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Workflow Efficiency Begins With Design

Posted by Kevin Sweeney on Jul 14, 2011 12:16:22 PM

Workflow efficiency

Workflow efficiency is a proven method to maximize organizational efficiency by minimizing the use of both time and resources.

Just like drawing a process on a whiteboard, a workflow process design can be accomplished in several different ways as well.

However, there are decidedly fewer options available when the goal is to create a workflow design which focuses on workflow efficiency as the priority.

Workflow efficiency requires the programmer to consider the optimum method to perform the required functionality.   Occasionally, the proper solution is not part of the "out of the box" tool set.  With cDevWorkflow, designing a custom step function should not be a concern.  We designed the custom functionality to be straight forward, intuitive and reusable.

Typical BPM Workflow designs are built using a type of point to point or serial logic.   This type of design when executed will show some workflow bottlenecks while hiding others.

Here are two workflow designs to be considered for the same approval process.  One of these workflow processes has a more efficient workflow design.

The examples of two efficient workflow design options are:

Serial Workflow Approvals:

Workflow Efficiency Serial Tasks Workflow Efficiency Serial Tasks


Parallel Workflow Approvals:

Workflow Efficiency Parallel Tasks Workflow Efficiency Parallel Tasks


Two ways  to accomplish the same workflow task, to process a workflow approval.  Given these two examples we can clearly see that the more efficient workflow design is the parallel workflow approval design.  This did not require any custom code to accomplish.  No special effort beyond defining two additional workflow steps.

The resulting efficient workflow design completes the assigned task, adding flexibility with the secondary approval path.  Overall, most every design is more efficient when the workflow is defined in parallel over serial.

Additionally, another reason in favor of a parallel design becomes apparent when viewed graphically.  With workflow efficiency in mind, the graphical display design details where the workflow is waiting for an approval and where it has completed its approval step.

The serial method of workflow design works well if there is  a preceding event in the approval cycle, but otherwise the serial routing can cause major workflow delays because of its high dependency on previous steps.

In the end, workflow designs will either hide or show bottlenecks. While designs that focus of workflow efficiency will always show workflow bottlenecks by design.

You may also be interested in reading more on the subject of Configuring a Custom Workflow Step.

A small sampling of the Workflow Technology for BPM Solutions contained within our cDevWorkflow product offering can be found here: Workflow Technology That Works.

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Learn more about our Process Automation & IT, QA Services or Software Development products and solutions on the Web!  Visit us at: Innovative Process Solutions

Topics: BPM Workflow, workflow bottlenecks, Serial Workflow, efficient workflow, BPM efficient workflow, Parallel Workflow, efficient workflow designs, Blog, workflow efficiency, effective workflow