Process Management - Workflows
The success of a business rests on the ability of its staff to execute complex processes effectively. These processes are often managed using a collection of formal and informal systems (E-Mail, calendars, stand-alone project management software). The relationship between these processes and other management systems is commonly an employee, creating a larger than desired gap between Need and Result, leading to misunderstandings and even failure to deliver successfully on promises.
When developing Vision, it was understood that a fully featured BSS/OSS needs a structured and integrated project management component. Vision Workflows provide that functionality.
At its core, Workflows are kicked off by an event (e.g. Equipment Request, Fiber Service Request, Service Outage), and trigger a prescribed series of Tasks and Actions, completed by assigned resources (People or systems), to reach a necessary outcome.
Workflows may interact with, but are independent of, all other aspects of the Vision environment. This means you may apply a designed Workflow to any objects within and between our system stack. A Workflow may be triggered by the creation of an invoice or may itself create an invoice as an action within the Workflow. The examples which follow, common activities to any service provider, illustrate the value of Vision Workflows.
A sales engineer requires a new router. He or she creates a purchase order in the system, triggering a workflow. Its first task is for a purchasing agent to obtain quotes from a number of vendors. The Workflow creates a Task and assigns it to the agent. The agent obtains quotes, and closes their task, identifying the likely cost of the router at between $1,000 and $2,000. Upon completion of the task, the Workflow then determines that, according to set business rules, a purchase of greater than $1,000 needs approval of a department manager. The system then creates and assigns a task to the department manager. The manager then reviews the bids, provided by their assigned task, and chooses a winning vendor. The Workflow triggers the next task for purchase of the equipment, and so on, through multiple subsequent tasks, until the equipment is received and checked into inventory.
Responding to Damage
A call comes into the contact center notifying the service provider that one of the client’s fiber routes has been struck. The location of the damage is recorded, and a network event is created. That event triggers a series of tasks. These tasks include creating customer notification tickets (Created by the system), deploying locators to document the location of the damage relative to paint or flags, tasks to deploy teams for repair, and perhaps tasks to document the cost and impact of the outage.
Workflows begins with designing the order of actions you wish to model. Using Vision’s simple drag and drop interface, managers can design processes from the simple to the complex, generating child tasks from multiple parents or modeling conditional branches given feedback from assigned users. Tasks in this flow may be assigned to specific users and groups as desired, broadening or narrowing the people needed to complete work. A designed Workflow may be sent into production for use in the system by the next triggering event, copied to use as a base of a similar Workflow, or adjusted still further into subsequent versions reflective of user and client feedback.
When a Workflow is kicked off, users may see tasks assigned to themselves, their department, or their employees. A manager can review tasks that are aging or past due; taking corrective action, thereby improving transparency and accountability.
Finally, all tasks within Workflows ought not be done by people alone. As Vision is integrated with other platforms, actions may trigger system to system work, such as provisioning of an optical network terminal, ordering a copper loop through an ILEC’s local service request API, or setting up monitoring on a SHDSL circuit. Workflows are the cornerstone of Vision project management.