About Process Automation
Every organization has its own set of processes, which might
range from approving a document to ordering a product or managing
candidates for a job opening. Since processes are central to getting
things done in an organization, and getting them done right, it's
important to manage processes efficiently.
Lack of documentation has a major impact on an organization's
ability to execute processes in a consistent, repeatable fashion.
Frequent mistakes often occur with process tasks that are not well
documented. Lack of documentation can also make it difficult for
people to remember when certain tasks should be executed within
a process. This can even lead to someone unfamiliar with the process
moving the process forward before receiving required information
or waiting on certain necessary tasks to be completed.
Processes distributed among different groups create their own
unique challenges. Handing off the work baton from one group to
another group doesn't always happen as seamless and smooth as desired,
often causing process delays and interruptions. Sometimes this
transferring or transitioning of work ends up being handled by the
back and forth sending of e-mails and attachments. Too often these
e-mails go unnoticed or lost in the clutter of overflowing inboxes.
Sometimes, people critical to the process simply get left out of
the e-mail interchange. E-mail is simply not the best way to manage
a process, especially if discussions important to the process are
contained in those e-mails.
Even if well-documented and well-managed, manual process are
subject to human error. For example, if employees fail to stay current
on approving their stage of a process, it can cause orders and other
tasks within a process to be incomplete.
Another challenge for successful process execution deals with
the ability to track when a process stalls at any given step or
stage of a process. This is especially true for time sensitive processes
or projects. Such stalls or process interruptions might require
human intervention before the process can move forward. However,
before any intervention or action can occur, an organization must
have visibility into the process itself, such as what specific step
is the process stalled on, who ultimately has responsibility for this
stage of the process, and any other important details about the
current state of the process. Achieving this level of visibility
can be quite challenging for manually managed processes as well
as for processes distributed among different groups and departments.
The built-in workflow capabilities in Novell Vibe enable you
to automate simple manual processes to extremely complex business
processes. Novell Vibe workflows provide automated, event-driven
process flow with customizable business rules, event notification
and message management with guaranteed and simultaneous delivery,
an interconnected document management/retrieval system that supports
multiple standard document formats, and easily accessible audit,
status, and metric reporting that includes notifications for out-of-bounds conditions.
Novell Vibe workflows help you ensure that all process participants
know when they are assigned to take action on a process. They can
provide reminders if participants take too long to complete an action.
They can keep managers informed on process status, who is assigned
to process tasks and if any participants fall behind schedule in completing
any actions or steps in a process.
As a browser-based solution, workflows in Novell Vibe eliminate
geographic barriers to your processes. Whether in the office or
on the road from a mobile device, as long as users have an Internet
connection, they can interact with, view and track the progress
of the processes they participate in by simply visiting the appropriate
workspace or folder.
Novell Vibe makes it easy for anyone to create their own
basic workflows to automate repetitive tasks and processes. Workflow
creation is so easy, it can be done without the assistance of an
IT administrator or a developer. Even though Novell Vibe makes
it easy to create and customize workflows, Novell provides an online collection
of free workflows that you can use or customize to address specific business problems.
You can set up workflows in a specific workspace or folder to
be used by your team, or your Novell Vibe administrator can create
global workflows that can be used throughout your Vibe environment.
Workflows can be moved or copied from one workspace to another,
making them transferable and reusable by others in your organization.
Novell Vibe also provides advanced workflows, which include
the ability to add workflow processing to entries. This lets you
create an approval process for a file, blog, custom entry or any
other information type in Vibe. Advanced workflows allow any
entry to have one or more workflows assigned to it. Using the workflow
tool, you can create custom workflows that carry out a wide array
of critical business tasks. You can also extend workflows to integrate
with other third-party systems, such as SAP, SalesForce.com, or
a custom application.
Novell Vibe workflows enable you to automate, streamline
and enhance your processes to save time, eliminate errors and improve
overall efficiency. Its workflow capabilities also allow you to
create a more formal structure for collaboration processes, giving
you precise control over how information flows through your organization.
Unlike other collaboration solutions that offer workflow, users
don’t have to be programmers or developers to deploy the workflow
capabilities in Novell Vibe.
People can participate in Novell Vibe workflows from the
office, on the road, at home or anywhere with Internet access, including
from Web-enabled mobile devices. This facilitates workflow participation
with geographically dispersed teams. In turn, it can also reduce
travel costs, physical goods costs (i.e., paper) and costs associated
with maintaining separate systems for corporate knowledge and automated
Novell Vibe workflows can be easily customized to an organization's
unique needs in order to optimize execution, save time, reduce effort,
and enable team members to stay focused and keep business moving
forward. Novell Vibe workflows facilitate process management
so projects get done faster with more visibility and at a lower overall
Click here to view our full list of use cases
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.