Monday, August 23, 2010

You Have Workflow!

Workflow. People still ask for it occasionally. We pretend to ignore them in almost every case. "Workflow? What's that?" "Ohhh, the CMS doesn't do that. Sounds cool, though. Sorry!"

The fact of the matter is that workflow sounds wonderful to anal retentive micromanagement types, but the reality of workflow is an endless string of relentless emails requiring action on every trivial change. And no one, not even the most dedicated micro-manager has time - or the stomach for that.

For the few poor souls that we activated workflow for in our CMS, none of them lasted a week before they surrendered under the mountain of approval emails. We don't even offer it as a service, except when it is needed to keep certain people at arms distance from doing harm to our home page. For them, they think that workflow is what everyone goes through. Little do they know that we have consigned them to a special hell - the one reserved for child molesters and people who talk at theater*.

Workflows suck for all involved. Don't use them except for those rare cases where they actually make sense. Just don't. No.

*This is a Firefly reference, mostly directed at @Robin2go, who was going to present on Google Wave at HighEdWeb - before Google killed Wave, that is. Now she's going to present on the ephemeral nature of technologies. 


Cliff said...

AWESOME!!! Arrrrrgh workflows!!! Thanks as always @tonydunn

Old Man said...

I have had this argument with one of our tech support persons - Her philosophy is that since our CMS offers workflow control it must be good and we are doing a disservice to our users (or worse - I am just lazy) for not implementing it. But it would be my phone that would ring off the hook if we implemented it . . . .

Jason Pontius said...

Great stuff @tonydunn!

In our experience, the more checkoffs a user has to get before his content goes live on the Web, the less of a damn he'll give about whether it's good content or not.

Workflow overload » content suckitude.

mikeyc7m said...

Far too often I come across proposals for complicated or ad-hoc workflow "requirements."

I'll just send them here instead.


Robin2go said...

We're too damn pretty to die. *clenches fist* Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!!

See? I feel better now.