- Downstream – from a manager to subordinates (to prepare a reply to an incoming issue)
- Upstream – from a staff member to his/her manager (to obtain an official permission to do something)
- Peer – from a somebody to his/her peers (to inform your partners)
Thirdly, some combinations of different consultations are possible. A staff member sends a memo to his/her manager with copies to colleagues concerned (upstream ) and the manager asks somebody to validate this memo (downstream).
Let us try to express all this complexity is the following diagram. There are four roles: Boss (who receives the issue), Reviewers (who are assigned to prepare a reply), CCs (who are just informed about the issues and final reply) and Workers (who, sometimes, must do something before sending the final reply).
Of course, there are a few tricks:
- Boss selects Reviewers, CCs and Workers dynamically.
- One of Reviewers may be a lead of a temporary group of Reviewers.
- There may be a decision process (should be another blogpost) among Reviewers.
- Coordination between Boss and Reviewers may be more complex than depicted in the diagram (e.g. Boss receives all replies by him/her-self).
- Reply (as a business object) life-cycle is not shown.