Workflow Management

From H2Know-how Manual

The H2knOw-how Workflow Management module is designed to allow several parties involved in a workflow process to collaborate effectively on many tasks. The module allows users to interact with each other by passing around 'tasks' through the H2knOw-how alerting system. Different users are able to complete certain actions on tasks before passing them on, based their role in the workflow.

Overview

The H2knOw-how Workflow Management module can be used to facilitate all kinds of workflows - from managing a property inspection schedule, to automating contractors to respond to overflow events, to managing data collection for a large scale CCTV pipeline inspection project. The examples outlined in this wiki page are heavily directed towards the a CCTV data management workflow scenario. A CCTV data workflow utilizes many of the features provided by H2knOw-how -- including workflow visualization via the map, custom data tables, and third party service integration -- making it a textbook case to show off the great features offered by the module as an extension of the existing platform.

Concepts

There are several concepts that are utilized by the Workflow Management module that make up the full workflow management system. Some of the core concepts are mentioned below. The workflow system is designed to seamlessly integrate many aspects of H2knOw-how, it is even possible to integrate the workflow system with third party systems such as client CRMs and project management databases.

Roles

An important part of the workflow system is the concept of user roles. Users can be assigned to one or many roles involved in a workflow. Roles form boundaries on what individual users can achieve in the workflow, and how they interact and collaborate with other users/roles. Roles are also used to limit access to various areas of H2knOw-how, allowing for secure collaboration between internal and external parties.

Interactive map

The interactive map page allows users to geo-spatially visualize their active and completed tasks or units or work. Depending on your specific set-up of the workflow system, there will be several available items in the layer tree panel on the left of the page. These items act as a legend for what you see on the map view. You can learn more about using the interactive map page here.

Alert panel

The alert panel keeps you informed about your current set of actionable items in the workflow, or any changes made by other parties against items you are involved with. Your browser will automatically check for alerts several times every minute, so you don't have to refresh the browser to check for new alerts. You can learn more about interacting of the alert panel here.

Examples

The following examples have been deployed in H2knOw-how as specializations of the workflow management module.

CCTV data workflow

The CCTV data management problem is focused on the collaboration between several roles involved in the collection, storage, auditing, and assessment of CCTV inspection data. Historically CCTV data is collected and placed onto tapes or other physical media. Managing the storage and retrieval of this data has proven to be difficult and costly (both time and space). The H2knOw-how workflow management system has recently been developed to make this process easier, by storing the data in the cloud, allowing direct web access to the data, as soon as it's available. This makes collaborating between the contractors, auditors, assessors, and project managers centralized and streamlined.

Roles

The parties typically involved in a CCTV data workflow are listed below.

  • Contractors use specialized CCTV equipment to carefully examine pipelines for defects.
  • Auditors are responsible for auditing the CCTV data collected by the contractor, and work directly with the contractor to resolve errors or inconsistencies in the collected data.
  • Assessors assess the condition of various pipeline assets using the CCTV data collected by the contractor to prioritize pipeline repairs and renewals.
  • The Workflow Administrator manages the workflow process. Creates and distributes tasks among the other roles. Resolves disputes/uncertainties around workflow tasks.
  • The System Administrator is your friendly contact at Mott MacDonald. Specializes in all aspects of the H2knOw-how system. Resolves any queries or issues related to working with H2knOw-how.

Workflow components

As well as the standard components mentioned above, CCTV workflows utilize a few extra concepts. The workflow administrator role is able to set up CCTV work-packages. These work-packages are comprised of a list of pipeline assets that have been scoped by the administrator for CCTV inspection.

Another type of workflow component is a CCTV batch. A batch is created by the contractor role and forms a subset of the pipeline assets contained in the parent work-package for which the contractor has completed the CCTV inspections. Work-packages can have several batches associated with them, allowing for contractors to partially complete work-packages in order to provide data to other parties to begin their processes. The overall completion of work-packages is tracked.

Collaboration

The roles mentioned above interact with each other using a set of loose rules defined by the administrator. Typically–as mentioned above–the workflow manager will scope a set of pipeline assets for inspection. The workflow administrator will then define this package in H2knOw-how, and assign it to one of their contractor roles. The contractor will then receive information about the new work-package, and the instruction to proceed with the inspections. Once the contractor has completed a portion, or all of the work-package, they upload the inspection data directly into H2knOw-how, creating a batch component.

The workflow administrator and the auditor assigned to the work-package then receive notifications indicating that there is a batch to complete an audit on. If the auditor is pleased with the quality of the inspection, the data can be further passed on to an assessor as required. If the auditor requires clarification or amendments to the data, they are able to assign the batch back to the contractor with comments to action.

The assessor can then assess and organize renewal procedures based on the audited data. If there is no assessment required, the batch is then finalized by the workflow administrator, which is then reflected in the overall completeness of the associated work-package.

Each party involved in the workflow process can only see workflow components they are assigned to. For example, two different contractor roles will not be able to see each others assigned work-packages, however, they can still see the progress of their own inspection batches when they are with other roles (i.e. being audited). The workflow administrator retains an overview of the entire workflow process, and is able to intervene where required.