Understanding Never Drop-Never Fail

Anne Ramey
Platform Admins, Process Owners, Workflow Developers

Never Drop

Never drop is the concept that nothing ever falls through the cracks. Things don't get assigned to empty teams, to teams that no longer exist, to people who are on vacation, and so on. In fact, a robust never drop system doesn't assign anything to a single individual. You never know when someone is going to be out sick, suddenly reassigned, and so forth.

Never Fail

Never fail is the concept that the system will never stop a workflow due to failure. There will always be a process in place to provide or allow intervention in any error.

Techniques

As you may already realize, building a never drop-never fail system is not a trivial task. It takes planning and commitment. Are you going to allow individual approvals and require individuals have alternates, or will all approvals be team approvals (even if some are teams of two)? How are you going to catch and process every single possible workflow error?

It was of the utmost importance to us that kinops, our SaaS instance of our platform, provide our customers with as much never drop-never fail as we could provide. As such, every possible handler is wrapped in a routine that allows assignment of any workflow errors to the appropriate data or workflow owner. Also, fail-safes were built in to prevent deletion of certain default teams, to reroute anything routed to an empty or non-existent team, and to warn teams of items approaching their deadlines.

These are not the only methods for providing a never drop-never fail system, and in fact, this is not particularly automated. Since we do not know exactly how each customer will use our SaaS solutions, we need to provide a flexible and robust solution rather than a focused and automated solution customers can write for their one-off builds. Meaning, each solution can be tailored to fit the needs of the situation, forms, and workflows and still provide the same end goals. This is where specific needs lead to specific integrations that solve specific cases of never drop-never fail.

It is completely possible to start with the flexible and robust and begin to tailor specific integrations as time goes forward. One of the wonderful things about the platform is the ability to change as you move forward.