Browse Prior Art Database

Aggregation of Activities to Work Flow States

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107666D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Decker, SR: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a mechanism for associating function and manual work tasks to the phases of a work flow in a business process. The aggregation of function (i.e., of functional activities) makes it possible to create complex business processes from groupings that are smaller, more self-contained, and more easily handled than the interconnected functions of traditional constrained networks.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Aggregation of Activities to Work Flow States

       This article describes a mechanism for associating
function and manual work tasks to the phases of a work flow in a
business process.  The aggregation of function (i.e., of functional
activities) makes it possible to create complex business processes
from groupings that are smaller, more self-contained, and more easily
handled than the interconnected functions of traditional constrained
networks.

      Work flows between roles provide a logical framework for
business processes.  NOTE: A "work flow" is a "conversation" between
two "roles" that takes place in four phases of state change (*).
(Examples of a role are salesman, order clerk, and 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 four phases of a work flow are:
1. A REQUEST, from a customer to a supplier, for a deliverable.
(Although called REQUEST, this phase can also be an OFFER from a
supplier to a customer.)
2. An EVALUATION to determine the conditions of satisfaction for the
deliverable.
3. The PERFORMANCE of the work activities necessary to produce the
deliverable (resulting in a report of completion).
4. A declaration of SATISFACTION by the customer that the deliverable
has been provided in accordance with the agreed-upon conditions of
satisfaction.

      This model describes the change from one phase to the next as a
phase-state transition in a conversational flow between two roles
(the customer and the supplier). However, it does not define the
mapping between the state changes (Request Outstanding, Agreement,
Report of completed performance, and Satisfaction) and the activities
needed to effect those changes. This article describes the business
process object (also called a work-flow object) that aggregates
activities (manual and automated work tasks) to each of the four
phases of a work flow.

      A business process phase object, once it has been defined,
contains a specification of the role supported by the phase.  A
specific instance of the role is associated to a specific instance of
a work- flow phase (which itself is a subobject of the business
process object).  Thus, function is "blocked to" a role (i.e.,
grouped in...