Subprocesses are a mechanism for breaking down a high level logical activity into a "mini workflow" whose more granular sequence of activities fulfills the purpose of its parent activity.
Visualization in the Workflow Assistant
When focussed on an activity in a sub process, the workflow assistant shows the parent activity above the current activity name
So, here, the agent can immediately see that they are working on the "Initial assessment" activity within the context of the higher level "Triage" activity
Sub-processes can be defined to any level. At greater depths the UI is similar but will include every ancestor of the current activity (stacked above it in ancestral order) and the left bar will grow to encompass them all.
Why are sub-processes useful?
For complex workflows with many activities, subprocesses can be a benefit to both the agents that enact them and to architects that define them.
For agents the subprocesses can provide a helpful overall context to the current activity they are performing.
For workflow architects, sub processes can help to organize the many granular activities of the workflow into more manageable components
Sub-processes vs Parallel Activities
Both sub-processes and parallel activities can be thought of as "mini sub workflows", (and in fact a workflow architect actually defines them as such), but importantly :
- sub-processes continue to run on the same ticket as their parent activity (to any depth)
- parallel activities always run on a separate ticket that is created automatically by the Flowset runtime
Viewing Sub-processes in the context of their Parent Activity
The workflow information icon allows the agent to see graphically where they are in the overall workflow definition :
1. Lets imagine the agent clicks the information icon at this point in the "Triage" subprocess. A modal will showing the relevant workflow definition diagrams :
- Diagram Breadcrumb (2).
- Current Activity (3).
- Current Subprocess Workflow (4).
- Hyperlink to the Parent Workflow (5).
2. A breadcrumb shows the relevant workflow levels in play.
3. The current activity, "Initial Assessment", is highlighted in green within the current sub-process
4. The breadcrumb is focused on the current subprocess workflow diagram.
5. The workflow containing the parent activity of the subprocess can be viewed by clicking its link.
If we click the breadcrumb link to the parent activity we see :
- Diagram Breadcrumb (6).
- Decomposed parent activity (7).
- Parent Workflow (8).
- Hyperlink to the Sub-process Workflow (9).
6. The breadcrumb shows the relevant workflow levels in play
7. The parent activity that decomposes into the current subprocess is highlighted in green
8. The breadcrumb is now focused on the top level workflow diagram containing the parent activity
9. The subprocess workflow can be viewed again by clicking its link in the breadcrumb.
Note: Workflow definitions can be defined with multiple levels of sub-process activities and/or parallel activities. In these cases the breadcrumb will extend to show all relevant levels from the current activity back up to the top level workflow.