If you can find a part where you can parallelize in a Workflow, your productivity will be improved greatly. In this article, I am going to talk about “parallel” processing in a Workflow.
What is “parallel” processing in a 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 ways to connect these Steps in Workflow diagram, “serially” and “parallelly”.
To define “serial” versus “parallel”, I would like you to imagine the concept of “balls of work”. A “work ball” is what shows which process (Step) in the workflow is being handled and what is being processed in it.
When connecting “serially”, only one ball is at a given Step (the Step that is being processed).
Whereas, when connecting “parallelly”, several balls can be at different Steps as well. In “parallel” processing, at the beginning when there was only one ball, it can become two or more at a certain point.
Advantage of “parallel”processing
If you are looking at a workflow diagram and you can find a part where you can process “parallelly”, it is a great opportunity to improve the business process.
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 of “parallel” processing.
Assuming that the time required for processing Step A as t1 and the time for processing Step B as t2, the time needed to complete these two Steps is the 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 only the one that takes the longest, either t1 or t2.
“t1 + t2 > t1 or t2”, thus serial is greater than parallel, it is obvious that parallel processing can shorten the processing time required for the entire workflow.
Since there is such an advantage in parallel processing, I think that it is worthwhile to consider whether or not there is a part in the process which can be done “in parallel” in the Workflow diagram, including the review 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 described in the previous section. However, adding “parallel” processing makes management more difficult.
Since the original, single work ball becomes several, it becomes difficult to manage where each of the balls are.
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 talking about parallel processing in the future.
That’s it, for today!