About a Term of ‘Task’ that is Used in the World of Business Process Management

'I don't get what you're talking about, "Process" or "Task" or so on...' I know well, you're mad at me. So, I'll Try! Try to make BPM in Japan better!

== 0. What is ‘Task’? ==

Studies of the terminology…

Today, I would like to talk about the term ‘Task’!.

<Also in Google’s Gmail, you can find the term “Tasks”…>


== 1. General Examples of “Eliminating Tasks” ==

Grown-up people who are living their normal lives are always have some ‘tasks’.


Yes, for example,

– ‘to submit a proposal for decision making’, or
– ‘to write up a computer Program’, or
– ‘to ask for a review of a rough draft’, and so on…

Yes, even in their own homes,

– ‘to go shopping’, or
– ‘to attend a PTA meeting’, or
– ‘to make a plan for the summer vacation trip’, and so on…


Therefore, the term ‘task’ here is ‘something you must do’. (also referred to as “To-Do”.)

– Some people are [saddled with] a lot,
– some people are [not ].
– Some people [handle] them according to its deadline,
– some people [forget] them as their deadlines get closer.

Well, any way, ‘tasks’ must be handled properly, one by one.

(And if all the “tasks” in the world were visualized, many things would be improved.)



== 2. ‘Tasks’ in the Workflow ==

There is the concept of ‘Task’ in the Workflow product as well.


For example, when

– The Department manager approving a Leave request by a member, or when
– The Management staff fills the Leave request that has been approved by the department manager into the document, and notifies the number of paid holidays left over, and so on…


Pretty much the same as the general ‘Tasks’, these are ‘things that must be done’.

However, it has a particular feature. That is, ‘tasks’ are handed to more than one person sequentially. “Tasks” in each step are [processed] by the personnel in charge in each department.



=== 2-1. Personal View ===

In the personal view of a worker, all he/she has to do is [to process] the ‘Tasks’ in the step that him/her is in charge before its deadline. (Depending on the Workflow products, it is referred to as ‘My Tasks’, or ‘To Do’ or ‘Inbox’ or ‘Tray’, and so on…)



=== 2-2. Overall Company View ===

The overall company view, you will be able to see in which step Task handling take more time, or whether the number of personnel is not enough, etc..



== 3. Another Meaning of ‘Tasks’ ==

Now, there is another meaning of ‘Task’.


The ‘Step’ mentioned in the discussion above is sometimes referred to as a ‘Task’. (So confusing…)

For example, ‘This Business Process consists of five Tasks


# However, it is a term used by ‘people who make models of the work flow’, and it has nothing to do with the workers in the working place.


For other example,

from a ‘User Task’ perspective, a task represents a “Step” where people approve, etc.. from a ‘Script Task’ perspective, it represents a “Step” where programmed processing is performed. Moreover, there are a lot more geeky expressions such as ‘Send Task’ or ‘Choreography Task’ or ‘Global Task’, etc…


# Well, the world being such chaos, there are many cases in which the jargon and the general term do not match.


In the world of Modeling Business Processes (BPMN), both

-A. Things that must be done
-B. Steps (in a Business process)

are ‘Tasks’.


Though it may sound weird, an almost nonsensical when you hear a sentence like ‘The Task that occurred on the Third Task appears on My Tasks…’.



== 4. Grumble ==

So I recently think about you specialists!

– Please don’t use the word ‘Task’ in the meaning of [Step].
– Especially, when you address the general public, please be sure to say [Step].
– If you need to, you can say ‘Nth processing step’.
– As for specifics, ‘Human processing step’ or ‘ Automated processing step’ or ‘Data submitting step, so on…


If you insist on using the word ‘Task’,

– How about saying ‘Task activity’?
– How about saying ‘Human Task step’?
– How about saying ‘Script Task activity’? It may help keep your dignity!


Either way, it is too risky to use the word ‘Task’ by itself.


# Aah, today’s article came out too geeky. I’m sorry…

* BPMN: Business Process Model and Notation
BPMN stands for Business Process Modeling Notation. It is an international standard specification about notation and definition of Business Process. Between ‘BPMN 1.0′ (2004) and ‘BPMN 1.2′, it had been the standard specification as a drawing method. However, since ‘BPMN 2.0′, it became a widely spread standard, which includes specification for data exchange, etc. (For more details check HERE )



About IMAMURA Genichi

CEO & Founder - Questetra, Inc. || http://www.facebook.com/imamura.genichi
View all posts by IMAMURA Genichi

Prev article - 15. Ambitions New Year 2015 !!
Next article - 15. Ambitions How to Accelerate the Overseas Sales of Business Software?
Another article - IMAMURA Genichi Three ‘Talents’ Neededed in a Person to Improve Business