Episode 587: Designation in Uneven Hierarchy, part 1

Sunday, May 13, 2018

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. As for the specific setting method, though it depends on the specifications of the system you are using, 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)]



The simplest way is to consider that "The director is concurrently conferring manager".

In other words, we interpret "five sales staffs members directed by the sales director directly" as a "Sales clerk unit". It can be said that you treat it as if there is no variation of the depth in the organizational hierarchy.

In this case, all requests will follow the flow of "1. Request for Approval" → "2. Manager's Approval" → "3. Director's Decision". Even though it may not be a so big trouble, if this BPMN is systematized as it is, it will be the specification which the director must handle the Task "2. approval" and "3. decision" in a sequence.

Incidentally, if this idea is applied mutatis mutandis, "cases where a manager wants to make a request" can also be considered simply. That is, a manager would "1. Make request as a member", and "2. Approve as a manager", then ask the director for "3. Decision".

By the way, "managers" is not an "organization" despite "sales department" is an "organization". That is, a group of "managers" is to be defined in "Role". Speaking on this Workflow diagram, all members will get an approval by "manager" in "organization to which you belong" or "superior organization".

Next week, I will show you how to write a business flow diagram using relative relation. You will be able to reduce the number of Steps by eliminating "successive processing".

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