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Simple Dialogue to Define Business Process Work Flows

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107653D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Decker, SR: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a simple dialogue mechanism that can be used by business professionals (in contrast to programmers) to define business processes. It is assumed that every business process has a primary deliverable (e.g., in a mortgage application business process, the check for the amount of the mortgage). The deliverable represents the output of a (primary) work flow. Secondary deliverables, if needed, are obtained from associated work flows. Note: A "work flow" is a "conversation" between two "roles" (e.g., salesman, order clerk, or manager). For a work flow, a role is specified as one of two types: customer or supplier of the work-flow deliverable. A business process consists of one or more work flows.

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Simple Dialogue to Define Business Process Work Flows

       This article describes a simple dialogue mechanism that
can be used by business professionals (in contrast to programmers) to
define business processes.  It is assumed that every business process
has a primary deliverable (e.g., in a mortgage  application  business
process,  the check for the amount of the mortgage). The deliverable
represents the output of a (primary) work flow.  Secondary
deliverables, if needed, are obtained from associated work flows.
Note:  A "work flow" is a "conversation" between two "roles" (e.g.,
salesman, order clerk, or manager).  For a work flow, a  role  is
specified as one of two types: customer or supplier of the work-flow
deliverable.  A business process consists of one or more work flows.

      The following description assumes the availability of (1) a
data base  containing objects related to roles, people, deliverables,
etc., as well as attributes of such objects, and (2) a browsing
facility to support the definition process.

      The  essential feature of the dialogue is a recursive question-
answer  sequence for specifying the work flows of a business process.
The dialogue presents the following questions, each supported by
lists that the process "definer" can browse and select from:
o   WHAT is the DELIVERABLE?
o   WHEN must this deliverable be provided?
o   WHO PROVIDES the deliverable?
o   WHO is the CUSTOMER for the deliverable?
o   WHO INITIATES the action (CUSTOMER or SUPPLIER)?
The dialogue also asks for the name of the work  flow  being defined.
If the primary work flow is being defined, then the name of the
business process itself is the one required. For example,
Name of Work Flow = "Mortgage Loan Processing"
Once this set of questions has been answered and accepted as valid,
the definer must specify a particular customer or supplier as the
"initiator" of the work flow.  Then for each phase of the work flow
the definer must answer the...