K4 v6 Workflow: Don’t Go Overboard

The greatest temptation in creating a workflow in K4 v6 is making one that is too complicated. For example, main articles and sidebars might follow similar but not identical steps. Multiple workflows can make it clear exactly what should be done with different types of text objects. But there is a cost to creating multiple workflows for the same type of object:

 

  1. Queries might be more complicated. In K4 v5.x a query could be for articles, layouts or both. In v6 a query can be set for individual workflows. For example, right now we have 2 article workflows for a publication, Standard and Credits. In setting up a query for all articles I know have to specify that the query is for both workflows. This also means that a simple query can be for everything or for everything or a single workflow. Depending how your office works this might be an advantage or a disadvantage.
  2. It is more work to maintain. If I have multiple workflows that are almost identical, maintenance is more difficult. When I need to modify one of these workflows I will probably need to make the same change to all of them. This increases the chance of making an error. However, it could be worth it if it makes the life of the editors, writers and/or designers — the people who actually create the publication — easier.
  3. Complexity. Multiple workflows can add complexity. Will the staff always assign the correct workflow when they start a workflow? How will you handle moving an object from one workflow to another? There is no mechanism in for this in K4 so you want to do this correctly the first time.

My advice is to start with simple workflows and resist the urge to build edifices that no one cares about. Once you and your staff gain experience with K4 v6 you can start adding complexity intelligently. It is easier to create a new workflow than to remove one. Some reasons for creating multiple workflows might disappear with future upgrades to K4 v6. Figure out what works for your office or publication before creating theoretical castles in the sky that don’t help get the publication our of the door.