With Nasdanika Flow you can model organizational processes as flows - directed graphs of activities connected by transitions and calls and performed by participants using resources and consuming and producing artifacts. Flow extends activity and as such flows can be nested. Artifacts can also be nested, which allows to model composite artifacts such as modular and distributed systems, e.g. a cloud application.
Flow models can be defined in a set of cross-referencing YAML files with supporting Markdown documentation either embedded in YAML or stored in files. Markdown documentation supports embedding of diagrams and token interpolation/substitution. Textual definitions of flows in multiple files allow to work with them in the same way as with source code, say, Java - branch, create a pull request, merge. In a way, Nasdanika Flow allows to write “programs” to be executed by an organization similar to how Java programs are executed by a JVM or how distributed systems, such as cloud applications, operate. Textual format also means that flow definitions can be edited and viewed using a wide variety of tools, including viewing and editing in a web browser using native facilities of source control systems such as GitHub.
A static web site is generated from flow models. Generated site includes generated visualizations - PlantUML State diagrams or Diagrams.net diagrams. Diagrams.net diagrams can be manually edited after generation. Dynamic behavior can be added to generated pages using Single Page Applications, e.g. applications built with Vue.js, VueRouter, and BootstrapVue. It allows to inject fine-grained productivity tools into activities where they are used. Such tools may use more generic tools behind the scenes and “bind” some contextual parameters to reduce participant’s mental load and probability of mistakes.
Flows can extend other flows forming an inheritance hierarchy similar to inheritance in languages such as Java or Docker images specifying base images. This allows to define base process/flow packages and extend/tailor them to specific needs.
Nasdanika Flow also features:
One way to think about a flow model is as of a “knowledge continuum” where knowledge of how to do things is organized in progression from generic to specific with bi-directional links between more generic and more specific pieces.
Activity documentation would be the most specific unit of knowledge, or, to be more precise, a mix of bits and pieces of knowledge from multiple domains/disciplines. For example, to perform a microservice development activity a developer need to know how to use IDE, source control system, an issue tracking system, etc. However, they don’t need to know all of that at the expert level. E.g. they just need to know how to commit their code to the source control system and how to update an issue. They don’t necessarily need to know how to do branching, merging, rebasing. Activity documentation may contain links to specific parts of reference manuals for resources and artifacts used by the activity, e.g. a specific chapter in a source control reference manual. Bi-directional references between activities and participants, resources, and artifacts used in activity are automatically generated.
Resource, Artifact, and Participant documentation is more generic, but still specific to the flow package. E.g. documentation for a build tool resource may provide a description how the tool is used in the flow and contain references to external resources - manuals, book, video courses. Bi-directional links between participants and tools/artifacts they use in all activities are automatically generated. A person who is new to playing a role of a particular participant may study participant documentation including resources the participant uses and activities it participates in.
And finally, resources referenced from the flow documentation are most generic and flow-independent. These resources can also be categorized, if needed, from specific to generic. E.g. there might be documentation on how to use a particular tool within the organization and documentation on how to use the tool in general.
To use the flow model add the following dependency to
<dependency> <groupId>org.nasdanika.core</groupId> <artifactId>flow</artifactId> <version>2022.1.2</version> </dependency>
A list of versions can be found here.