Simple, pragmatic workflow An overview
Workflow and business processes <ul><li>There are many processes and tasks that have the need for some kind of  workflow <...
Typical workflow design and implementation <ul><li>The workflow is usually modelled in the tool by a Business Analyst </li...
Challenges with traditional workflow <ul><li>Traditional workflow is based on the concept of a person’s  role </li></ul><u...
A simple, pragmatic workflow tool <ul><li>We believe there is a need for a workflow tool that is better suited for flexibl...
OWL: Open Workflow Light <ul><li>OWL  was developed to meet the gap in a simple workflow tool. Its key principles are belo...
OWL: Keep a full audit trail <ul><li>OWL ensures that the audit trail for a task is available to the user a task is assign...
OWL: Fit in with the users’ working methods  <ul><li>OWL integrates with common tools familiar to the user </li></ul><ul><...
OWL: Technical overview <ul><li>OWL can be installed alongside your company’s applications or accessed as a service over t...
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Simple, Pragmatic Workflow

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Simple, Pragmatic Workflow

  1. 1. Simple, pragmatic workflow An overview
  2. 2. Workflow and business processes <ul><li>There are many processes and tasks that have the need for some kind of workflow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Insurance claims, New customer processes, Call centres </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We contrast workflow with task management in that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>workflow always involves more than one person, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>there are often decisions or rules as to where the work item should next go </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional workflow has previously worked well in industries with well-defined processes and organisational structures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Workflow is often represented by Business Process Modelling (BPM) or Workflow applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the major vendors and many specialist vendors have a workflow or BPM offering </li></ul></ul>Slide
  3. 3. Typical workflow design and implementation <ul><li>The workflow is usually modelled in the tool by a Business Analyst </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involves identifying steps, roles, and conditions for moving between steps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The IT department deploy the modelled workflow on to a server with the workflow application </li></ul><ul><li>The business users interact with the workflow </li></ul>Slide
  4. 4. Challenges with traditional workflow <ul><li>Traditional workflow is based on the concept of a person’s role </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not a person’s job title but instead a distillation of the actions they perform in the process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These days teams and departments are often asked to do more with less </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In reality, people will play multiple roles, sometimes in the same process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of offshore or nearshore teams also blurs the role boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Workflow applications that are bound up with role-based security do not adapt well to this reality </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional workflow and BPM applications are not suited to adapting quickly to change </li></ul><ul><li>They rely on a prescriptive and deterministic flow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The flow tells the user what to do </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is fine at design-time, but seldom matches reality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flows often have exception situations (e.g. Where a customer’s documentation might be incomplete) that require case-by-case analysis and resolution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modelling these as one-size-fits all makes it more difficult for staff to do their jobs </li></ul>Slide
  5. 5. A simple, pragmatic workflow tool <ul><li>We believe there is a need for a workflow tool that is better suited for flexible business processes </li></ul><ul><li>The tool would be of use in where any of the following hold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business users often need to use their expertise to decide what happens next in the business process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The business process is evolving or needs to adapt quickly to changing circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business users need to define simple chains of tasks without the expense or overhead of an application suite </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We believe that the majority of business processes fit these criteria and have developed a workflow tool to fit it </li></ul>Slide
  6. 6. OWL: Open Workflow Light <ul><li>OWL was developed to meet the gap in a simple workflow tool. Its key principles are below: </li></ul><ul><li>The user knows best </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The user best knows how and where to route items in the process and they not the workflow tool should not dictate where the task goes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep a full audit trail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s more important to understand what has happened to a task rather than where it will go. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only might this be needed for regulatory compliance but it can also aid a user in deciding what to do next </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fit in with the users’ working methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The tool should integrate with the end users’ working methods not the other way around </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The following slides explain how OWL achieves each of these principles </li></ul>Slide
  7. 7. OWL: Keep a full audit trail <ul><li>OWL ensures that the audit trail for a task is available to the user a task is assigned to </li></ul><ul><li>This shows: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who has worked on the task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What they did to the task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When they worked on the task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How they categorised the task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why they assigned it to another user (through their comments) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This information is just as important as the task itself in enabling the user to decide what next to do with the task. </li></ul><ul><li>We store all task information so it is easily and quickly accessible without burdening the task with its own history </li></ul><ul><li>The audit trail is immediately available to support regulatory requirements </li></ul>Slide
  8. 8. OWL: Fit in with the users’ working methods <ul><li>OWL integrates with common tools familiar to the user </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat / Instant Messenger (IM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microblog (e.g. Twitter) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users can select how and when they are notified of new tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Users can “watch” flows of interest to ensure that important tasks are being addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Users can search for tasks, comments, or tags using familiar web-based search interfaces </li></ul>Slide
  9. 9. OWL: Technical overview <ul><li>OWL can be installed alongside your company’s applications or accessed as a service over the web </li></ul><ul><li>OWL is hosted on scalable architecture provided by Google </li></ul><ul><li>OWL is written using the mature, stable, and powerful Java language but can integrate with non-Java systems </li></ul><ul><li>OWL is a “white label product” that can be customised to your company’s brand making it a seamless experience for the end user </li></ul><ul><li>More technical details on OWL can be found at http://truenorth.gb.com/products/owl-technical </li></ul>Slide

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