For a long time I work with teams to create some processes/workflows/guidlines across different groups of employees and structures (project, department, company, communities etc) .
Finally processes we create are spread across multiple places:
- Task Management System (like Jira)
- Knowledge Base (like Confluence) with process definition/guidlines/policies
- Learning Management System (like TalentLMS)
- Custom Automation tools (internally developed)
- Personal Checklist tools with my personal reminders or todo’s (like Todoist)
- Just Brain of some employee 😉
As a result, each time we build a process with such approach we meet the same challenges:
- It’s hard for employees to follow process spread in different systems. It creates several useless efforts to check how process was done, identify and repeat forgotten steps.
- When the process documented as text it’s hard for employee to go steps by step and nothing to forget. It’s hard to stop and proceed later.
- It’s pretty hard to build single, clear and continues process flow in different systems. Especially it’s hard because not only one employee involved in the process, but many from different departments, organizations. The process flow should jump from employee to employee with using of several rules/roles. Usually it requires some automation or just manual work of assistant (if you have them)
- It’s hard to support and extend process in different systems. You need to keep it in mind the whole process to not forget something.
Finally, if company have no approach/culture how to build a processes it creates some kind of mess which produces pretty big administrative efforts and impacts on quality (depends on company size). It creates a case when company is focused to make process work, but not the goal of the process, which is more important.
My idea that many of challenges from above can be fixed if company will have some kind of Process Development System which depends on size of the company. As far I understand, it’s a sub set of Business Process Management (BPM) Systems.
Based on my experience, many companies/projects/organizations doesn’t require complicated systems.
In my opinion it can have the following features:
- Process flow should look as a set of not complicated Checklists linked together in flow based on input and roles (something similar like Jira ticket flow).
- Checklist is a core node of process. It should contain information to proceed or direct links to materials where to find these details.
- Checklist item can have ability to save result for step (text, image, set of documents)
- Process should have ability to be assigned to user better if automatically on some action/schedule or information (e.g. based on some info from Identity Provider)
- Process should have ability to setup due dates for checklists (“steps”)
- It should be ability to track Processes state and statistics(current step, how long in this step, estimation of completion)
- It should be a ability to communicate inside of processes (steps) with all involved users
- Process can have sensitive data. It would be great if it will be possible to set visibility for some conversations, checklist results, checklist and process in general
- User should have a dashboard to see checklists waiting for processing
- System should have a knowledge base of attached materials
- System should have some kind of document-template which will be created (cloned) for each process
- It would be good to have any simple integration with another systems ( like Jira) to make them work in pair
- It would be awesome if flows can be build in visual way by drag&drop of checklists and linking of them.
- It would be great if user can suggest/approve process improvement directly in Process.
Now I’m in search of such system. Please share your experience with systems I’ve described before. It will be really useful.
I think such systems exist already. For example in google I’ve found:
It will be also useful to hear your feedback about topic in general. Thanks!