If you can find a part where you can parallelize in a Workflow, your productivity will be greatly improved. In this article, I am going to mention about “parallel” processing in Workflow.
What is “parallel” processing in workflow?
A Workflow is a series of Steps (tasks) necessary to produce some results, such as making products and providing services, arranged in a proper order and connecting them with arrows.
There are two types of ways to connect these Steps in Workflow diagram, “serial” and “parallel”.
To explain “serial” and “parallel”, I would like you to imagine a concept of “balls of work”. A “work ball” is what to show which process it is going on now on the Workflow diagram and what Step is being processed.
In the way of connecting in “serial”, no ball exists in other Steps when there is a ball at a Step (the Step is being processed).
Whereas, in the way of connecting in “parallel”, balls exist at other Steps as well, even when there is a ball at a certain Step. In “parallel”, one ball in the beginning becomes two or more at a certain timing.
Advantage of “parallel”processing
If you are gazing at the workflow diagram and you can find the part where you can process “in parallel”, it is a great opportunity for business improvement.
If you can connect multiple Steps in parallel and process them simultaneously, you can reduce the time from the start to the end of the entire flow. That is the biggest advantage in “parallel” processing.
Assuming that the time required for processing Step A as t1 and the time for processing Step B as t2, the time to complete these two Steps is sum of t1 and t2, if Step A and Step B were connected in series. Whereas, if Step A and Step B are connected in parallel, the time to complete these two steps will be the greater of t1 or t2.
“In case of serial t1 + t2 > t1 or t2 in parallel”, thus, it is obvious that parallel processing can shorten the processing time required for the entire workflow.
Since there are such advantage in parallel processing, I think that it is worthwhile to consider whether or not there is a part where can be processed “in parallel” in the Workflow diagram, including reviewing of the entire work.
Is “parallel” processing difficult to manage?
By arranging “parallel” processing in the Workflow, you will be able to gain the benefits as described in the previous section. However, adding “parallel” processing also raises the problem that management becomes difficult.
Since the work ball which was one is divided into plural in the middle of the way, It becomes difficult to manage where each the ball is.
The management of parallel processing will become easy by using a Workflow system (BPM system). Also, there are cases where business improvement was achieved by arranging parallel processing. I would like to continue to mention about parallel processing in the future.
That’s it, for today!
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