Tags: Activity Factory, What is a Workflow?, Common Business Workflows, Document Approval Workflow

Document Approval Workflow Illustration

Image: Document Approval Workflow

What is workflow?

Business Dictionary describes workflow as...

Progression of steps (tasks, events, interactions) that comprise a work process, involve two or more persons and create or add value to the organization's activities. In a sequential workflow, each step is dependent on the occurrence of the previous step; in a parallel workflow, two or more steps can occur concurrently.

The example above is a typical Document Approval process. 

  • Step 1 is to create a draft
  • Step 2 is getting approval for the draft
  • If approved, proceed to Step 3, publish the document and the workflow is completed.
  • If not approved, repeat Step 1, and so on until the draft gets approved and published.

Workflows happen every day in all businesses.  Sometimes they are just not defined in any document or diagram but rather they are just practiced by training or apprenticeship.

What are the common business workflows?

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Requisition
  • Procurement
  • Expense Reimbursements
  • Expense Liquidation

What is a workflow software?

The workflow software is also known as Business Process Management (BPM) software. It's main features are...

  • Provide a means to design workflows, like the example above "Document Approval Workflow"
  • Automatically execute and route work to different employees or people.
  • Have a means of tracking the progress of each workflow or process