Studying The History Of Workflow Management Systems IT Essay

1. Introduction

In this workshop, I'd like to introduce the annals and classification of workflow management system. In that, we can labeled the workflow into several. Then, standard and types of workflows. Beside that, I also present the benefits of using workflow management system.

Other than that, I also introduced one of the collaborative system which to assist in workflow management system, that is file management system. I am going to briefly discuss the annals, definition and advantages of systems and usage of the system to assist in workflows systems and related to doc management.

In groupware. I will introduced the annals and description of it. Furthermore, I will discuss about the region and levels of groupware with its advantages. I will linked and discovered how do they interact to deliver a well manage workflow from different level of lecturer and personnel in developed the new course and its own details.

2. Workflow management system

2. 1 Introduction

In 1980 ago, the majority of the firms and customers were seen an problems and obstacle. It was due to structure of company were very inflexible and slow-moving to response the new requirement from the marketplaces and customers. As the marketplace become international, the competition between organizational increased swiftly. To beat and increased the energy of competition, company need to changes their firm structure to experienced the new requirement from market. Due to these challenges, computer sciences industry have to created and create a new information communication technology to best suited the new requirement of markets. So the workflow technologies originated in early 1990 was an resulting in the new pattern of computer industry.

Workflow management systems is originates from the term "workflow", meaning is sequence of jobs/ procedure to spread to a person or a organizations of individuals on a simple or intricate works. It may also delegate a tiny part of big activity to send out, work break up to others people for managing purposes. The most common described the stream refer to the record that has been transferred in one to some other. For more detailed, workflow is an activity that can detailed the information move, process of work and organizational structure such as functions and hierarchies into a work process.

(Wikipedia, 2010)

2. 2 History

In 1990s, workflow management system was created predicated on workflow process and business guidelines. The main purpose of the creation is to fixed the paper-based process with electric process. By the end of 1990s, the workflow management system was made with additional function like modelling tools, business guidelines process among others. But in yr 2005, Microsoft was made windows workflow groundwork to replaced the original workflow with others efficiency like BPM (Business Process Management).

(Wikipedia, 2010)

2. 3 Definition

In workflow management system, they will vary module to run the business process. For instance, document images processing, office system and transaction handling was build of these trend. From the beginning, the machine is more concerned about storing, retrieving and tracking the info and information. Later, the system will more emphasized on office system which e-mails can be the core module to communicated for workflow system to switch data and documents among them.

In workflow management, there can divided into four generation (see figure 1). In first generation of workflow management system, the system is more concentrating on e-mails exchange and report management. Then in next era, the workflow process are tailorable through coding. Third generation, the systems have the standard architecture then can completely supported with third party tools. In fourth generation, the systems can fully backed with e-mail exchange, workflow process management etc.

WORKFLOW1. JPG (61753 Byte)

Workflow management systems is a pc system that manage multiple tasks within an organisation to create productivity to others. It allow us to explain workflows for work of functions or types of careers. Example, in a developing company, the product of design file may from artist then move to technical people to production engineer. Atlanta divorce attorneys stage of workflow, every specific is accountable for their specific process and jobs. When the task is completed, the workflow management system can make sure that people that responsible for the duty are notified and the information they need to process in their own phases. Its also help eliminate redundant jobs and more uncompleted process are implemented up. This called dependencies, means the system required the dependencies of every completion jobs. Others function of workflow management systems is using to replacing paper document transfer (paperless).

(Kmpf and Gromann. 2006).

2. 3. 1 Classification of workflow management system

There are 3 classification types of workflow management system, that is production workflow, random workflow and administrative systems.

Production workflow

Production workflow will be the predefined job, duties to be process or need additional steps. For as example, in the cases of car accidents, they will involve several basic steps (discovering the parties engaged, log the police survey and confirm with the agent of policy coverage) and additional steps (controlling bodily damage, compensate of property, fixing of the car). Development workflow dedicate the process and keep maintaining the efficiency.

Ad workflows

Ad hoc workflows are through conversations and created new thing for every workflow. Advertising workflows always use e-mail to handle the work. In exemplory case of groupware, everyone need to collaborate to make or work on new design on a new product.

Administrative workflow

Administrative workflow are combination of ad hoc and development workflows. Implies that the flow is pre-defined (e. g. approval of expense survey) and they will use e-mail to talk to others. This work is generally used by supervision for example of travel promises.

(Kmpf and Gromann. 2006).

2. 3. 2 Standardization

The following diagram will specified the standard for Workflow Management Coalition(WIMC) which included characteristics, functions and interfaces.

WORKFLOW2. JPG (48021 Byte)

by Shegalov, Gillmann, and Weikum (2001)

Refer to figure 2, the standardization of workflow are prevails in three level. The first levels is how the workflow fit all the procedure collectively. Second level is abstract specs means that what the info of function needed. Third level is the details of the way the function executed using the various tools.

Refer to find 2, there are five Program programming user interface (API) surround with workflow engine unit. The API is functional as interact and talk between clients and workflow engine motor.

Process meaning: This is actually the process that will involved the workflow and allocated the resources example: system and folks to execute the careers.

Client interface: This interface that your workflows will involved by software.

Involved applications: This software engaged the workflow software like example: report management system, email system and file imaging system.

External workflow services: This program is deal with exterior workflow of the business or others companies.

Administration and monitoring : This interface is efficient as admin and keep an eye on of all workflow being performed.

These five interface become the bare minimum criteria for workflow system. It is very important to having system architecture to handle existing environment and applied it with others business related companies.

(Kmpf and Gromann. 2006).

2. 3. 3 Types of workflows

There are two types of workflows.

Sequential workflow

Sequential workflow style is execute group of process and activities sequentially or one accompanied by another. There are no return to previous movement if required. For example figure 3.

http://i. msdn. microsoft. com/Ee231606. SP_Sequential(en-us, VS. 100). png

Figure 3

State machine workflow

State machine workflow is incorporate of state, activities and more. These workflow usually sophisticated and may go back to previous flow if required. For example body 4.

State Machine Workflow

Figure 4

(Msdn, 2010).

2. 4 Benefits of Workflow Management System

2. 4. 1 Improve productivity

There are extensive benefits of using the workflow management system. One of the advantages is it can help the organization to improve their productivity. Before it, the employees will spend a lot of times on doing the manual tasks for example to approve the customers changes on their details on paper works. This may waste great deal of man ability, times, resources and money on this dummy works. Furthermore, it will slow down the business performance and risk the introduction of it. With the machine, every things can doing on break up of eyes. Whenever there are changes of the details, staffs can send e-mails to their supervisor to approve the changes somewhat than newspaper work.

2. 4. 2 Visibility

It also important to let administrator having visibility on the business enterprise workflow. For administrator, it is responsible for them to understand the complete workflow of team. If there are any happen with business critical functions, he will discovered it and take appropriate steps to get over it. For instance, in the delivery office, there are whole lot of wrong delivery to destination. Supervisor may easily discovered which stream are causes the mistakes.

2. 4. 3 Faster change to business reaction

Besides that, it allows the business to presenting faster business a reaction to change. In the organization, top management may change corporation business moves or business process reengineering to respond to market changes. For manager, they could quickly change it out through process modification on workflow system. Example, if customers pay the bills for abnormal purchase by using credit card, operator of credit card company may call the greeting card owner to confirmed the transaction to avoid fraud.

2. 4. 4 Accountability

For manger, it can improve accountability skills. Supervisor have guide and knowledge of process, it can benefit him to allocate resources and man capacity to which processes are definitely more necessary. This may reduce wasteful of resources on concentrate to other major process. Example, director may identify supervision department need smaller staffs compare to accounting division. So, he is able to swap some staffs to accounting section to improved output rather waste resources or terminate the staffs.

3. Electronic record management system

3. 1 History

From yr 1980s, there are great deal of computer people began to formulate a system to manage the paper-based doc and images of any company to lessen the every year huge expenses on paper. Later, they created the first system called electronic doc management (EDM) system to maintained those report that created by computer systems. In addition, it known as record imaging systems, because the key function were take, storage, and retrieve the file. In addition, it help the organization to fully capture faxes and save document as images.

(Wikipedia. 2010).

3. 2 Definition

Electronic record management system is a kind of software applications to arranged and manage electric document. For example, word handling documents, image, spreadsheets and more. The record which users can transform and store the record in electric form or images for the purpose of retrieving, showing, distributing, version control, workflow management. Record management system will require scanning device to convert the report to digital form for storing.

(Wikipedia. 2010).

3. 3 Function of digital document management system

In electronic file management system, there are few major function to manage the document

Data recording and storage space - both in record and out record are required to tagged with time frame and time of previous accessed.

Capturing documents - when scanner scan the images of hard duplicate document into electric formats, it'll stored it in data source for easy storage space and adaptable retrieving the report.

Document retrieval - the system make the doc retrieve easier by hitting some button rather than search it in pantry.

Create indexes - system can help to organize report by create indexes to uniquely identified each group of report and save time for looking.

Version control - system able to keep keep track of multiple version of same document to control and store multiple version of data to system.

(Marc, B. 2010).

(Bestpricecomputers. 2010).

3. 3 Advantages of Electronic Record Management System

3. 3. 1 Reduced safe-keeping spaces

The storage report in an corporation always can be an big issues for the kids. If the business which exist more than 10 years, it will be a huge amount of documentary in corporation. By scanning those documents and store in DMS system can reduce a huge amount of newspaper storage. Beside of this, it also help the organization to reduce cost of storage to store documents.

3. 3. 2 Prevent lost files

In an organization, it's very common a file can lost it easily without having a well-organized storage space. Lost of documents can be an loss for a business and need time to displace it. Furthermore, hardcopy of information which retrieved from storage, can lead to damage because others may getting the same data file. With DMS, the image of the record will store in the server and can view by others without shedding and ruined.

3. 3. 3 Improved security

DMS can offer a much better security, flexible to gain access to on doc level based on the amount of groups and folks. Documents that store in DMS are required authentication and gain access to code to view and enhance the documents, it also get rid of the unauthorized visitors to access confidential documents. Example, within an firm, staffs are need password and username to access groups of doc instead of easily receive the file stores in pantry with no authorization checking. Furthermore, DMS can provide audit function of who, when and which documents being gain access to by staffs.

3. 3. 4 Handled and advanced distribution

Documents imaging are often distribute to co-workers and staffs by e-mail and web instead of photocopy to talk about. This provide cost saving by lowering organization's paper file for example printing and postage which with hard duplicate documents.

3. 3. 5 Flexible retrieval

Keeping the softcopy version of documents in DMS system is way better against hardcopy file. For the reason that that, it more fast to get the documents compare to looking in case to obtain the files. Staffs can spend lesser time to find the records in their own desk without giving.

3. 3. 6 Version control

Documents are stored in network can be evolved by users without changing record. Document management system require documents to be tested first for change and check in to save changes into database. It can view the complete history of documents of who and when to altered the documents.

3. 3. 7 Reduced costs

When implemented the machine, we can reduced a lot of unnecessary paper work's cost on it especially for TAR college with huge amount of students intake and great deal of lecturers.

(Content Administrator. 2008).

3. 3 Critical evaluation

In TAR college or university, it is emergent need for the file management system (DMS). The reason is to reduced the documents areas. For TAR college that happen to be big education institute with approximated 6000 people intake every year, there should be plenty of students's details and documents than it. The area need to stored, monitored and categories these students is a "headache" problems for staffs. Beside that, lecturer may have document sharing as debate on new course development.

Loss of documents will be an norms for bad techniques on document management. In TAR school, with large amount of report and lecturer works. It will easily loss their file if impropriate managed and storing scheduled to. Those information are valuable to them and time consuming to displace it. Example, record of students or analysis on course developed.

Beside that, with DMS, the documents and information are securely been stored in it. Someone is necessary password to access certain documents. This to prevent unauthorized staff and lecturer to access some highly private and students details or financial documents to safeguard privacy preventing disclosure those information to third party. Example, normal staffs may not easily obtain the financial record from finance section.

The results from discussion of course developed is essential to keep its version control. That is to make certain the workflow of it is well handled under DMS. Without it, it is easily mess up with more aged version results and produced inaccurate discussion and results based on old version conversation.

Other than that, with DMS, personnel and lecturer may easily to retrieve the information by clicking on some button rather than actually go to other department to get it from cupboard. Example, lecturer reference some course details from course development department.

In "Extending Record Management Systems with User-Specific ActiveProperties" journal. The author stated out 4 problems of traditional doc management system. That's file documents, deal with document, locate documents and talk about documents.

-For data file documents: it displays that one documents are relevant to multiple activities and team. Example, travel ideas are relate to budget decision and scheduling with the office of accounting and HR.

-For manage record: the administrative function of documents corresponding to needs of user needs.

-For locate documents: documents may submitted to 1 criterion but retrieved matching to some other, because cannot define the cross-cutting group of categorization to group of documents.

-For share documents: organization may not know that particular document is relevant to people or need of their groups of people.



'Groupware' was introduced by a people Richman and Slovak in 1980. They say that "As an electronic digital sinew that binds teams along, the new groupware seeks to place the computer squarely in the middle of communications among managers, technicians, and other people who interacts in organizations, revolutionizing just how they work. "(8)

In 1990s, the business who used the groupware are Boeing and IBM. They make use of it as conference tools to control the jobs. Then lotus records become major software of groupware. It allow group of men and women to work together in internet in early stage.

Slowly, groupware was completely integrate in site and come out Blogging platforms 2. 0 for the purpose of host a corporate network. The functionalities include file showing, instant messaging, web conferencing with others.

(Wikipedia. 2009)


Groupware also called as collaborative software. The purpose of groupware is to improve the documents and other materials to be shared effectively in team cooperation. Before that, we have to understand the human being interaction is crucial to build software to meet their needs.

There are three ways of real human interact: conversations, deals and collaborations.

Conversational connections: It is the information writing between several people, the purpose is to build the relationship among them. Communication technology are instant messaging, E-mail while others.

Transactional interaction: It really is to exchange transfer entities, methods to alter marriage between members. One participant exchange money for products to become customer. It effectively in exchange systems for manage data for prolonged change.

Collaborative discussion: participants' romance is to improve a collaborative entity. Example, to attain the goal. So, true cooperation technology is to bring many people to achieve a common outcome. To get the many work into a managed environment is collaboration technology.

We can divided groupware into 4 area

Knowledge management tools

Knowledge creation tools

Information showing tools

Collaborative task management tools

(Wikipedia. 2009)

Collaborative job management

Collaborative project management tools (CPMT) is identified all in depth of collaboration and management of project and its own related knowledge areas. Beside that, it also called business related goals that used for job management.

Example of collaborative job management tools

Collaborative job management tools

Instant messaging



Web conferencing


Web publishing

Revision control

Document versioning

Document sharing

Levels of groupware

Groupware can be divided in 3 categories based on level of cooperation: communication tools, conferencing tools and collaborative tools.

Communication: It really is unstructured way to switch information. For example, instant message talk and phone chatting.

Conferencing: Interactive work toward a goal. For example brainstorming from group of people and also voting.

Collaborative: sophisticated interdependent work toward an objective. Everyone was contribute their effort and work in a different way on achieving a goal. Example, everyone within an corporation from different office are work hard in their own position to add their work in organization to generate more income.

(Wikipedia. 2009)

Communication tools

Communication tools is use to communicate with people and showing information by text messages or documents. Example


Revision control

Web publishing

(Wikipedia. 2009)

Conferencing tools

Conferencing tools is use to showing information in more interesting and responsive way. Example

Forums - a web discussion spaces to control messages from other folks.

Online talk - a real-time meaning convertion and discussion. Example MSN.

Videoconferencing - networked Computers conference with video tutorial and music.

Instant messaging.

(Wikipedia. 2009)

Collaborative tools

Collaborative tools is use to control group activities. Example

Workflow systems - management of responsibilities and documents in business process.

Project management system - it is a system to schedule and tasks assigned to people the steps in jobs to be completed.

Knowledge management system - it is a system for an organization to build, store and distribute good methods and experience.

(Wikipedia. 2009)

Advantages of groupware

Increase efficiency

Groupware is to give a centralized access indicate gain access to information. Group people have to gain access to their related information because of their tasks in their group. It could remove redundant work, required less time to search data, and spend more time in responsibilities.

(Web conferencing area. 2005).

Define and enforce process

With groupware, we can understand how the info is flows. All the documentation are continued the individual who make changes. This will help group users to ensure them to perform their jobs and content with their contribution to the projects.

(Web conferencing area. 2005).

Provide structure

Thought groupware, it can show the group people of the way the responsibilities been allocated, the particular goals of projects, expectation from them. Group members are know that their process and assignments of projects. Other than that is to provide job management with scheduling and monitoring facilities.

(Web conferencing area. 2005).

Critical evaluation


In conclusion, workflow management system can help us to manage the task circulation to be more easily and clear. It can identified the business process, the duty assigned to particular users and goal of the assignments.

Beside of this, it need electric document management system to control the task and documents of people to work better and efficiency.

Lastly, groupware will help group customers to communicate more easily and effectively on discourse and reporting the methods to carry their responsibilities.

In conclusion, I am going to put together these technology to create a system to let lecturer can have an improved environment on discuss and developed a new course structure.

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