Similar to "data input" and "design" work, translation is another line of work that is popular for telecommuting. It's great to be able to do work in your own time and at your own pace. Whether the translator is hired by employment contract or outsourcing, the important thing is visualization of progress.

The below workflow definition is for translating one draft into multiple languages.
Similar: Learning How To Design Workflow Diagram With "Translating Workflow"

1. Register Manuscript, 2. Approval, 3a-d. Accept & Deadline, 4a-d. Question/Complete, 5. Answer Question, 6. Confirmation

[Translate <Multiple Languages>: "4a. Question/Complete" screen]

  1.  In Japan, when an employee wants to buy something or hire part-time workers, he makes something similar to a letter and sends it to his boss. This is called a ringisho.
  2. In Japan, the beginning of May is full of national holidays, and some people may use paid holidays to fill up the gaps and create a ten-day long break. That's why April 29 to the first week of May is called "Golden Week."
  3. In Japan, business negotiations hardly make progress during this time...
Naturally, Golden Week is not a good time for ringisho (decision-making). If, however, you implement a cloud type workfow system, you can work during the holidays! (?)

*Trivia... Because it started out as a movie industry advertisement term, public bodies still do not use "Golden Week" at all. Nevertheless, the Japanese populace has embraced the happy title.

1. Start Ringi, 2. Supervisor Approval, 3. Approve/Authorize, 4.Approve/Authorize, 5.Approve/Authorize

[Ringi <By Amount>: "Supervisor Approval" screen]

Translate duties are suitable for telecommuting.
Duties given(Inputs) and done (Outputs) are clear, and easy to count Outputs.

Indeed, "Translation workflow" is taken as a theme of BPM activity in early days.
Start with simple workflow model, then improve it gradually into what it should be.

1.Register manuscript 2.Approval 3.Accept & Deadline 4. Ask Question / Complete 5.Answer Question 6.Confirmation

[Translate-Answering Question-Task split:"4.Questioning/Complete" screen]

Some companies carefully communicate directly to loyal customers. And some companies struggle over managing the data of emails sent to customers (who, when, what?). We suggest to these car dealers, hair stylists, dentists, etc., trying a Cloud-type workflow system. This might help efficiently managing customer status.

0. Register New Customer, 1. Invitation Email, 2. Shop Visit Log, 3. Solicitation Email

[Invitation Email: "2. Shop Visit Log" screen]

Business flows related to hiring new university graduates can be low-tech. Rejection letters particularly require courteous handling, with respect to the feelings of students looking for their first job, so it is often time-consuming. Yet you also want to hurry with notifications to students you want to hire. This means there is always leeway in improving up internal workflows. (For example, you can always brush up the wording of rejection letters.

Reference: How to Manage Several Hundred Employment Applications at Once

0. Input Snail Mail info, 1. Application Review, 1a. Offer Letter, 1b. Rejection Letter, 2. First Interview, 2a. Offer Letter, 2b. Rejection Letter, 3. Second Interview, 3a. Offer Letter, 3b. Rejection Letter, 4. Final Interview, 4a. Offer Letter, 4b. Rejection Letter

[New Emplyee <Notice Email> : "4b.Rejection" screen]

Company Blog Duty Rotation

Monday, April 25, 2011
Many companies have blogs posted by regular employees. Blog posts can be automated in BPM systems with Message Throwing Intermediate Events (Email).

1. Specify employee, 2. Write blog draft, 3. Request, Post, 4a. Translate, 4b. Revise

[Blog Post : "2.Write blog draft" screen]

Our fourth installment in the BPMN lecture series.
After spending two or three months in business process management activities, you will probably start to want to connect processes in a "primary—secondary" relationship.
In other words, process a1 (model A) can:
  • Start process b1 (model B) [e.g. order acceptance -> production]
  • Start processes b1 and b2 (model B) [e.g. order -> shipping]
  • Start process a2 (model A) [e.g. this month's invoice -> next month's invoice]

The settings depend on what BPMS system you are using; naturally, we'll explain with the functions of Questetra BPM Suite.

Previous BPMN Lecture articles:
1. Name your child

[BPMN Sample <Generate Child> : "Birth" setting screen]

Many Japanese companies cut off employment applications for April 2012 around this time. That is, they no longer accept applications and proceed to interviews, examinations and the hard task of selecting new employees. (Yes, Japan moves fast.)

0. Input application data, 1. Application Review, 2. First Interview, 3. Second Interview, 4. Final Interview

[New Employee <New Graduates Entry>: "1. Application Review" screen]

What we're doing with BPM is, setup work flows and check out tokens labeled on them.
It looks like, laying railroad track and run a train car on it. Sometimes, one wants to run a car on somebody else's track switching from his own track. (What say???)

For example, Office A gets a lead, then passes office B to carry on the business.
Today we expand "lead-negotiation-order"process,in "Building an SFA System INSIDE a BPM System" sample model, to enable to pass particular case between offices. Each offices (office A,B,C in this model) must apply workflow down here. (detail can be altered by offices)

1. Input Lead Info, 2. 1st Contact, 3. Initial Proposal, 4. Proposals to Decision-Maker, 5. Final Negotiations

[Lead-Negotiation-Order-Trans-Office Connection Flow:
"setup for Message Throwing Intermediate Event"]

It's easier to understand SFA systems if you understand daily sales activities to be "continuous maintenance of customer information." This is because sales members are constantly collecting data on customer needs and wants, regardless of whether they are new customers or old.
FYR: Building an SFA System INSIDE a BPM System

Using this maintained information in estimate processes, proposal processes, agreement processes, etc., helps to eliminate input. Initiating smaller processes using copied data from the primary process also eliminates careless mistakes and send-backs. When you're not sure whether you will be using all the information, just go ahead and send all the information. The below workflow sample is a contract check workflow.
Similar article: Visualizing if estimates have posted properly

1. Input Contract, 2. Approve Contract, 3. Discuss Contract Content, 4. Signature and Seal

[Contract Check <Supervisor Approval>: "Input Contract" screen]

Sales section always maintain information of customer, their demands, their problems, solutions they dream.

The sales section's maintenance of customer information using "process data" was introduced in "Building an SFA System INSIDE a BPM System." Today we will offer a smaller process using these data.

1. Estimate Data, 2. Request Print & Signature, 3. Advice, 4. Receive Estimate, 5. Send

[Estimate Creation <Notify Sales Staff>: "1. Estimate Data" screen]

We stick to the principle of starting small and growing bigger, especially with BPM activities. Of course, the assumption is on growing bigger. This means once you get a grasp on the items and flow necessary in a business process, you'll want to increase the range to include up or downstream processes.

The below business model is a holistic "lead—negotiation—order" process that includes marketing and sales. It helps to visualize the status of internal projects. Enabling eternal loops in the middle of the process allows concerned parties to add detailed info on customer profiles. This is, in effect, a Sales Force Automation (SFA) system.

1. Input Lead Info, 2. 1st Contact, 3. Initial Proposal, 4. Proposals to Decision-Maker, 5. Final Negotiations

[Lead-Negotiation-Order Flow: "1. Input Lead Info" screen]

Designing process models involves three elements: flow, organization and data. While it's true that designing the flow requires brainpower, setting the data is another thing that demands a different kind of ability. In particular, workflows that influence accounting systems usually have a lot of input fields and can be a pain.

For today's sample we're going to use the process data items from our article, "Should Sales Staff Check Sent Invoices?." We must add, though, that before implementing the sample workflow in your own company you should spend adequate time contemplating whether or not these items are appropriate for your organization.

1. Input Order/Invoice Information, 2. Confirm Invoice Data, 3. Create Invoice, 4. Review Invoice, 5. Send Invoice, 6. Confirm Payment

[Invoice Issuance <Next Month>: "1. Input Order/Invoice Information" screen]

So we looked at splits, and you already know what tasks are. So, the next step in our BPMN lecture series is "events."
"Events" are steps in a workflow that are not tasks (work) or splits (business rule). This definition probably ruined your intention of reading the rest of the article, so let's try some different definitions.

Here are some representative events:
  1. A human is going to start the process (Normal Start Event)
  2. The clock is going to start the process (Timer Start Event)
  3. We'll start once we get a letter (Message Start Event)
And some more:
  1. We're going to send a letter (Message Throwing Intermediate Event)
  2. We're ending here (Normal End Event)
  3. Everything is finished here, even if there are some incomplete stuff (Terminate End Event)
There are over 60 registered events in the standard BPMN 2.0, but only a few are usually used in BPM systems. Some people may want to utilize all sorts of available events, but that probably won't be the best thing for those trying to read and understand the workflow diagram. The best thing about BPMN is that many people can intuitively understand it, so we're going to be strict and say the above six events are adequate for everyday use.

1. Task

[BPMN Sample <Message Throwing Never-Ending> : "1. Task" screen]

When you have a lot of people registering in a webform and sending money, how can you most efficiently confirm their payments? The biggest demand is in "event participation registration." Whether confirmation is conducted by one or multiple staff members, it is a time-consuming task to compare webform data and bank/credit card payment logs.

The below workflow automatically takes in webform input data, so employees can tackle each confirmation in the first task (1. Confirm Payment). Information regarding who confirmed which payment at what time is automatically recorded, and the "thank you for your payment" email is automatically sent, so this should significantly lessen the burden of staff members.

1. Confirm Payment (1 week), 2. Decide to Send Reminder

[Confirm Payment <Separate Group>: "2. Decide to Send Reminder" screen]

Making periodic tasks routine habits every morning and night is helpful not only for recording work time but for other things as well. You can write quick memos regarding each day's news, post new information on Twitter, and much more.

This "habitizing" is important for part-time staff who don't come into the office every day. As an expansion of the workflow introduced in "Recording Work Time in Workflows Can Work," let's add a task that enables workers to input their work days (the days they will be conducting the periodic fixed tasks) into the system. This means part-time workers can register their work schedule whenever their next month's shift comes out, or note their next scheduled day before leaving the office. (They can input the time as well.)

0. Input Schedule, 1. Report Start of Work, 2. Confirm Start of Work, 3. Report End of Work, 4. Confirm End of Work

[Work Attendance <Microblogging Post>: "0. Input Schedule"screen]

Yesterday Questetra Inc. published a press release. (If you're interested check it out here.)
Press releases are often communicated by the route: [releasing body – mass media – general public]. However, these days the use of a third party is often seen: [releasing body – press release agency –mass media – general public]. There may be many reasons behind this: there are more forms of media, more people in the general public read press releases, it can be used as an SEO strategy, and the media is beginning to depend on agencies.

1. Register Press Release, 2. Notify Agency, 3. Check Final Release, 4. Register in Company Website

[Press Release <Measure Effect> : "1. Register Press Release" screen]

It's actually a good idea to report work time (start and completion) in workflow systems (attendance records). For example, when working outside the office it's easy to just send a notice (Work time starting now!) by smartphone.

This type of reporting is often performed in batches of several days. And this means incorrect work time data is accumulated in the company. It's important to have employees get used to reporting each morning and each night, when coming into the office, when going home without returning to the office, when working from home, etc. This is why utilizing the workflow system, which employees access everyday, is a good idea.

1. Report Start of Work, 2. Confirm Out-of-Office Work, 3. Report End of Work

[Work Attendance <Direct Returns>: "1. Report Start of Work" screen]

We're a little worried that we may get complaints saying yesterday's workflow sample ("Learning BPM Through a Simple Absence Registering Workflow") was too simple. We're going to complicate it before we do.

One of the golden rules of business process modeling (*) is defining the deliverable of the process. So, in this case, why are employees required to register their absences?
1. Let senior and colleague team members know that you are taking the day off, and entrusting them with work when necessary
2. Calculate your work days and off days
3. Calculate the number of remaining paid holidays
Aha! The final reason is something that all employees would want to be aware of.
(*Check out our Golden Rules of Business Process Modeling for more info!)

1. Register Absence, 2. Approve Absence, 2a. Revise Absence Register, 3. Notify Number of Remaining Paid Holidays, 4. Confirm

[Absence Register <Paid Holidays Email Reminder>: 
"3. Notify Number of Remaining Paid Holidays" screen]

Registering absences are best handled on Cloud computing workflow systems (SaaS). When an employee can't leave the house because of illness or a cold, he/she can just click a few buttons of a smartphone and let the company know. The boss can approve the registering from outside the office. It'll automatically go to HR and accounting.

If you think BPM is a difficult theory, we suggest you start with a simple business process, like forms for registering absences. (BPM: Business Process Management)

1. Register Absence, 2. Approve Absence, 3. Confirm Absence

[Absence Register <Revise> : "2a. Revise Absence Register" screen]

In last week's "BPMN Lecture" we talked about the "X" and "+" mark split conditions in the lecture titled, "Split Conditions are a Basic Concept in BPMN." Today let's look at the "O" mark.
  • "X" mark [XOR split]: One of the flows
  • "+" mark [AND split]: All of the flows
  • "O" mark [OR split]: Some of the flows
Once you learn how to utilize these three split conditions, you'll be able to handle all of the splits in business processes. (For now, we're going to ignore those voices that say these aren't the only ones. *)

1. Task, 2abc. Tasks, 3. Task

[BPMN Sample <OR Split> : "1. Task" screen]

Document reviewing is often the perfect theme to start business process designing with. In particular, a general review process is a great way to get used to BPM and workflows, for the designer as well as employees. It's just simple.

After you run the business process for a while, you will end up with a pile of past reviewed documents (know-how). And you will also learn about processes that need to be revised.

1. Register Document, 2a. Departmental Review, 2b. Company Review, 3. Confirm Completion

[Document Review <Change Reviewers> : "Email" setting]

Processing salaries is an important job. The person in charge of this has to collect each employee's total work time and calculate overtime compensation, compensation for working on holidays, and late night compensation.

Today's workflow sample assumes all employees report their attendance records in their own attendance file (Excel). They have to submit this every month, but they can use the same file over the course of one year, with 12 separate sheets within the file. Basic information (Process Data) can be copied from the previous month.

1. Request Attendance Log, 2. Input Attendance Log, 3. Supervisor Confirmation, 4. Revise, 5. Accounting Confirmation

[Attendance Report <Bypass Input>: "2. Input Attendance Log" screen]

Are 90% or 10% of your company's contracts templates? Do you make 10 agreements or 100 agreements yearly? Is your legal man in-house or an external attorney? And in Japan, there is the very important matter of the seal.
Workflows for checking contracts differ greatly by company, and this means the ideal state is different.
The below legal check workflow assumes the legal staff possesses basic knowledge, but might have to consult an external legal adviser. The external legal adviser logs into the workflow system.

Preparing this kind of workflow means the system will automatically record all decisions by every member made at all times. Accumulating contract drafts will surely lead to optimization of work. This is highly recommendable for internal control.

1. Input Contract Draft, 2. Approve, 3. Evaluate and Comment, 4. Handle, 5. Confirm

[Contract Check <Concurrent Request> : "2. Approve" screen]

In Japan, insufficient power due to the earthquake damage is becoming a serious problem. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, it is affecting not only lighting and air conditioning systems, but the transportation system as well. Telecommuting used to be considered an option for employees taking care of family or raising children, but it's time we start considering it as a way to improve each employee's productivity. Telecommuting is already effective in many fields, including data input, translation, designing, programming, drafting, sales promotion, etc., and will probably be used in many more in the future.

One point when implementing a telecommuting system is to record not only "work time" but also "work output." The below workflow allows teleworkers to predetermine the work output they plan to achieve on a given day, as well as any additional work they are able to finish. Being able to accurately record work output helps in later employee evaluations.


0. Suggest Work Content, 1. Instruct Work, 2. Reply Schedule, 3. Approve Schedule, 4. Register Output, 5. Confirm Completion

[Telecommuting <Prompt Delivery>: "4. Register Output" screen]