Regarding designation within an organization in which its hierarchy is uneven, we studied "method of absolute specification by job title" in Part 1, and "method of relative designation according to organization hierarchy" in Part 2.

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, and approver/decision-makers are needed to be careful during operation. After all, in the case of "an organization with unevenness in depth", it is difficult to simply describe business rules.

The easy-to-use and easy-to-operate Workflow (setting method) will also vary depending on the size of the organization or proficiency to business rules/system of the organization members, and so on. Although we will introduce two more Workflows this time, please consider and choose "which description method is easy to operate without misunderstanding" according to the actual situation of each company including those introduced in the past articles.

One way is to separate the Workflows according to the requester.
In other words, if the approval route differs depending on the job title of who made a request, it may be good to separate into different Workflows.

[Approval flow (Separate the request of the Manager)]

Continuing from the last week, let's study about "Operator setting".

In the article of "Episode 587: Designation in Uneven Hierarchy, part 1", I introduced you a method of two-step approval which is to obtain an approval from "superior" then obtain from the "superior's superior". It is a form of approval flow that is common even for other than decision-making. This time, I will introduce a different way of writing about the previous Workflow diagram.

In the following Workflow diagram, the second Swimlane is set to "superior of the applicant" (relative designation), instead of "manager" (absolute designation by position).
By setting like this, "2. Approval/Decision" task will be assigned to the manager of the organization to which the applicant belongs. That is, if a "member" among "two directors, ten managers, and fifty members" makes a request then a "manager" approves on it, and if "manager" makes, "director" approves it.

[Approval flow (relative representation)]

Let's study about "Operator setting" from popular articles of the past.
To specify a "superior" is comparably difficult among settings of a Workflow since there are several ways to do and also it depends on the organization structure. It is better to know various ways of thinking at first.

One President, two (executive) Directors, four managers, and twelve employees.
Suppose that 4 of the "12 employees" are assigned to "directly under the Directors". More specifically,

  • 2 people are directly assigned respectively to the Departments where each of two directors supervises.
  • 2 people are assigned respectively to the Units where each of 4 managers supervises.

Every "Units" are belonging to either of the "Departments", of course. Specifically, It is a case of where the sales manager himself directly directs five sales staff members besides Units under the umbrella of the sales department. And while there are many Units under the affiliation of the manufacturing department, the manufacturing department manager himself is directly supervising five people as quality control staff.

The characteristic of this organizational structure is that there is "variation in depth". It is a common story.

Now, in the case of such "organization having variations in depth", what kind of business flow diagram should be to express the path of escalation in the approval flow? Let's consider how to write according to international standard notation BPMN. The point where to be controversial is how to draw an in-house rule that is "In principle, after the manager approval, the director will make a decision". That is, those five people in each department in this organization have no Manager.

[Approval flow (absolute representation 1)]

Continuing from last week, I will introduce the past articles of "Workflow Sample" concerning the method of Workflow definition using BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation).

BPMN stands for "Model" and "Notation". The Workflow definition written in BPMN can be run as Workflow system on a BPM system. Would you like to learn BPMN and try systemizing your work?

For information on how to write BPMN, please also refer to BPMN Introduction.

In this blog, "Workflow Sample", we introduce you various Workflow definitions of businesses. Since a Workflow definition is drawn using BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation), so it is not only the flow of the business to comprehensible at a glance but also sharing the contents of the business to be easy.

We are going into Golden Week, so I will re-introduce the articles of the past concerning "how to draw BPMN" for the next two weeks. I hope you take those as an opportunity to learn about BPMN which is a notation system for Workflow diagram and how to draw with them.