The Getting Workflow Done Right

By November 28, 2018 Blog

Often times workflows are created to match the linear, static, and sequential way organizations do work today.   In a digital environment – workflows don’t have to follow the limitations of the physical world – and leveraging the capability of technology, organizations can do more and have more – for less.

Often times workflows are created to match the linear, static, and sequential way organizations do work today.   In a digital environment – workflows don’t have to follow the limitations of the physical world – and leveraging the capability of technology, organizations can do more and have more – for less.

When developing workflows for the modern, digital environment, the designers must overcome their physical world design constraints to develop flexible and scalable capabilities that are agile to organization needs changes.

The five (5) best practices to help designers best use digital workflow are:

1. Don’t Design Giant Inflexible Workflows – Split workflows up into multiple re-usable modules

When you split a linear workflow into multiple, manageable modules, designers (and organizations) gain a number of key efficiencies that can make a big difference:

  • Flexibility to adapt to changing business needs

  • Process recycling to re-purpose commonly used workflows

  • Rapid error resolution to debug a single module rather than an entire workflow

  • More efficient testing to examine individual modules, and quickly identify and resolve potential issues

  • Better performance to run your workflow modules faster

2. Design for the End in Mind: Ensure you know at the beginning what you Input & Outputs are

It’s always a good idea to consider input and output at the beginning of the workflow design process. This can help you avoid needing to make major adjustments to your entire workflow later in the process. Also, take into consideration and allow time for any interruptions or variations that might not fit within the standard process, such as offline collaboration.

3. Ensure Business Application Integration

The key to integration with your line-of-business applications is to only involve the systems relevant to your workflow. You also want to ensure that the data required for the workflow will always be available at the right time, and more importantly, in the correct format.

If any kind of data transformation is required between systems, it should take place outside of the workflow process. Remember, workflow should support process flow—not be expected to modify and translate data from disparate systems.

4. Know what your Workflow models is –  and develop to that

Many people talk about the “right” workflow model, but it’s not really about the right or wrong model. Whether you choose sequential or parallel is not the issue; it’s about finding the model that best fits your business needs.

5. Use Workflow constants for Efficiency and Security

When designing a workflow, designers often manually enter variables, rather than using a constant.  A more secure option is to create a workflow constant or global variable and record the account and user name in it, and then use the workflow constant in the workflow designer. The benefits of this are:

  • Trusted workflow designers can set up workflows that interact with LDAP/AD while protecting the integrity of the high-level account.

  • In your sub-production environments, you only need to ensure that the variables are the same in both environments. No need to update the workflow settings when you export a workflow, and then import the workflow between environments.

Leave a Reply