Workflow

related topics
{system, computer, user}
{theory, work, human}
{company, market, business}
{math, number, function}
{work, book, publish}
{math, energy, light}
{build, building, house}
{group, member, jewish}
{service, military, aircraft}
{food, make, wine}
{film, series, show}
{church, century, christian}
{line, north, south}

A workflow consists of a sequence of connected steps. It is a depiction of a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person, a group of persons,[1] an organization of staff, or one or more simple or complex mechanisms. Workflow may be seen as any abstraction of real work, segregated in workshare, work split or other types of ordering. For control purposes, workflow may be a view on real work under a chosen aspect,[2] thus serving as a virtual representation of actual work. The flow being described often refers to a document that is being transferred from one step to another.

A workflow is a model to represent real work for further assessment, e.g., for describing a reliably repeatable sequence of operations. More abstractly, a workflow is a pattern of activity enabled by a systematic organization of resources, defined roles and mass, energy and information flows, into a work process that can be documented and learned.[3][4] Workflows are designed to achieve processing intents of some sort, such as physical transformation, service provision, or information processing.

Workflow concepts are closely related to other concepts used to describe organizational structure, such as silos, functions, teams, projects, policies and hierarchies. Workflows may be viewed as one primitive building block of organizations. The relationships among these concepts are described later in this entry.

The term workflow is used in computer programming to capture and develop human-to-machine interaction.

Contents

Related concepts

The concept of workflow is closely related to several other fields in operations research and other fields that study the nature of work, either quantitatively or qualitatively, such as artificial intelligence (in particular, the sub-discipline of AI planning) and ethnography. The term workflow is more commonly used in particular industries, such as printing, and professional domains, where it may have particular specialized meanings.

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