Essential Guide

Enterprise architect's guide to optimal BPM workflow

A comprehensive collection of articles, videos and more, hand-picked by our editors


Workflow is the series of activities that are necessary to complete a task.

Workflow is the series of activities that are necessary to complete a task.

Each step in a workflow has a specific step before it and a specific step after it, with the exception of the first step. In a linear workflow, the first step is usually initiated by an outside event. If the workflow has a loop structure, however, the first step is initiated by the completion of the last step.

Flowcharts and process maps are useful tools for visualizing the number and order of steps in a workflow. Flowcharts use simple geometric symbols and arrows to define if/then relationships. Process maps look somewhat similar, but they may also include support information, documenting the resources that each step in a business process requires.

Workflow can be automated with software tools that use business rules to decide when one step has been completed successfully and the next step can begin. Some workflow management software (WMS) programs can also coordinate dependent relationships between individual steps, a concept known as workflow orchestration. Workflow documentation and business process modeling are important aspects of business process management (BPM).

This was first published in October 2014

Continue Reading About workflow


'workflow' is part of the:

View All Definitions



Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Essential Guide

SOA BPM guide: Mobile, cloud drive BPM, BPEL changes

1 comment


Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by: