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Pattern: Define Workflows

By Michael Jastram posted 03-07-2019 09:30



Make it easy and intuitive for stakeholders to follow your processes by supporting them with workflows

Also Known As

  • One


Your processes are important, at the same time you want to leave your users enough freedom to be creative and productive. Well-designed workflows are a way to realize this. While the process typically exists on paper, the workflow guides you through your daily activities.


Use the pattern when:

  • You have processes that need to adhered to, e.g. for regulatory reasons
  • Your product description is complex, so you want to add guidance


A workflow is typically supported by tooling. This could be as simple as an Excel macro, or as sophisticated as Jama workflows. Ideally, the workflow:

  • Provides guidance on permitted actions, based on state and role
  • Performs notifications for relevant stakeholders
  • Tracks states and state transitions
  • Locks and unlocks data, based on state and role


The pattern has the following benefits and liabilities:

  • Benefits:
    • Speeds up development by providing guidance
    • Improves process adherence
  • Liabilities:
    • Can be too constraining to users
    • Can be confusing if the workflow is not clear, or users don't know the underlying process


Many tools, including Jama Connect, have a workflow engine that manages state transitions and locks/unlocks items based on role and permissions.

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