Our third wish to BPMN 2.1 in respect to process execution – destribution procedure

BPMN example to explane the distribution challenge

BPMN example to explane the distribution challenge

Here comes our third wish (first and second one) for the human-centric process behavior missed in BPMN 2.0. In BPMN you can place an human task into a lane, which is named e.g. Sales. During runtime somebody of the organisational unit Sales (attribute = performer) should do the work. In reality there are several possibilities to distribute.

Solution one (simple): the process engine distributes with the round robin method, so that one after another gets a task in his personal inbox and if the last is reached it will begine again with the first user.
Risk: if there are newcomers in the group they may work longer than the older ones and their personal backlog will go higher and higher.

Solution two (balancing): the engine counts the backlog of each group member and puts the task in that with the lowest workload, so everbody has the same workload
Risk: slow workers may not bee seen if an analyses of the users is not done (no go for Germany!)

In both cases you may get frustration because you are working and working and there is no end, your intray will not get empty.

Solution three (mostly used): The new tasks are put into a group intray. All members do have access to it and can take some work items into their personal intray.
Risk: the users may see depending on the displayed parameters whether it is a complex work or not and will take the more simple ones.
The best way is to proclame: “Please, take over the first x everytime.”

Our solution to solve this missing distribution setting of BPMN 2.0 is to offer a proprietary SAPERION attribute Distribution Rule which is set to manual take in the example graphic (designed with Signavio Process Editor) above. The others are round robin distribution and automatic distribution.

Do you know other good distribution procedures?

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Written by Dr. Martin Bartonitz in: english,general | Tags: , , , ,

1 Comment »

  • Martin

    The three methods above are the most common indeed.

    The question is whether we should treat it as part of BPMN. I’d rather attribute it to Task Management domain which actually has broader scope than business processes. E.g. one can imagine a single task list collecting items from BPMS, a project management tool and an enterprise application.

    Every real-world BPM project has many aspects: task management is one, data managament is another and org structure is yet another. But it doesn’t mean we should bring them all into BPMN. BPMN’s main target should be process routing logic and there is things to do like the human decisions issue of your previous wish.

    Kind regards

    Comment | 29 December 2010

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