When you define a flow of an operation, you will need a little skill to set '[S: Start point] and [E: end point] of the Business process'.

For example in an "Inquiry flow", it should start with 'S: Accepting the Inquiry' and should end at 'E: Sending the Answer'.
Also in a 'Billing flow', it should start with 'Inputting Billing data' and should end at 'E: Payment Confirmation'.
Settings on these Workflow are not so controversial.

However there will be a lot of objections, suppose if I define a long process into a 'single Business Process', such as from 'S: Lead corresponding' through 'Estimate, Orders' and 'Manufacturing' then ends at 'E: Payment Confirmation'. Most of all, the flow diagram is complicated, the work process becomes difficult to read. Moreover, the number of items in the "business data" become also large inevitably, data required for processing becomes difficult to see.

The simplest solution is a method that [(A) Managing in Dividing into Phases].

Figuratively speaking a sequence of operations as the "bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka", it is to manage in dividing into '(1) Tokyo to Nagoya' and '(2) Nagoya to Kyoto' and '(3) Kyoto to Osaka'. That is, each designer defines important parts in each phase. It will be easy to imagine if you think about operations that the project itself is prolonged such as "construction work" or "writing a study thesis". Dividing phases at the point where changing the person (departments in charge) involved, would be the royal road.

Another solution is a method that [(B) Managing in Dividing into Simple cycles].

Speaking in the "bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka", to consider this as repetition of a simple Business Process of "Departure and Stop". The general versatility will become quite high, also the operating procedures will be recorded in detail. At the same time (as in the general theory though), it will become difficult to overview the "whole thing".

[Departure-Stopping flow]

"Okay, I have completed the introduction of Google Apps!"
"Now, I would like to inspect for Workflows which I can log-in with my Google Apps account!"

Recently, business systems for corporation are 'Cloud-computerized' for sure.
That means, they are shifting to 'pay per use'. Information Technology has come on a same history, just like water service, gas, and electricity. What's remarkable is the diversification and dissemination of SaaS product. It has greatly reduced labor of purchasing software or upgrading. The world has become convenient, indeed.

  • Cloud-based Groupware (Email + Calendar + ...)/ Office Suite (Wordprocessor + Spreadsheet + ...): Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365、IBM SmarterCloud (former LotusLive), so on...
  • Cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management): Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Synergy!, ZOHO CRM, so on...
  • Cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning): AP, Oracle, NetSuite, so on...

"Okay, testing environment for Workflow is ready!"
"Now, let it flow actual business data (jobs), and see how good it is!"

People tend to testing by flowing 'meaningless test data' on a 'meaningless Workflow'. But it won't make you feel real. It won't provide worthy evaluation. You will lose the chance to test the functions which you would need in actual operation, like 'I think I need a remark written here...'

The following is a business template, 'Suggestion-box flow', which is despite (1) a Workflow that does not exist so much (so, not overlapping), (2) will make you feel real, and (3) might be good to continue to use even in the actual operation by chance. An idea of new business might be suggested.

[Suggestion-box flow]

Precisely establish "daily work procedures", and rotate it efficiently and with fun.
"Decision-making", "Drafting", "Complaint handling"... through a Workflow system, you can proceed the work efficiently and without missing.

On the other hand, it is also quite important to establish "unusual operating procedure " precisely.
It is good especially that processings of business will be automatically recorded. You can see when and which document it was (is) processed. The operational efficiency of the successor will be improved dramatically, if reusing past data become available.

In the following Workflow definition, administrative procedures of "issuance of new shares to a third party allocation" (fund procurement) have defined.
It occurs frequently in venture businesses. Even it is not bad that you would leave it to the "judicial scrivener" every time, but you can save several tens of thousand JPY the "judicial scrivener fees" of each time, if you can handle it by yourself, including the administrative registration to the Legal Affairs Bureau. Moreover, when you get used to registration itself, you'll be able to do registration of the "Share Option issuance" and"Reappointment of officer" of each year, by yourself!

[Share issuance Procedure flow]

The 'Shipping Record of the Contract document' is not retained as you expected.
'When it was shipped?', 'Who did that?', 'What was enclosed with?'.
Unexpectedly, there is not although they are important somehow. Although communication record of the FAX or mail exist in its own way...

The following is a Workflow for processing shipping of 'Contract document, etc.'. What seems to be excellence of this Workflow, is the step of confirmation by phone call if it is surely delivered or not, in case of especially important contract. It reduces the risk of blocking the communication for 'contract' that is seriously important for B2B. Moreover, the auto-generation of 'Cover Sheet' is also excellent. Using a windowed envelope, you will not have to type the address and the name of the recipient on the envelope. It will not only lowers the shipping labor cost, it also prevents misdelivery. Hmm, it's quite convenient.

[Signature-Shipment flow-Cover Sheet generation]