Setting high standards for content quality means you need an intelligent review process. Our international customer Positive Technologies has exceptionally demanding requirements in terms of quality; and this global IT company has been using our SCHEMA ST4 component content management system since 2016 to help them achieve this aim. Positive Technologies recently started using the SCHEMA ST4 Workflow module, Workflow Designer.

How can you use Workflow Designer to implement complex work processes?

If you were not able to attend Nikita Kovin’s workshop report at the SCHEMA Conference 2019, we have provided a recap here so you can experience the potential of this feature for yourself based on specific use cases.

The challenge – roles and processes

Work processes will be individual to the company in which they take place. Who – that is which roles – complete which tasks in what order and how are they interconnected? Workflow Designer – an add-on module for SCHEMA ST4 – recommended itself to Positive Technologies in part because it represented a solution that could be adapted to individual process logics. What does this look like at Positive Technologies?

Let’s start with the roles that are involved. There are four roles in total included in the review process at Positive Technologies: Content author, Project manager, Expert and Editor

Roles at Positive Technologies

These roles work together in five different scenarios when reviewing content. In the most complex scenario, you would have the following processes:

Content Review at Positive Technologies

Here, all roles are involved, some of them more than once, and they complete the review process in four logical steps. In step 2 (“Editorial review”) and step 3 (“Factual review”) processes happen in parallel.

Powerful and customisable

So, how would these roles and processes be incorporated in Workflow Designer in ST4? Initially, a workflow is created on the basis of a workflow model. This model is easy to assemble using standardised symbols in the form of a flowchart in a graphical interface.

The workflow chart with all five scenarios

Looking at the flowchart for Positive Technologies, it can be seen that even complex process logics do not present a problem for Workflow Designer. All five scenarios with all roles and interdependencies can be modelled:

Positive Technologies Review Process in Workflow Designer

Workflow Automation Library for high performance

Positive Technologies uses practically all of the standard scripts and workflows included in SCHEMA ST4 to enable their requirements to be met in terms of automation. For even more automation, Positive Technologies is planning to upgrade to the Workflow Automation Library. It provides scripts that enable further process steps to be automated within a workflow.

Intuitive to use

We would now like to turn from purely technical considerations to the user experience. How do those who are involved in the process at Positive Technologies experience using Workflow day-to-day?

Task list – the key organisational tool

The key organisational tool for all users is the personal task list. The list appears in a viewlet and contains all the information the user needs in a clearly laid out table. Extra columns can be added to the table by a Workflow architect:

Tasks in SCHEMA ST4

Workflow Wizard – guides you through every step

The Workflow Wizard lets you initiate a workflow or carry out workflow steps. This is an intuitive interface that takes each participant to the relevant point in the workflow at which their role is involved. It provides the user with all the information they need and always prompts the requisite interactions.

Workflow Wizard in SCHEMA ST4

Automated e-mails – always up to date

Even if the user does not have their task list open, they will receive automatic updates showing the list status. Positive Technologies uses the notification function in Workflow Designer that sends automated e-mails to participants in the process at specific points in time defined by the user.

E-Mails being sent to employees automatically

How can you leverage the potential for your company?

The example of the review process at Positive Technologies shows how the Workflow module in SCHEMA ST4 brings together and integrates all the elements that need to mesh together seamlessly during day-to-day operations within the business: SCHEMA ST4 as an authoring tool, predefined and standardised work processes and the people who participate in these processes.

Nikita Kovin

Nikita KovinBeing passionate about XML technologies, authoring tools, and programming languages, Nikita strives to employ software ideas to automate and perfect technical writing processes. Previously Nikita developed and maintained technical documentation for VoIP products at startup companies. He graduated from Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod in 2012.