Workflow is the flow of work. :)

In other words, generally software and processes which automate and delineate the ways in which work is done. For example, on the staff of a publication there tend to be writers, editors, typesetters/page creators, etc... each staff member has a job and certain responsibilities. Workflow describes the path that tasks take between those jobs.
People are lazy bastards.

In workplace, they need to work in concert to achieve results too far-ranging for one person to manage.

What we call "the workplace" is simply a single, although complicated, case of the well-known phenomenon of "a person must earn his/her living by the sweat of his/her back."

Because there are as many opinions and viewpoints as people, working in concert is not naturally easy or effective. The current view of work at the workplace is that it needs to be managed in ordered to be effective.

This so-called management is an single-purpose activity which aims to make sure that whatever the task at hand is, it will be completed in time and in budget.

Management sounds simple only on paper. However it is a very complicated activity riddled with many problems. These problems often spring from the common case of a work task, project or mission not having been defined properly. This results in interpersonal conflicts between people who seem to have conflicting goals or objectives.

The tricky part to understand here is that while these situations seem very real to the participants, the conflicting tasks have all to be completed for progress to be made in the project or process.

There are certain classes of businesses and business processes which lend theirselves to analysis, compared to the majority of business processes of which it would be a folly to analyse or try to control.

Some of these easily analysable processes are suitable workflow analysis material. The workflow analysis is simply a description of the process (deus_x used newspaper publication as an example of a process, which needs to be completed in a fairly consistent manner daily) which details things such as tasks, actors, artifacts and many more, depending on how complete an analysis you wish to perform.

There is a class of software which seeks to automate some of the tedious repetitive management work related to the class of processes described earlier. Workflow Management software lets you model your process and takes care of the usual work management issues such as task completion, timing, artifact storage and so on. Or at least tries to do this.

I would very much like to implement a workflow management software package, but unfortunately it's 1am on a Sunday morning and I should be working on a client project at this very moment. Which sucks.

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