Making life simpler with Workflow

Making life simpler with Workflow

Simpler-Workflow-blog-header

If I were to name the workflow process, it would be “Simplify”.

Workflow helps in keeping things as straightforward as possible as a key fundamental of process design. The great Albert Einstein once said “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”, which makes me think of creating the easiest, quickest, least complex solution to any problem that will actually solve the problem itself.

One item that people are very prone to do with processes is to leave some sort of a ‘hole’ in the system. But am I the only one who thinks that it might be a good idea to design your systems correctly in the first place? How many times have people fallen into the trap of designing a business process to match a specific piece of software functionality, but then suffered when that software can’t cope with a customer who comes in with an emergency? This is not to denigrate business decisions systems at all, but merely to look at specific problems through a different prism.

Idea of Independent Workflow?

When talking about Independent workflow, having something standalone which would not affect other process. That way when you change your underlying ERP or CRM system (for example) you don’t actually need to redesign your processes. One of the user said:

“It seems to me as though most challenges that tend to come up in these situations have two sources.”

  1. Maybe the system is flawed.
  2. There’s a spot where things get stuck, jammed, or fall through and get lost.
    Or a great system is already in place, but we’re just not using it. Which is the flaw.

So how do we solve these two problems?

I would say we don’t. Or, more particularly, we can’t. Generally, the easiest solution is that which needs the least amount of work, or that which produces the ideal result the quickest. But, let’s also look at the opposite side of that equation. How many time have you rung the bank, or some other ‘call center’ system and asked them to do something only to be told that ‘the system won’t let us do that’? So is the system working correctly?

Yes, it is. It is working absolutely as designed. But is it working in the best way for the customer?

I don’t think so. Perhaps the solution is to make systems more flexible? Maybe we need to try and ensure that users can perform the tasks they wish (regardless of what those tasks are) and then manage the fall-out using something such as decisions or rules based systems. With the workflow process, it’s easy to track and perform actions on specific task. Also, the tasks can be assigned to different users or group of users to perform action. We can help direct the workflow to different directions depending on what we receive as an input, making troubleshooting easy, quick and efficient.

Does Workflow simplify Troubleshooting?

The answer to this question is Yes and No. A workflow is developed around a business requirement and with the flow of system to help perform tasks quickly and efficiently, but when there is a break in the flow, there is a change in the direction of flow which may end us either ending the process or hanging in there with no specific alert.

By the use of rules and better workflow design, troubleshooting a workflow and making any changes to it is now easy. Any workflow process that is developed independent would affect no other process to hang in between or would end the process abruptly.

Effective Workflow in a nutshell.

The whole idea of making the workflow as easy and simple is to help making the workflow independent of all the other process. Using a workflow as a sub process to main process helps with the size of the process as well as helps making the troubleshooting easy which eventually helps making testing easy and life easier. Any workflow that is easy and simple would be easy to understand and maintain. Long story short, easy and simple workflow linked together as sub process are more efficient and simple to use and maintain for the growth and development of the company.

At Princeton Blue, we help you take select and implement the best workflow for your business applications thereby adding value to your business. Get in touch with us here. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ to get key BPM-specific insights on a regular basis.

Daman Bains
Daman Bains
Daman Bains is a Consultant at Princeton Blue

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