Accelerating Ringi Workflows with Smartphones

Friday, April 29, 2011
  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]

<Process Data Items>
  • Title
*Initiator information*
# Approval route (*authorizer):
# Less than $10,000 -> Supervisor -> Director*
# $10,000 or more -> Supervisor -> Director -> CEO*
# $50,000 -> Supervisor -> Director -> CEO -> Board*
  • Department (string)
  • Initiator (user)
  • Supervisor (user)
  • Director in charge (user)
*Ringi information*
  • Initiated on (date)
  • Ringi ID (string)
  • Explanation regarding ringi (string)
  • Explanation regarding payment selection (string)
  • Period (Date)
  • Additional info on period (string)
  • Amount (numeric)
  • Payment to (string)
  • Reference files (file)
  • Within budget? (Select: Yes / No)
  • Budget source (Select: Sales management / Project fee)
*Approval control*
  • Withdraw? (Select: (re)submit / Withdraw)
  • Supervisor approval (Select: OK / No)
  • Director approval (Select: OK / No)
  • CEO approval (Select: OK / No)
  • Board approval (Select: OK / No)
  • Internal correspondence (discussion)

In the above workflow definition, when the ringi involves an amount less than $10,000 it requires approval from the supervisor and director, when between $10,000 and $50,000 it needs an additional approval from the CEO, and when over $50,000 it finally has to go through the board of directors.

Now, the below workflow adds a task for recording what kind of actions are taken after the ringi is approved.

1. Start Ringi, 2. Supervisor Approval, 3. Approve/Authorize, 4.Approve/Authorize, 5.Approve/Authorize, 6. Action Report