Posted by: Adam Deane | 02/03/2010

Workflow Design

Some of my most creative work has been done without a formal workflow design.

I have created workflows based on a telephone call, received designs in foreign languages, and I have even been given a workflow design drawn on a coffee napkin.

But even then I have insisted on being briefed on three main points: What is the business pain (and how to resolve it); the workflow diagram; the look and feel of the activity forms.

Now, although I enjoy a good challenge, I would always advise starting workflow development after a proper design.

These are the points that every good workflow design should have:

The Project

  • Project description
  • The business pain and business drivers
  • Project critical success factors
  • Project stakeholders

Project Scope

  • Deliverables
  • Timeframe and phases


  • Known risks
  • Internal politics

The Process

  • Workflow diagram
  • Process initiation
  • Process steps & activities
  • Business rules
  • Messages, notifications & recipients
  • Permissions
  • SLA reminders and escalations
  • Look & feel


  • KPIs & metrics

Infrastructure, Systems & Integration

  • Solution, business & information architecture
  • Development, testing and deployment
  • Systems participating or interfacing

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