Workflow - 1970

Workflow is the term used to describe processes that are embedded in systems. It lists a series of tasks that must be completed and consists of any number of manual tasks as well as automated tasks.

Workflow: The automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information, or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules. - Workforce Management Coalition (1966)

Workflow began at Xerox Parc with the office automation prototypes that were being developed by Skip Ellis and Gary Nutt (Officetalk). The focus of office automation research or Business Process Automation was performed in order to:

"reduce the complexity of the user's interface to the [office information] system, control the flow of information, and enhance the overall efficiency of the office." Ellis, Nutt 1980, p. 28

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Cooper, C. K. (2002). The Relational Enterprise. New York: American Management Association.

Ellis, C. A.; Nutt, G. J. Office Information Systems and Computer Science. In ACM Computing Surveys, 12 (1980) 1, pp. 27-60.