A brief discourse on a new workflow software paradigm.
I am often asked “why should I use workflow software?” To which I often retort “why use software in the first place?” We use computer systems to make life easier for ourselves, but at a more basic level we use them to replace ourselves. Computers have moved away from being calculators into the realm of worker surrogates. In short as systems become more and more complex and are required to replace more and more human tasks they need to behave more and more like humans. To extrapolate further their brains need to work like our brains, hence neural workflow.
Traditional systems are process oriented. They behave like circuits. They have AND Gates, OR Gates decision points etc. A workflow instance is started and a process is followed until that instance comes to some sort of resolution. This is not how people work and ultimately not how highly optimised organisations should work. When we have an idea to do something we usually start with a strategy to come to a resolution. In following the strategy we are often required to complete several unexpected sub-strategies to come to the resolution. We also may need to re-evaluate our strategy entirely and adapt the strategy for the next time we need to employ it.
Take the example of a help desk request. A request comes in and we think we have sent it to the right place for a resolution. If we have not we need to re-evaluate the process come up with some new strategies then trial those strategies over time to find the ones that best solve the different requests we may get. These new strategies may also need to be approved by others within an organisation and thus we may want to create a whole range of different types of activities resulting from this one initial support request.
Traditional workflow systems would have considerable trouble with these types of problems.
Enter Neural Workflow….
Unlike the source and sink model of traditional workflow systems a neural workflow system is set up in a neural network like our brains. Events can trigger signals from all over our brain these events then give rise to strategies for resolutions, over time our brain modifies itself to adopt the strategies it has found to most successfully resolve situations. Employing a neural workflow system could allow an organisation to function like one large brain with the benefits there of.
Neural Workflow requires several key points of functionality. First the system needs to easily adapt over time. Second the system needs to have the ability to score success and failure. Third the system needs to be able to trigger any activity based on the results of any previous activity. Finally the system needs to provide high visibility so tracking of all the different tasks and flows is easily understood.
Show me the Money….
A neural workflow system is superior to a traditional workflow system in that it provides a method of perpetual efficiency improvements or to put it another way it provides a cost saving continuum.