Task driven interfaces any better

Organization with IT should be more effective than organization without IT. Otherwise get rid of software, servers and save money.

What do people within organizations? Right, usually they are doing their jobs, as stated in job descriptions, or doing tasks delegated to them by their managers. The bigger organizations are, the more specialized roles appear. Specialization helps people to do best in the area they can be the best versus doing everything with average success. From other side, specialization of activities brings communication overhead (if universal worker can do anything, he don’t need to delegate and communicate sub-tasks to others so frequently.

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Since there is need to delegate tasks and get feedbacks, tools emerged – email, voice, phone calls, IMs. As organization grows, the need for automation of task management appeared. Automated tasks management allows management to understand what is going on, reduces risks to loss tasks and ensures right things are done in right moment.

The workflow tasks concept is also related with task-driven UI – direct alternative to CRUD UI, which is pathological case of legacy and non-effective approach to automate user actions.

Example: Doctor changes prescription to patient.

CRUD system: find patient and prescription, press “Edit”, change details, click Save.

Task-driven system: find patient and prescription, press “Change Prescription, enter details and reason, Save.

The task-driven UI is the cornerstone of CQRS, the ultimate pattern to make high-performance and scalable business software. CQRS is perfectly described here and here and here.

As more and more organizations are becoming process driven and use workflow engines and BPMS to automate processes, the typical “worklist” applications appeared. Common worklist application allows seeing list of task, navigating to task details and completing task.

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And task details:

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However, there is still some gap in what market offers and what users need. Some vendors lack internationalizations, some lack basic task management features like task filters and prioritization. The decline of task requires process flow to be re-designed in order to support non-happy pass scenarios.

In next posts I will explain how these challenges are solved in some modern BPMS and where we still need to invent our own frameworks.

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