The Concept of workflow has its early roots in industrialization and was introduced to increase the efficiency highly in manual and semi-automatic processes.

Today many industries have extensive set of processes, interdependencies, legacy systems, lot of manual activities and hence many organizations struggling to have uniform, robust, efficient and information technology adapting process model.

Process can be organized into material processes, information processes and business processes. Material processes consists of the assembly and delivery of the physical products. Information processes ate related to automated computer software that fully or partially perform tasks with interactions from humans. Business processes are at higher level concept and kind of combination of information processes & manual processes.

Business process can be complete set of process of any organization those can be combinations of customer centric and internal operations and activities to develop the final product of the company. The “Workflow” is one casual terminology used in many communications as a synonym for the Business process. It is collection of interdependent tasks to complete one complete end-to-end flow of any material & information process of the company.

Organization’s Key Pain Areas

  • Today there are several pain areas for the organizations to execute all their required material and information processes.
  • Combination of manual and semi-automatic processes.
  • Several legacy systems need Hand-In and Hand-Outs between processes.
  • No real time Data parameters and no multi-channel capability for process execution.
  • Non-availability of Cloud based Digital platform and non-compatibility for Mobile APPS.
  • Lot of challenges to measure service efficiency, fine tracking of the execution and challenges to optimize the overall Capex and Opex.

Process Orchestration & Automation using BPMN

As mentioned before, “Workflow” as a collection of tasks organized to accomplish some business processes (E.g. Processing of purchase order using Web-UI or Mobile APP, provisioning of insurance policy etc.). A task can be performed by one or more software systems, one or a team of humans, or combination of these.

BPMN tools is key substitute to define all these processes centrally using several BPMN tools available either as open source (community editions) or subscription-based products. Few examples of BPMN tools are:

  • Camunda

Process Automation – High Level Approach

To build digital centralized process model for any organization, there must be systematic and defined approach. Discover -> To Build.

Key Phases for the overall approach are:

1. Discovery phase

  • Capture “as-is”’ model of the existing processes
  • Define priorities of existing processes to automate and orchestrate.
  • Decompose these processes into small & manageable portions
  • Define process initiators, roles involved, third parties and expected end of processes.
  • Identify required inputs & outputs at every level of process flows.
  • Frame E2E Process model – “To-Be” Model.
  • 2. Design Phase

  • Design the Process Model using BPMN
  • Define inter process communications, hand-ins / hand-outs and checkpoints
  • 3. Implementation Phase

  • Building technical components. UI, Process Deployment in BPMN & overall deployment architecture
  • 4. Stabilization & Continuous Integrations

    BPMN Tools – Technical Components& Features

    • Modeler, a web-based graphical workflow authoring interface.
    • Designer, Eclipse plugins for building workflows
    • Engine, the core workflow processor and multi-DB compatibility.
    • Explorer, a web tool to deploy process definition, start new process instance and carry-out work on workflows.
    • Support for REST APIs and integration with User Interfaces like JSP etc..

    BPMN tool Usage – Advantages

    • Process orchestration outsourced to BPMN engine.
    • Very low business logic on code level in the application which helps faster customization as per customer needs for process enhancement or amendments.
    • Less dependency on technology, human interventions and faster turn-around for process changes demands by end users.
    • Faster demand fulfillment and faster go to market.

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