Scaling Large Workflows Part 1: Embracing a Modular Approach

Moses HardingProduct Owner
Scaling Large Workflows Part 1: Embracing a Modular Approach
Scaling Large Workflows Part 1: Embracing a Modular Approach

Embracing a Modular Approach


What’s Workflow? 

Workflow stands out as one of the most useful tools Neota has to offer, allowing businesses to easily scale processes as needs grow. As real-world processes expand, the intricacy of workflows also increases, so we should be deliberate about the way that we model them.


Traditionally, building business automation solutions involved creating a monolithic app for large business processes, which encapsulates every sub-process. However, with tools like Neota’s Workflow, a more streamlined strategy has emerged. Rather than consolidating all functionalities into a single app, users  now possess the flexibility to break down responsibilities into separate apps, each dedicated to distinct tasks.


Consider a scenario where one person handles the entire process of generating, reviewing, signing, and sending a contract to a third party. Instead of a single app managing all these functions, we should break down the overall process into discrete tasks. Create separate apps for generating the contract, reviewing it, and signing it – even though all these responsibilities fall under the purview of a single individual.


Why modularity matters

This modular approach offers several advantages, the first being scalability. Real-life workflows evolve organically to align with changing business needs. When a new process is introduced, having individual apps allows us to seamlessly integrate the new functionality without complicating existing ones. This reduces the risk of unexpected results, bugs, and complexity.


The second advantage lies in maintenance. Breaking down an app into modular components simplifies the process of making small changes. Whether it’s tweaking some text, removing an email, or adding a web service, having isolated apps makes the modification process easy. It’s clear where to go for a specific change, and if something breaks, only one app requires attention, not an entire monolithic structure.


This modular approach also benefits collaboration and knowledge transfer within a team. Colleagues taking over maintenance of a workflow can easily understand the structure and functionalities of each task, thanks to its modular design.


Lastly, a modular approach facilitates the ability to rearrange a subprocess. Suppose you need to add an additional signatory before sending a contract to another party, or you need to have the other party sign before the requester. In a modular setup, it becomes easier to shift components around, enabling a swift adjustment to the workflow’s direction.


The better way to build business automation apps 

My recommendation is to adopt a modular approach when creating workflows. Embracing a modular structure over a monolithic one enhances scalability, simplifies maintenance, promotes collaboration, and provides the flexibility to adapt to changing business requirements. By doing so, we can build workflows that are not only efficient but also resilient to the dynamic nature of real-life business processes.


Learn more about maintaining strong data management while adopting the modular approach to workflow automation in Part 2 of this series.

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