What is Workflow process and different types of workflow process

What is Workflow process

The sequential arrangement of procedural tasks that occurs for effortless processing of tasks, documents, and the information is known as workflow process. It is a magical way to maintain coordination among employees, multi-tasking staff and other members of an organization. If a company holder is seeking enhanced productivity and managerial efficiency, then maintenance of a workflow process is something that can help a company touching the sky.

The workflow process is quite usual among almost every businessman as it assists in gathering knowledge about the progress of some services or projects. It does not depend on types and functions of industries, but, whenever there are two or more than two people are involved in the management of something, it gets created. Thus, a simple series required for conduction of good processing is known as workflow process.

Regardless of human beings, computers or any super digital devices, a workflow defines them all. But, it has three primary qualities or can say its terms or conditions, without which it does not make sense. On the very first note, repetitions will always be there. Another is that workflows cannot define the working of a single person. Last, but not the least say that progression of steps cannot be unpredictable at any cost.

  • Definition of Workflow process:

The renowned and reliable encyclopedia of words, the Oxford dictionary defines the workflow with this definition: “The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.” Thus, the description is quite lucid to articulate the real meaning of workflow.

  • Types of Workflow process:

After understanding the term, now comes to know the types of tasks involved in a workflow process, then one can divide these into two categories, human or computer-based tasks. Human tasks include creation and approval of documents along with the picking data from various files and compilation of that. On the other hand, the tasks which involve analysis, and transfer of data from one source to another lie in the category of system tasks.

  • Workflow management system:

While paying a keen eye to a workflow process, there comes a new term “workflow management system,” which can be depicted as the compilation of some workflows. A bit more than the sequential arrangement of tasks provides the real meaning to the management system of workflows.

Suppose you are looking at the workflow process of a consumer, then you can arrange the steps from the choice of things, preparation of invoice and purchase for paid items. But, on the other hand, the same process will be there in case of vendor too. So, management of both processes will be conducted by the retailer which is known as a management system for the same.

  • Types of Workflow process:

While coming to types of process, one should keep in mind that neither the kind of workflow process nor arrangement of tasks can be identical in all the cases. Hence, there is a need to have a look at the types of process, so that one can illustrate a clear interpretation of tasks from provided data. There are three types, which are defined as follows.

  1. Sequential Workflow

As the name suggests, the sequence must be moving forward in the case of the sequential workflow process. A standard flowchart is a perfect option to describe this type, where one step comes after another, without any backward movement.

Illustration: Suppose we are depicting a flowchart in the formation of curd, then we will add milk and some amount of lactic acid into the same. This will lead to fermentation and curd is ready to serve. But, if you are thinking to make the milk back from curd, then it is next to impossible.

Thus, it is straightforward to understand the sequential process by relating the term with this illustration as the process does not contain coming back to the initial stage.

  1. State Machine Workflow

“State” to “State” are those words which can add meaning to the terminology of state machine workflow. These workflows are bit composite as these contain both to and fro motions of the steps involved into it. If there is any requirement of coming back to the initial or previous steps, then it is not much challenging to achieve that level in these workflow systems.

Illustration: Suppose a customer visited a cafe to have coffee, then the process of formation will be identical in each case, but he may need to warm the coffee again, then the provider needs to incorporate some steps back.

With this example, you can understand that the state machine workflow process contains returning to the previous steps if needed. The progression of levels of the performance of tasks is all which can compile to make the formation of the whole process.

  1. Rules-driven Workflow

Rules-driven workflow is not much different than the sequential one, as its implementation is based on the same strategy. But, there is the addition of some triggered rules as the progress of the workflow chart depends on those rules.

Illustration: Suppose a customer is willing to buy a dress, then the sequence of workflow will remain the same. But, the whole chart will get differentiated by the choices. For example: If an individual wants to buy a black dress, then they can get the size 34 only, and if yellow, then all the sizes are available. Then, the step A, which includes a choice of color and size may vary according to demand. But, step B which provides for payment will remain the same.

In this way, we can understand that the rules-driven workflow is quite identical to the sequential one, as there is no back movement, whereas steps can diversify.

  • Benefits of arranging the workflow process:

The coordination of tasks through the workflow process endows the people in business with a plethora of advantages, which are as follows.

  • The processes will have more transparency than before.
  • The reaction time in the businesses will get a rapid increase.
  • More will be the production.
  • Accountability will get improved with the implementation of the workflow