Work Flow

What Does Work Flow Mean?

Work flow is the sequence of connected steps that make up a work process. Work flow is considered as an abstraction of real work involving the effort of a group of people. Determining an efficient work flow can add significant value to an organization’s activities.


Techopedia Explains Work Flow

A work flow is a depiction of a sequence of operations. It describes the overall tasks, steps, people involved, tools, input and output required for every step in a business process. Work flow models represent real work are enabled through a systematic organization of resources, information flows and defined roles.

The concept of work flow is related to other concepts such as projects, functions, teams, hierarchies and policies. It’s the initial building block of an organization and is a required input for executing organizational plans. Work flow problems are modeled and analyzed using graph-based formalisms and are measured based on processing time and throughput.

Work flow management systems manage and define tasks within an organization to produce final outcomes. This system defines different work flows for different process types or tasks. Once the initial level of a task is completed, work flow software ensures that the individuals handling the next tasks are notified and receive the data needed to execute the next stage of the process. Work flow management also automates redundant tasks and ensures follow-up on any uncompleted or pending tasks besides replacing paper work-order transfers.

Software systems generally support work flows in particular domains and manage partially automated processing, automatic routing and integration between functional software applications and hardware systems.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…