What is a Workflow

We would like to explain what we mean by "workflows" so that it is clear that we are talking about the same thing below.

A "workflow" in our sense is a business process in the company that is technically and digitally executed, with the technical component - the "workflow engine" - taking control of the process and coordinating people and IT systems.

Every company has countless business processes. One could say that these processes are "applications" - or: algorithms - which do not run in computers, but in the company itself. If the processes are implemented digitally, the focus shifts. Now computers are particularly involved, and if this is only the case for controlling the process.

One example:

One such process is the request for holiday. In the past, a paper based post folder had to be forwarded from the applicant to the deputy, from there to the supervisor and from there to the human resources department. At each station, the person responsible can approve or reject the request. Depending on the result (approval or rejection), the process takes a different route or comes to an end at different points. In any case, the applicant must be informed.

All large companies used to have internal postal systems. Of course, this has to be done digitally nowadays.

In addition, there are systems such as Microsoft SharePoint, which from our point of view is the best on the market. For this reason and because of our long experience with the introduction of SharePoint in companies, we have decided to develop a new workflow engine for SharePoint.

Today the holiday request form is filled out as a digital form in the "Intranet" (SharePoint). However, the form is not very mobile as a data record - just like a post folder in the past, which lay on a desk and was not collected by the postman. Only a workflow that "virtually moves" the completed form to the various stations sets the business process in motion.

This "digital movement" is the "workflow" as we think it.

The deputy shall be informed by email of the colleague's request for holiday. He/she can reply directly to the email: The reply is stored in a mailbox and read and processed by the Workflow Engine (Email Workflow). Or the deputy clicks on a link in the email that directly triggers a response. Or the deputy clicks another link and the SharePoint form opens in the browser where he/she can enter the answer. Once the answer has been entered, the request is forwarded to the superior - if approved. If the request is rejected, the requester is informed and the workflow is complete. For the superior, the process is the same as for the deputy. Finally also for the personnel department. At the end, the applicant is informed that the application has been approved. Done.

But things are getting more complicated. Here is also the "old house mail" from the race. If we imagine that today there are teams distributed all over the world, then the transport of paper from one person to another is over. And that's just the simplest reason why things have to be different today.

All of them could be relevant in the holiday request! To query whether a customer project is still running. Or whether certain persons have already applied for leave. Or whether the employee still has enough remaining holiday.

kenaflow makes it possible to digitally implement these business processes with SharePoint stored data.