I am sure that all of us, either in daily life or at our organizations have some defined processes that are followed for how we do various activities. For example, when we want to ask for a new computer, we know that we need to go to the administrative office and request it from there and there could be forms to fill and signs to get. There could be a waiting period involved and there will be an inspection when the new computer arrives and finally when all is well the request is completed and closed. We also know that, at times, these processes could become problems and needs to be modified, maybe to reduce human intervention or maybe to increase response times or increase visibility into what is happening.
The process i am sharing is something that has a lot to do with the scenario i just described above. It is not just a simple workflow or process, it is actually a full fledged application that helps collect these modification requests and run them through various stages, during the cycle of which it can be approved, rejected.
Just will cover the technology aspect before getting into the details of the process stages. The operating system used is 64 bit Ubuntu 9.X, the database used is MySQL 5.0 and a single custom class for determining administrative user, the latter can be found on the Bonita forum. We have created custom reports that enable us to view a list of processes categorized by the stage they are in.
The workflow starts with the user making a improvement request for a particular organizational process. This moves over to the SEPG team that evaluates the request and assigns it for further work to the appropriate process action team member. The process action team member submits the time needed for the modification to complete and updates progress till the activity is over. Once the activity is complete, the approver can review the updated process and forward it to be shared with the organization.
Throughout the steps of in the workflow, mails are sent out to users to keep them in the loop of the stage of the workflow the activity is in. Of course mails for rejection and approval are sent to the user who started the workflow.
There is a provision for modified processes to be staged with a small user group before organizational deployment, this is a standard practice amongst software engineering process groups. Attachments can be provided for process modification.
All users of this system are windows LDAP [Light weight Directory Access Protocol] based users, the users login using their LDAP credentials. So LDAP modules will be needed to make this sample work. As we are on Ubuntu, we use kerberos to achieve this. When the LDAP server is not local, please ensure that the server that hosts your process has the same time as the LDAP server.