Utilization of programming knowledge

"Script Step" is a kind of "automated Step" within a Business Process.

These are Steps for automatically executing "program processing", such as, for example;
  • with reference to "attendance time" and "leaving time" entered in the upstream process,
  • automatically calculates "working time" ({leaving time} - {attendance time}).
Conversely, if you incorporated such a Script Step into the Daily report flow, employees do not have to fill in "hours worked " each time.

What can be done?

Automatic processing performed on the Workflow platform is so-called "Server side processing".

In other words, when an Issue flowing through a Business Process reaches the "Script step", data are automatically referenced and updated. All processing is executed while human beings are not aware or concerned.

The program code to be set there will be a configuration like;
  • starting with "to reference business data",
  • via "various arithmetic processing",
  • end with "updating business data".

What kinds of "operations" are possible?

For example, in the case of "Questetra BPM Suite" which is a cloud based Workflow product, it is given the specification as "(*) capable of setting Server-side JavaScript (ECMA Script)". And the following operations are available.
  • Basic numerical data operation (four arithmetic operations, square root, exponent, round-off, random number...)
  • Basic character string data manipulation (join, split, reshape, extract, replace, search ...)
  • Basic date and time data operation (addition, subtraction, progress calculation, day of week judgement, Japanese calendar conversion ...)
  • Generation and analysis of JSON data
  • Generation and analysis of XML data
  • Sending HTTP request (data GET, data POST, OAuth2 communication, Basic authentication ...)
  • Send SMTP request (send email, attachment file generation, convert character code ...)
* You can also use Java methods that can be handled by the Rhino engine, and Questetra extension methods. [R2300]
※ The details are HERE and THERE.

[Hours-worked report-Hours and minutes]

This article has the improved version.

Amelioration of Excessive Work Hours

In the Japanese government, "health damage due to overwork" has been actively discussed. The rise of this discussion is not an exaggeration to say that triggered by the "new employee suicide for overwork" (2015) in a major advertising agency. And it is expected that a new rule will be added such as "at most of 60 hours of monthly average overtime work under whatever employment contract", within the next one or two years.

In companies and government agencies where work hours are over 220 hours a month persistently, it may be necessary to take various actions, such as "drastic review of business processes" and "consideration of adopting of deemed hours worked system".

Reference) Labor Standards Act of Japan
  • Employers shall not have Workers work more than 40 hours per week, excluding rest periods.
  • Employers shall not have Workers work more than 8 hours per day for each day of the week, excluding rest periods.

Learning by implicit instruction is also included to hours worked

Certainly, it is true that there are people who think "want to work more for learning and experience" (staying in the office) with a pure heart.

Today, however, "learning necessary for work" is also defined as working hours. Given the fact that the case of trying to disguise the working hours as short as possible by letting workers to report as "self-development" or "private information gathering", this guidelines may be "unavoidable".

Common recognition within the team about working hours

Hours worked is defined as "time that a worker is objectively evaluated as being placed under command of the employer".

However, taking into consideration the situation as described above, it is very effective to once again discuss the common perception of each department of each company regarding "how to measure working hours concretely".

For example, not only "preparation of materials" at home but also "learning of technology trends" should be measured as working hours. However, on the other hand, if a server administrator who is required to confirm the latest security trends, included the time for "checking the Web for information" and "subscribing to the email newsletter", all the awaking time could be the hours worked.

[Hours-worked report]

Who is holding it?

Laser pointers, portable battery chargers, portable projectors...
Corporate credit card, airline mileage card, PC software license...

Equipments in a company would like to be actively "utilized". However, "management" on these items is very troublesome. It will become a mere facade sooner or later if it is by the management method, for example, "record in Excel or Spreadsheet".
  • Cumbersome to update.
  • Don't know who should update.
  • Don't know when it was updated last time.
  • First of all, don't know where the management file is.
  • Oh no, there are lots of management files...
Hopeless, if it is a premise of"Long-term lending". As a result, even the essential matters, such as who is holding it, or is he or she really holding cannot be managed.

Firstly "loose management"

The following Workflow definition is a mechanism to record lending and return of goods. It can be said to be a system that records "inventory" such as "offered" and "returned".

As you can see from the Workflow diagram, I haven't done anything complicated. It is only a mechanism that the user of goods entries about "goods wanting long-term lending", and the goods manager (teller) records about "contents lent out". In this example, it is unique that the lend period is managed in year, month (e.g. 2017-02) rather than the date (e.g. 2017-02-13). It seems like suggesting "application for short-term lending is unnecessary".

[Lending Management]
In the last three articles of

I mentioned the difference and respective implementation method of
  • A) Automatically advance to the "next Step" in the Business Process
  • B) Make "certain Step" within a Business Processes to be processed unattended
regarding automation within a "Business Process".

In this (final) article, I am going to organize about the automation between Business Processes.

Connection between Business Processes

Positions of Business Processes

Until now, we discussed focusing on "individual Business Processes" such as "Estimate Approval process" and "Order Receipt process". However, in order to promote automation (improvement of productivity) in the company-wide, we must consider about "connectivity between Business Processes".

On such a stage, it is a shortcut for improvement discussion that enumerating the internal "Business Processes" as much as possible in advance.

That is, the overall viewing would reveal the position and dependency of each Business Process, and the way it should be of the "inputs" and "outputs" of each Business Process would become clear. Along with, it would also clarify the operation method and direction of improvement that the responsible person (Process Owner) of the Business Process should aim for.

Enumerating Business Processes

So, what kind of "Business Processes" are there inside the company?

It goes without saying that it varies greatly depending on the business contents and organization size. At the same time, you should suppose that there is no one who can grasp all the business details in the company. In other words, regardless of who is in charge of "enumerating Business Processes", on-site hearings in certain extent will be required.

And when enumerating the survey results, it is important to enumerate by categories so as to make it easy to see the whole.

As a methodology in practice, it is necessary to map in-house Business Processes utilizing the cost categorization upon calculating the profit and loss of the compan such as "manufacturing cost", "selling expenses" and "general administrative expenses", in addition to the Process classification method of the research institution.

[APQC Process Classification Framework]
  1. Develop Vision and Strategy
  2. Develop and Manage Products and Services
  3. Market and Sell Products and Services
  4. Deliver Products and Services
  5. Manage Customer Service
  6. Develop and Manage Human Capital
  7. Manage Information Technology
  8. Manage Financial Resources
  9. Acquire, Construct, and Manage Assets
  10. Manage Enterprise Risk, Compliance, and Resiliency
  11. Manage External Relationships
  12. Develop and Manage Business Capabilities

[Quote Creation and Approval-Order Report launcher]

[Order Report-Launched by Quote flow]