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NIRMA Conference - 2004. Maximizing Benefits of Electronic Workflows Presented By Blake Kline August 10, 2004. Agenda. Definition of Workflow Elements of Electronic Workflow Defining Business Processes Converting Business Processes into Workflows Case History.

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Presentation Transcript

NIRMA Conference - 2004

Maximizing Benefits of

Electronic Workflows

Presented By

Blake Kline

August 10, 2004

  • Definition of Workflow
  • Elements of Electronic Workflow
  • Defining Business Processes
  • Converting Business Processes into Workflows
  • Case History
what is an electronic workflow
What Is an Electronic Workflow?

“The automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules”

“The WfMC Glossary,” Workflow Handbook Glossary 2001

what are the elements of an electronic workflow
What Are the Elements of an Electronic Workflow?
  • Defined business process
  • Documents
  • Document lifecycles
  • Defined tasks in a process
what is a defined business process
What Is a Defined Business Process?
  • Defined set of steps or tasks
  • Defined progression of steps and tasks
  • Defined purpose of the process including policies and procedures implemented by the process
  • Defined groups/individuals who perform tasks
  • Definition of types of tasks (i.e. approval, review, signature)
  • Definition of document types used in the process
what are the documents used in the business process
What Are the Documents Used in the Business Process?
  • Distinct document types (i.e. drawings vs. procedures vs. FSARs)
  • Documents that accompany the package (approval forms, comment forms, review forms)
  • Documents that are the target of the business process (drawings)
what is a document lifecycle
What Is a Document Lifecycle?
  • Distinct states a document achieves during an approval cycle – for example:

Draft, In Review, Approved for Release, Released, Revised, Retired

  • A change in state would change how the organization treats the document (i.e. an Approved procedure would be treated differently then a Draft procedure)
what is a document lifecycle example
What is a Document Lifecycle - Example

New version of

Procedure is

Procedure is

Procedure is

Procedure is

Procedure is

Procedure is

sent for

Approved for







Only the writer

A set of

New version

Version has

Procedure (all

New version

sees this

reviewers can

viewable by

been replaced

versions) is

can no longer

version of the

see the new

entire plant. No

by newer

retired. This

be edited.





version is

Procedure is

Writer can edit

Procedure can


Viewable by

marked retired

viewable by

the procedure

be marked up


and viewable


and edited.


by Records


only and





how does the lifecycle interact with the business process
How Does the Lifecycle Interact with the Business Process?
  • Are there places during the business process when the document state changes?
  • How does the state change affect who can alter/edit the documents in the process?
  • What information about the document changes (i.e. approval date, status)?
  • What happens to the document lifecycle if the process is halted?
what is a defined task
What Is a Defined Task?
  • An activity in a business process such as a Review and Comment activity or a Signoff activity
    • With a specific functional group tasked to perform the activity
    • Occurring at a consistent point in the process
    • With a definable set of pre and post activity inputs and outputs
drawbacks of paper process
Drawbacks of Paper Process
  • Inability to enforce policy or process
  • Inability to easily track progress
  • Lack of consistency in the process
  • Difficulty in ensuring the correct version of documents are traveling with packages
  • Difficulty in managing edits
drawbacks of the paper process

Reviewer 1

Sends for Approval

Email to


Reviewer 2

Procedure Writer

Sends back to Procedure writer for changes

Reviewer 3

How do you track the Process?

Drawbacks of the Paper Process
why electronic workflow
Why Electronic Workflow?
  • Consistency of process
  • Ability to track progress of processes
  • Automation of package creation
  • Enforcement of Policies and Procedures
  • Audit trail of in progress and completed processes
  • Predictability for planning purposes
how does a business process become a workflow
How Does a Business Process Become a Workflow?

The workflow definition model consists of:

  • Business process
  • Workflow template
  • Activities
  • Workflow manager/management system
  • Workflow instances
  • Activity instances
what are the steps to get there
What Are the Steps to Get There?
  • Model existing processes with an eye towards automation
  • Design new process to take advantage of automation
    • Make use of automation
    • Automate updates to ancillary systems
    • Focus on a task view
  • Plan for the need to update the electronic workflows to incorporate “lessons learned”
how does the business process relate to the workflow
How Does the Business Process Relate to the Workflow?

Managed by

Business Process

Workflow Manager

Defined in



Process using

Used to create

Workflow Template


Workflow Instances

Represented during run time by



Activity Instances or Tasks

case history of large mid west utility
Case History of Large Mid-West Utility
  • Goal: Automate the business processes for selected Controlled Documents:
    • Drawings
    • Site Procedures
    • Corporate Procedures
    • UFSARs
defined new to be business processes
Defined New “To-Be” Business Processes
  • Define new business processes to incorporate the use of electronic workflow
  • Focus on steps that change the document or the state of the document
    • Editing/markup steps
    • Review and comment steps
    • Approval steps
defined documents that are part of the process
Defined Documents that Are Part of the Process
  • Documents that were the focus of the process
  • Forms that accompany the process
  • Reports for recording the results of the process
defined groups that participate in the processes
Defined Groups that Participate in the Processes
  • Groups that have approval authority
  • Groups that have technical review responsibilities
  • Groups that have regulatory review responsibilities
  • Groups that have edit and/or markup responsibilities
define document state change points
Define Document State Change Points
  • What Document states are changed during the process?
  • Where do the state changes occur?
  • What are the impacts of the state changes?
    • Changes to document permissions
    • Changes to document locations
    • Changes to document information
define business process decision points
Define Business Process Decision Points
  • Are Regulatory Reviews needed?
  • What disciplines need to review the document?
  • Is the document internally produced or contractor produced?
    • Are there differences in the process?
    • How are signature steps changed?
  • If documents are rejected where in the process do they return to?
defined activities that would be automated
Defined Activities that Would Be Automated
  • Attaching standard forms to the workflow process
  • Automatic promotion or demotion of lifecycle states at key points
  • Automatic updates of information in other automated systems (i.e. work management systems, maintenance management systems, etc.)
  • Automatic feeding of documents to fiche production facility
  • Automatic assignment of review groups based on document information
  • Automation of report documenting the process
the benefits the user view
The Benefits – The User View
  • A single place to go for controlled documents and associated forms
  • Confidence that all necessary forms are included
  • Confidence that correct versions of controlled documents are being processed
  • Better view and management of day-to-day workload
the benefits the records view
The Benefits – The Records View
  • Single place to track the progress of approval processes for all procedures and drawings
  • Simplified process for generating record copies
  • Push button release of documents needed to complete plant outages
  • Confidence that established release policies and procedures are followed
the benefits the corporate view
The Benefits – The Corporate View
  • Single place to view the progress of document processes across the corporation
  • Ability to model changes to business processes across multiple sites
  • Greater confidence in meeting regulatory audit requirements
  • Confidence that corporate policies and procedures are followed