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Business Process and Workflow Standard

Business Process and Workflow solutions can consolidate one or more business processes and utilise workflow management or allow for the consistent definition and application of rulesets to facilitate user-centric transactions from beginning to end. They support commonly used functionality needed by government to manage internal and external process and rules management with stakeholders. 

When implemented well, they can increase productivity, efficiency, accuracy, visibility, and reporting. When not implemented in line with organisational needs the result can be cost and process inefficiencies, duplication of effort, and user dissatisfaction.

Agency function, such as policy, service delivery, legislative, or regulatory focuses, can be of value in identifying potential options for applications of this capacity and standard to meet the AGA policy objectives, although overarching capability may not necessarily align to the practical requirements of specific Business Process and Workflow solutions.

Develop a comprehensive understanding of specific automation needs

Agencies should analyse current business and workflow processes and decision-making gates, and assemble an aggregate view, before commencing a detailed solution investigation. This may require utilisation of business analysis and process mapping resources and quality assurance testing with business owners. The output from these mapping activities should be assembled as key business requirements for the proposed Business Process and Workflow platform.

Check for existing re-useable Business Process and Workflow designs before engaging in new development processes

Many instances of digital Business Process and Workflow solutions and platforms exist across government, one or more of which may be suitable for reuse through the instantiation of new instances of existing cloud implementations, or the leveraging of existing designs, either entirely or via utilisation of a component or components.

These designs may be discovered through the AGA, through direct contact with Agencies with comparable use cases, via existing Whole of Government arrangements, or by way of inter-government Memorandums of Understanding (MoU).

Build for Reuse

Where specific requirements have been defined and assessed against previous investment, and reuse has not been determined viable, agencies should provide evidence of which systems across government have been investigated and demonstrate how any new investment may be extensible and operationalised for reuse.

Implementing a Business Process and Workflow system aligned to modern demands and with a focus on future needs and standards is critical for reducing risk, increasing efficiency, and supporting consistent management of cases across government.

Any new system should be designed with a modular and scalable architecture, allowing for future extension and integration into other agency structures. Emphasising interoperability and standardisation in technologies and data formats ensures adaptability across different agencies. Additionally, user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive documentation should be incorporated to facilitate ease of implementation and use. This will allow for a streamlining of processes, promote consistency, and foster consistency across entities.

Lower development and maintenance complexity of Business Process and Workflow solutions

Business Process and Workflow solutions can often be implemented through low-code/no-code platform solutions that orchestrate a human-centred functionality to rapidly define, test, integrate, and present complex processes and rulesets in a modular and repeatable manner with minimal use of programming languages and an abstraction from the code itself.

Contemporary Business Process and Workflow solutions adopting low-code/no-code can benefit from the removal of layers between an analyst’s expertise and the materialised solution. Direct engagement between the analyst and the platform can assist with breaking down a complex business process or managing the role of a stakeholder within a workflow, providing benefits in not only rapidity of development but also in the potential for a better-understood and more refined process.

Agencies will ensure that their selected solution is supportable, affordable, secure, and fit-for-purpose, and should consider the suitability of low-code/no-code solutions prior to development or adoption of a monolithic platform. This includes checking the contractual arrangements, MoU currency, and AGA Design state.

Understand the existing technology environment

The Commonwealth digital landscape is vast with significant differentiation across agencies in terms of technology environments, such as extent of cloud adoption, legacy reliance, infrastructure design, age of systems, and long-term ICT strategy. Agencies should ensure that they have captured all relevant technology and business requirements to provide a basis for potential reuse investigation and assist any potential supplier request and engagement as part of a procurement process.

Several currently utilised platforms have been identified in the Designs section below. Specific platform types are provided to assist agencies with a starting point in their investigations.

Capabilities

This standard supports digital solutions in the following capability.
CAP57

Business Process and Workflow

Policies

This standard assists in meeting the requirements of the following policies.
POL33

Business Process and Workflow Policy

Designs

The following designs show how to achieve the intent of this standard.
Tranche 1 of the modernisation of the Australian Electoral Commission’s ICT systems and infrastructure.
The Dataplace website has integrated SurveyJS for easy content development of new web forms, in a solution that protects the privacy of form data from third party providers.
Establishment of the ICT infrastructure necessary for a national worker screening and registration scheme from 1 July 2024.
The Parliamentary Document Management System (PDMS) provides a service delivery capability to connect Australian Government agencies and Parliament under the Whole-of-Government (WofG) Parliamentary Workflow Solution (PWS).
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