Suppose the HR department usually sends an email outlining the institute’s formal disciplinary procedures to an employee if any form of discipline is recorded on the employee’s HR record. The process that will cause the email to be sent will be the entry of a new disciplinary record onto the employee’s HR record.
Once the process has been defined, the first action it is to trigger should be considered. In the above example this would be creation of an email with an attachment.
This is an example of the very simplest situation where no further actions are required and we are not waiting for any results from the action.
However, there may be situations where further actions are required depending upon the completion or otherwise of the current action. In these cases, it may be useful to have a sketched plan of the Workflow defining the actions in order.
A chain of actions may comprise a number of actions performed in succession, automatically by the system, without user intervention. In such circumstances the system simply needs to know which action is next.
In this case the entry of a disciplinary record will cause the creation of an email to the employee and then when this is complete, straight away another email to their line manager then the whole process is considered finished and nothing further occurs.
In other cases we may be waiting for some kind of result from the action, i.e. that it has been successfully resolved within the waiting time or not, and if not what should we do next. This involves the additional components of a waiting time and result at the end of this waiting time.