Sorry for the lack of updates. I was a bit busy these days working on the Better Comments Manager update, also have lined up a new series of WordPress articles which I am working on. But here is a post to simply what workflow means.
One of my friends recently asked me what a workflow means and I being a geek start about to give him my opinion about it. Once I was done with the explanation he was just where he started, he didn’t have a clue yet. Because I did the explanation the geek way. So I explained to him in a real life example what a workflow means.
I just wanted to share the same with all my readers too :)
Before I go ahead just let me explain what a workflow is. A workflow is a series of activities that run either simultaneously or sequentially to complete a given task. In a workflow a activity may depend on another activity before it can start its own process. There may also be cases when you need to do some activities but it may not be a requirement for your task to get complete.
Ok that was just a brief explanation and its quite confusing, so here is the real life example of a workflow.
Every weekend you may have a task to do the laundry. Doing laundry in itself involves various tasks like
- Gather all the dirty clothes.
- Take the required detergents.
- Take the required fabric softeners
- Go to the laundry.
- Put the clothes in the washer and wait for it to complete.
- Dry clothes using the washer.
In the above few steps you are doing a series of activities to get your laundry done. That is a workflow for you to complete your laundry and it’s defined to work that way. Nevertheless it’s not a rule of the thumb and you can have your own activities to complete the entire process. That’s the beauty of workflow’s, it allows you to change anything when you want, but the end result has to be pre determined.
Now lets break the activities further down.
The first three activities can be done simultaneously or one by one the other activities will not be affected by this.
What I mean is you will collect dirty clothes every day, but you don’t need to get the detergents say just before you are going to the laundry. Or, if your lazy like me do both of the things at the same time :).
Dependency of activities in workflow
If you do not have any clothes to wash for the weekend then the rest of activities cannot be completed because doing laundry requires you to have clothes. The activity of you going to the laundry is dependant on you have dirty clothes to wash, so that creates a dependency between activities.
Are all activities required to complete?
No, I may not require fabric softeners for my clothes so I will skip that task, because I can still wash my clothes without it, so it’s not required to complete the workflow. So I can still complete my workflow without having to do each and every thing.
Can I have sub-activities for a activity?
Yes you can. Say you are doing the activity of washing the clothes, the washer will wash, rinse and then drain the water. So there are three activities to be completed before my main activity is complete.
Ok so now we have performed all the activities and have dried the clothes so the entire task is now complete. Why did I do this post anyway you may ask. It is just for informational purposes. Knowing more about Workflow helps you plan and complete your tasks more smoothly. Every day to day activities follow some kind of workflow which you may always do sub-consciously.
Knowing more about workflow does not mean you have to be a developer or anything, you can apply workflow’s to any given task you perform.
Hope this post imparts something new to you, I would be glad if you could share your views with me by commenting.