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Work flow management is the administration of multiple steps or tasks within a business process. Individuals conducting work flow management will assess how work flows through a specific business process, moving from person to person and from task to task, as part of a broader look at how to improve operations.
Much of work flow management consists of analysis of a work flow that’s done in order to look for improvement opportunities. Software called work flow management systems can help to define a work flow and present clear opportunities for change. Other aspects of work flow management might involve actually changing the business process to affect outcomes.
A lot of people in IT talk about work flow management in relation to inefficient or clunky processes that need to be streamlined. For example, in certain industry processes that involve a lot of stakeholders, detailed information, and back-and-forth between various offices, work flow analysis and management can lead to vastly improved outcomes. Some examples include the health care industry and various insurance industries, where a successful claim resolution or case resolution requires the involvement of several parties and a lot of documentation of costs, customer identifiers and other information.