|Many of today's companies already have a strong integration of Workflow Management Systems (WFMS) in their IT-Infrastructure which are often only used for the core processes of the company. Furthermore these predefined processes are designed and implemented by specialists, whilst the process knowledge of the involved employees remains mostly unused. On the other hand, the everyday business life, especially in office environments, often additionally requires flexible, rather short lived processes (ad hoc workflows), that can only be predetermined in advance to some degree. These two types of workflows have many cross connections which are inadequately or not supported by currently available WFMS. To name one example some ad hoc processes that are used more than once and therefore get well tried by practical experience could become established and important processes for the company. Thus these should be transitioned into predefined workflows in a WFMS. The GroupProcess project examines the broad possibilities |
to support ad hoc processes in companies and creates connections to existing systems like WFMS, Knowledge- and Office-Management-Systems.
In the first part a definition and delimitation of terms in the field of collaborative ad hoc workflows is given and a concept of a groupware-based system to support ad hoc workflows is described. As a focus in this context a system is discussed, that supports ad hoc workflows can feature a way to reuse them as a template for a predefined workflow. One significant advantage of this technique is the direct participation of the company's employees in workflow design, which enables the conservation and further use of their process knowledge. This way, the design of workflows becomes a team-based process that involves workflow specialists as well as the users of the workflow system. This helps to increase efficiency and acceptance of the implemented workflows within a company or organization.