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Designing Efficient BPM Applications by Antoine Mottier, Christine McKinty

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Chapter 9. Planning for Escalations and Exceptions

So far, this book has considered the normal use of an application, where everything works as planned. It is also necessary to consider what might not go according to plan in a process. This chapter considers the following abnormal situations:

Escalations
Actions to advance the process flow when it is delayed
Exceptions
Transient errors in process flow caused by temporary unavailability of external services

Escalations

It is good practice to build fail-safes into your process diagram for when the process flow gets blocked. A fail-safe is activated when some predefined condition is met or not met. There are two common types of fail-safes: reminders and escalations. A reminder is simply a message to someone that they have a task to perform. An escalation is reassigning the task to someone else.

In the Tahiti application, you will add a reminder so that if a manager does not review a vacation request within one week of submission, an automatic reminder is sent by email. You will also add an escalation, so that if there is a further delay, the vacation request can be reviewed by someone else. In the classic case, this is an escalation to the manager’s manager, but to be sure that one person’s absence does not block the process, you will escalate the review task to a group of people.

Add a Reminder

To add an automatic email reminder for a human task, you need to add a timer to the task. If the task has not started by the time limit, ...

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