Originally published on July 29, 2017

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45th in a series of 50 Knowledge Management Components (Slide 59 in KM 102)

Workflow applications: software that connects and sequences different applications, components, and people, all of which must be involved in the processing of data to complete an instance of a process

Workflow automation is not strictly a knowledge management application, but it can be an important enabler by means of allowing knowledge capture and reuse to be embedded in routine business processes. By so doing, the likelihood of desired knowledge being collected and retrieved at the appropriate times is significantly increased, since there is no separate KM process which may or may not be followed.

For example, for call centers, there are four KCS (Knowledge-Centered Support) practices “that contribute to the creation and maintenance of knowledge in the Solve Loop: Capture in the workflow: while responding to the request, we capture the requestor’s context (their words and phrases) as well as the responder’s knowledge. As tacit knowledge becomes explicit in the context of use, it becomes part of the article. Capturing this tacit information makes the article findable and reusable.”

Look for opportunities to add knowledge capture and reuse to existing workflow applications, and consider implementing new ones THAT do this. The result will be fewer extra steps, more automated knowledge flow, and improved business results.

Example from Deloitte using Microsoft SharePoint

Step 1: If you are part of a workflow you will receive a task notification

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Step 2: Review Request

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Step 3a: Approve Task related to the request (access from original email notification)

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Step 3b: Approve Task

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Step 4a: Each team member completes their step

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Step 4b: Each team member completes their step

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Step 4c: Each team member completes their step

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  1. Workflow Process
  2. What is a Workflow Application? by Neil Miller
  3. Should you use a portal platform for your workflow and business process needs? by Apoorv Durga
  4. Do You Understand the Difference Between Workflow and BPM? by Janelle Hill
  5. Top 5 Signs Your Organization Needs a BPM and Workflow Management System by Julia Saunders
  6. Forrester Study Finds Big Savings in Workflow Automation by Tom Murphy
  7. KMWorld Buyers Guide: Workflow
  8. KMWorld Magazine — Workflow Topic
  9. CMS Wire
  10. 7 Features You Need to Have in Your Workflow Management System in 2017/18 by Comindware
  11. Top 7 Features to Look For in a Workflow Software by KISSFLOW
  12. Your Workflow Automation Software Is Outdated Unless It Includes These 10 Featuresby Zoe Uwem
  13. Top Workflow Management Software Products by Capterra
  14. Best Workflow Management Software by G2 Crowd
  15. Workflow Software by Software Advice
  16. 10 of the Best Options for Workflow Automation Software by Tamara Scott
  17. Top 15 Workflow Management Software Solutions by Financesonline.com
  18. Best Workflow Management Reviews 2017 by Serchen
  19. Top 20 Best Workflow Management Tools You Must Have by Quertime
  20. Top 28 Workflow Software by pFind
  21. Best free workflow management software — Top 5 tools by Josh Hall
  22. 25 Workflow Solutions Transforming Business by CIO Applications
  23. Top SharePoint Workflow Tools by Collab365
  24. Microsoft Flow


  1. Nintex Workflow User’s Guide: create your own Nintex workflows in SharePoint by Martijn Bleikertz
  2. Fundamentals of Nintex Workflow for SharePoint 2013: Learn to build custom Workflows for SharePoint — On Premises and Office 365 by Michael B McManus
  3. SharePoint 2010 Workflows in Action by Phil Wicklund
  4. Professional Workflow in SharePoint 2010: Real World Business Workflow Solutions by Paul J. Galvin and Udayakumar Ethirajulu
  5. Office 2010 Workflow: Developing Collaborative Solutions (Expert’s Voice in Sharepoint) by Mark J. Collins
  6. Microsoft Dynamics GP Workflow 2.0: Microsoft Dynamics GP Workflow 2.0 by Ian Grieve
  7. Customizing Windows Workflow Foundation 4.5: Unified and Scalable Application Development by Ambily K K
  8. Practical Workflow for SAP: The Comprehensive Guide to SAP Business Workflow (3rd Edition) by Jocelyn Dart and Susan Keohan
  9. Creating an SAP Workflow with Workflow Builder by Manish Chaitanya
  10. Learning Salesforce Visual Workflow and Process Builder — Second Edition by Rakesh Gupta
  11. Electronic Resource Management Systems: A Workflow Approach by Elsa Anderson
  12. Workflow Strategies by James G. Kobielus
  13. Workflow 101: A Primer on the Most Powerful Technique Available For Streamlining Business Process by Patrick Russell
  14. Management Information Systems and Workflow Automation by Michael Fairley
  15. Enterprise Data Workflows with Cascading: Streamlined Enterprise Data Management and Analysis by Paco Nathan
  16. Automated Workflow Scheduling in Self-Adaptive Clouds: Concepts, Algorithms and Methods by G. Kousalya and P. Balakrishnan
  17. Frontend Workflow with HTML5 and SASS: semantic, flexible and reusable code for your daily projects by Seba Alin

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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