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Web Global Net Web Application & Web Development Project Center  |  Web Site Planning Related  |  Project Management  |  Topic: Workflows: Who? What? When? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Workflows: Who? What? When?  (Read 6869 times)
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« on: November 13, 2006, 02:26: PM »

Workflow software doesn't create business processes, but applying workflow to a business process certainly brings the details of that process into focus as you lay out the business process definition and add the required business rules definitions. A workflow can be thought of as the implementation of the answers to the questions Who? What? When? in a business process.

Who?

Who are the participants involved in the flow of the business process? What roles do they play? How are they organized? Are the groupings flexible and dynamic? Or more fixed and static? More entities than just people can be workflow participants. Organizations, applications, employees, Web services, and other workflows can be answers to the Who? question. Abstracting participants into roles makes a workflow more robust. For example, instead of risking a bottleneck in the workflow by specifying that EmployeeA or EmployeeB must do a task, or putting up with the maintenance headache of changing the list of specific employees every time there's a relocation or promotion, allowing anyone that has the Supervisor role to do the task lessens that risk and lowers that maintenance cost.

What?

What is it that the participants do? How do they do what they do? Do they approve things? Do they perform transactions? Do they create documents? Track inventory? Call vendors for prices? Execute a campaign? Transfer information to other participants? Some workflows are completely automatic, and some consist of manual tasks that must be performed by people. More and more frequently, workflows are a combination of the two types. For example, calling a vendor for prices could be one in a series of manual tasks that a person performs, but it can become a programmatic call to a Web Service that returns prices based on the vendor and item information provided to it.

When?

How do participants know when to start? When is the work finished? In what order do participants do their tasks? Do they do them sequentially or in parallel? If only sometimes, under what conditions? How long should each task take? Are there hard deadlines or not? If a task is not successfully completed, should it be tried again? When a business process contains tasks that are currently done by people only during the day, and examination of those tasks results in changing them to be automated and performed at any time, the people are then freed up for other tasks and the newly-automated tasks don't have to wait for a person to perform them.
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Web Global Net Web Application & Web Development Project Center  |  Web Site Planning Related  |  Project Management  |  Topic: Workflows: Who? What? When? « previous next »
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