Workflow knowledge management through the use of graphically displayed process information has been a mainstay on the factory floor for decades. Workflow knowledge products are finally catching up to the capabilities of process control products available within the industrial automation and control markets. Why it has taken twenty years for companies to focus on the organizations entire workflow process rather than factory floor through put is another topic for another day.
The facts of the matter is that companies are seeking ways to achieve greater efficiencies, improve competitive positions, reduce operating costs and to standardize processes. For year now every company has been faced with organizational change. Some of these changes were a result of economic drivers other were from programs such a LEAN or ISO 9000. The result?
Globally companies set goals and metrics to realize process improvement through process or workflow knowledge management, removing wasted steps and improve process standardization.
And here is where our industrial automation and control experiences pointed to a solution gap. Exactly what tools are available within the office environment that automatically collect this type of data?
On a factory floor we have a processing line where bottles pass by to quickly for the human eye to detect a fault. However a vision system will detect if a label is crooked and send a signal to other downstream components that will collect and reject that bottle.
While in the office environment this type of high speed action - decision - reaction workflow knowledge management process does not exists.
Within the manufacturing process of a pharmaceutical company data is collected, stored by a network of divergent control systems and then archived a single batch record automatically. I can not think of one manufacturing facility that does not have at least one Human Machine Interface (HMI) device providing key process workflow knowledge thru workflow visualization.
Imagine how much easier the Customer Service job would be, if the person could look at a computer screen and see exactly where the customers insurance claim was in the process. And then with a click or two, know how many claims were in front of that claim and the estimated time until the insurance claim was available for payment.
OK, so you don't like that example. Simply replace the italicized words above with any other position and process step. The results are the same.
Prior to workflow software products, we were unable to link the divergent information systems within our companies without large complicated systems and highly specialized code. And even then, there were no tool for the office environment to actually see the workflow process and benefit from Process Workflow Knowledge Management being displayed.
You have heard the saying: A picture is worth 1000 words....
When it comes to Business Process Management (BPM) workflow, this saying is completely true. There are two key areas where organizations benefit from working with a graphical environment.
- When designing workflow definitions (almost as easy as transferring information from the whiteboard to the computer screen)
- When rendering executed workflow instances (bringing that whiteboard process drawing to life)
When we designed cDevWorkflow, we made every effort to maintain that "intuitive" look and feel to the design tool. I knew we had succeeded when one client remarked after using the tool, that the tool was so easy to use it reminded him of his kids kindergarten connect the dots pictures.
Our cDevWorkflow BPM workflow engine does what whiteboard and sticky notes can not. With cDevWorkflow, your completed whiteboard sticky note process design is ready to come to life.
As an executed workflow instances, every user can instantly view a graphically representation of what is happening real time. Everyone who needs the information has instant access to it. They can see what is working and what is not working with each transaction. That is what Graphic Workflow Knowledge Management is all about.
As software developers we are highly practiced with the software code debugging process. With cDevWorkflow, the graphic image reports where the problem is. Debugging or solving a users support questions easier to figure out what went wrong.
I have yet to meet a user who is not delighted to hear Tech Support say "oh, I see what is wrong... here let me fix it.... All set, enjoy your day"
This is how companies are improving their organizations, improving information flow, gaining process workflow knowledge management thru workflow graphic visualization.
This is how good companies become great companies.
A small sampling of the Workflow Technology for BPM Solutions contained within our cDevWorkflow product offering can be found here: Workflow Technology That Works.
Learn more about our Process Automation & IT, QA Services or Software Development products and solutions on the Web! Visit us at: Innovative Process Solutions