviously the staus is sometimes combined with other attribute values to determine actions, but these are the four status values I have found to be generally applicable across a range of solutions and organisation types.