May 24, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: HR Management
Two Types of Workflow: Software and Human System
By Eric Veal
There are two sides to workflow: software workflow and human interaction systems (aka business processes). Understanding both of these helps us understand our systems overall. We need to be expert at both to really understand what’s going on at all in today’s complex systems and organizations.
There are two main types of workflows in our lives: software workflows and human system workflows. Software workflows are the experiences we have on our devices (computer, laptop, smartphone, etc.). Human workflows are a view of our organizations that are about the overall mix of people, artifacts, inputs, processes, roles, and outputs. The latter is the more abstract and grand view, while the former is critically important to helping us understand the actual human workflows that exist today and will tomorrow because the software workflows are constantly and rapidly innovating and changing.
Software workflows are very fun to define, create, implement and realize. Making software is a thrilling and fun experience. Adding a set of systems or softwares together into an information systems happens frequently and creates greater value to human workflows.
Human workflows are abstract views of our organizations and systems and first focus on the actual people in terms of their roles, what artifacts they create and pass around, what processes and tasks they perform, how they measure their work, how they define flow, and a variety of other things. Human workflows are critical to know and understand for organizations to be focused on the customer, value, efficiency and sales.
Overall, between these two methods of workflow definition, we can understand our organizations and their related complexities. There are tools out there like Configuration Management Databases and Windows Workflow Foundation to map the software workflows and IDS Scheer ARIS to map the human interaction workflows. Together we can use these information systems to store data about our organizations and get better information out about what is going on as analysts and decision makers.
Eric Veal, MS, MBA, PMP is a managing member at Efficitrends, a company specialized in evaluating, improving, and automating business processes. Eric has 15 years of experience planning, selling, building, applying, and supporting commercial and custom IT solutions for Fortune 500 and smaller firms. You can read more from Eric on his blog.
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