The Value of Workflow Based Reporting
Reporting is on every manager’s mind. “How can I provide the real-time facts about the progress of my department?,” “How do I get the funding I need?,” “How can I be sure changes in my organization are getting done correctly?” These are some of the questions we have answered with a click of a button!
Armedia has implemented a solution for a company requiring a robust reporting solutions for their complex business processes and strong needs for auditable solutions. The solution is easy to use and gives instant response to these requirements.
At INEOS Phenol there is a great need to report on their multi-faceted processes and workflows. When dealing with chemicals, changes to the equipment and environment can be a very involved process. This process, previously involving paper, was sometimes taking months to get through a single MOC (Management of Change). In such a large going concern, dealing with flammable chemicals, a single change can effect the entire system in many ways. This process involves many employees to investigate what actions they need to take on and how it will affect their department.
Implementing a strong electronic workflow process to manage the progress and activities, as well as instant reporting capabilities, was a challenge for us to configure. The solution must be able to instantly report on the workflow status, author, date, time and various action items that are needed to fully implement the change.
Two solutions were developed to make it easy for managers to quickly access this information without needing to physically run around the plant and various labs to monitor the hundreds of workflows in over eight departments.
One solution was establishing a workflow portal in their content management system, Alfresco. We created a dashlet that they can place on their home page and view immediately after logging on. This “portlet” tracked the workflow number, the name, the author, the status and the last time it was updated. The status indicates the exact location/employee/department of the workflow in progress.
To open up a full report of all the workflows is just a click of a button at the top of the portal. In addition, if an authorized user needed a more in-depth report of a single workflow, they would just click the report icon to the right of each workflow.
The other solution was a portlet for the action items that initiated from the workflows in progress. With proper permissions, users can see at-a-glance the name of the action item, assignee, originating workflow, text of the action to be completed, status, and the target due date. In the same dashlet, a simple click opens up a report of an individual action item, all action items, or a filtered set of action items (i.e. all actions items with a “pending” status). This can give a manager full control of their area, instant knowledge of their departments’ workload and time to go get coffee!
The return of investment on these solutions is untold hours of paper based processing, hours spent investigating where the bottlenecks are and grey hairs. Leveraging Alfresco dashlets with reporting capabilities and Activiti to run your complex workflows, can help your company get more done with less!