5 Simple Ideas that Will Improve Your Efficiency Part 5 – Handling Workflows in the Real World
The benefits of automating a well-worn, linear process are well established. But the real efficiency gains come from automating processes that happen outside those ‘closed loops’. The latest tip in our BPM Efficiency series explains the benefits of implementing a configurable workflow model.
Linear vs Real World: Bridging the Gap
Most of us would feel comfortable with describing (if not automating) the steps required to better manage a transactional process. Capturing billing information or ‘Contact Us’ data from a website are just two very familiar, very repeatable processes that take place 24/7 in businesses everywhere – and without our intervention.
Automating transactional processes doubtless saves us time, money and hassle. But the real benefits of workflow come from automating those processes involving people. And this is where the linear process doesn’t fit.
Yes, the process might execute to a linear flow. But as it progresses, the YES/NO option provided by the classic diamond shaped decision box is nearly always a compromise. Further clerical processes with multiple participants rarely execute in the order laid down in a flow chart.
The YES/NO option provided by the classic diamond shaped decision box is nearly always a compromise in a business environment where three or more outcomes are not uncommon.
Real-world processes have many outside influences. Try as you might to restore some kind of order, inefficiency becomes a fact of life. From different tools (Excel, email, corporate web portals) to different objectives, it’s possible to find as many different human-managed workflows as there are ways to control them.
Successfully managing these workflows can bring distinct benefits: both to the large enterprise with many specialist processes (such as FLOvate customer, insurance company Willis) to the start-up with niche processes that are so key they may be considered intellectual property in their own right. In these cases, no off-the-shelf package can give the flexibility required.
So what’s the answer?
Think “Events” for Efficiency
The LEAP Workflow Engine is a completely configurable workflow model which implements an event-task-action paradigm that is both powerful and simple. The start of any Workflow is an Event.
Workflow Events are pre-defined reactions to events that happen during the execution of a process. These events act as placeholders where Workflow Tasks can be associated. Workflow Tasks come in two forms:
- User Tasks: Where User Involvement is required
- System Tasks: Which are executed without User Involvement.
LEAP workflow software has hundreds of Events built-in: from document attachments to approving requests. Every action in the application has an associated Event from which the Workflow can be triggered.
With LEAP’s flexible data modeling and capture tools, you can:
- Facilitate real-time collaboration
- Ensure consistent and rapid decision making
- Keep your processes moving!