Ringi Workflow, How to Design 'Proxy Approval'

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A Ringi document is one of the documents to be circulated.
Anyone who is a Japanese businessman knows it. Whereas "minutes" is created as a record of the decision-making on the meeting, "Ringi document" is a record of decision-making using a circulated document which is circulated to everyone who is concerned, is completed with name seal (stamp) of everyone and the approver. Both of these documents will be stored for a long time.

Ringi is a unique system of "name seal-intensive Japanese".
Despite it doesn't exist in countries other than Japan still is present in almost all of the Japanese company. What to say, it's like sticking on to shakkan-ho (a Japanese unit system that was used in the 19th century), instead of the metric system. But for the time being it is not likely to eliminate. It would indeed have been met Japanese ethnicity that involving a large number of participants before the person with authority to approve.
Even today, there are strong demands such as "want to indicate something like a seal" or "want it looks just like paper", despite they have implemented the Workflow system and digitized. (In terms of aggregation listing and data processing, it is extremely nonsense...)

The following Workflow example is a Ringi flow that "prevention of retaining a large number of Ringi documents" has been built-in. It will help the managers who must give approvals on between 100 to 200 of Ringi documents monthly.

[Ringi flow (Proxy Approval)]

Among the users of Cloud-based Workflow "Questetra BPM Suite", there are many Japanese enterprises that are running the Ringi flow. And we have many queries like 'My Tasks accumulate plenty. I want to manage them somehow'.

In this sample, decision-making that occurs in large amounts will be processed in either of [3. manager Approval] or [3b. Proxy Manager Approval]. That is, such as during the absence of the manager, someone who is authorized to be a proxy of the manager takes over the "Decision-making task" and gives "approval by proxy". It is easy to understand in comparison with below simple Ringi flow without Proxy Approval. (Incidentally, the proxy manager can handle only "matters of up to 5,000 USD" in this example.)

[Ringi flow]

Speaking of the behavior of the internal Workflow engine (BPM engine), the process token that reaches the split point is divided if less than 5,000 USD, and become concurrent processing [3. manager Approval] and [3b. Proxy Manager Approval]. And when either of the token is processed, the other one will be terminated.

By the way, it is nonsense that "a rule of one person must handle hundreds of document monthly" in the first place. For example it seems right that "because got 100 people, must give approval to all", but it still is wrong. We should consider a drastic review over this Workflow, for example, adding a flow that ''direct supervisor' becomes the final approver. (Which might be linked to the review of internal rules.)

By the way, some Boss would refute that "I could handle about 100 Ringi documents if they were on paper...". It is right in some ways. The amount of information that is output to the monitor of the computer, can not beat a bunch of paper.
In such a case, you should better print out 'a list of tasks that are retained at 3b. Proxy Manager Approval' and pass it once a week. Saying 'Could I give approval to all the matters on the list as proxy?'. At a glance, if there were no problem, all of them are processed at [3b. Proxy Manager Approval], only matters need to be checked will be handled at [3. manager Approval]. Matters processed at [3b. Proxy Manager Approval] will be terminated the entire process, and will disappear from the MY Tasks of [3. manager Approval].

In addition, although it is totally a trash talking, it is difficult to translate the word of Ringi.
Questetra, come across a scene that must be translated anyway. Sometimes we put the words "Decision-making", sometimes "Authorization Process". However, they always don't fit. Of course, there is a reference page of 'Ringi' in the Wikipedia in Japanese, but no translation of it in any other language. So it is a very rare case in Wikipedia.

[Ringi flow (Proxy Approval): "3. Manager Approval"screen]

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