Lightweight Workflow

Lightweight Workflow

Hajo A. Reijers (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-669-3.ch019
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This chapter describes lightweight workflow as a possible approach to counter many of the issues related to the introduction and sustained use of operational workflow management systems. Aside from a description of the essential features of lightweight workflow, this chapter also provides a reflection on the application of lightweight workflow in practice. Lightweight workflow is a very relevant direction to be aware of for practitioners who consider the use of workflow technology. Researchers may find inspiration from this chapter to further the adoption of workflow management technology.
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A workflow management system (WfMS) is a software system that supports the specification, execution, and control of business processes (Jablonski & Bussler, 1996; van der Aalst & Hee, 2002). Conceptually, it can be said to do so by separating the logistics of the business process – as managed by the WfMS – from the content of the process – which is managed with other applications and carried out by various types of performers. The logistic side of a business process is taken care of by a WfMS on the basis of a predefined workflow plan, which can be used to hand out work items to the right performers in the right order, at the right time. The advantages of using a WfMS in this way are fourfold (Reijers et al., 2003):

Key Terms in this Chapter

Workflow Management System: A system that completely defines, manages and executes workflows through the execution of software whose order of execution is driven by a computer representation of the workflow logic.

Lightweight Workflow Management System: Lightweight workflow management systems are workflow management systems that only provide the most basic functionalities and are characterized by a relatively small and non-intrusive effort to implement and adopt them, in particular by depending on the involvement of business users.

Workflow: the computerized facilitation or automation of a business process, in whole or part.

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