Abstraction and Collaboration

  • April 19, 2013
  • Scott

John Reynolds writes that “Gathering, Reviewing and Approving are almost always Collaborative

Of course he’s right.  And in fact, rather than explicitly model such things:

Credit: John Reynolds

Credit: John Reynolds

I’d recommend modeling the review process as a self-contained “activity”.  Prepare proposal should be separated from “revise proposal” in any respect. Now, what happens inside that magic “Review Feedback” Activity is up to us to define.  Implementation details.  A few thoughts on implementation details follow.

There used to be a quite clever SharePoint integration feature within Lombardi – it would create a discussion in SharePoint for these types of activities.  with a responsible party identified who could “complete” the discussion when they felt that it was sufficiently complete.  In this case that could be the reviewer or the approver, or it could be the person who started the whole process.

Sadly, this feature didn’t find its way into current product offering but i thought that a version of this that didn’t depend on SharePoint would actually be quite useful.  a group chat, a Google hangout, a Skype call, whatever.    Simple integration to capture a discussion.  There are quire a few choices here,  but simple is better than complex. Don’t try to replace the human interaction, just create a convenient place to capture the outcome.

I think this is just the kind of feature that software vendors are in the right position to implement, rather than define it in BPMN.  It isn’t that BPMN can’t capture the interaction, it is just too granular a level of detail for a BPMN diagram – unless the review process by necessity must be highly formalized and audit-trailed.  And I have seen such review processes before. But they’re the minority.


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