Process and workflow

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Processes govern every aspect of software development and every aspect of application usage. Whether trivial, complex, formal, or ad hoc, processes are pervasive in software engineering. This chapter summarizes a variety of ways in which process models, also referred to as workflows, can be used to achieve significant improvements in a range of different disciplines. The chapter starts with a brief summary of the evolution of this approach over the past century. It then identifies some principal ways in which important advantages can be obtained from exploiting process models and process technology. The chapter goes on to specify key criteria for evaluating process modeling approaches, suggesting the different kinds of modeling approaches that seem particularly effective for supporting different uses. A representative set of examples of current process modeling approaches, and different ways in which process modeling is being used to good advantage, is then described. These examples are then used to suggest some key research challenges that need to be met in order for society to obtain a large range of further advantages from the continued development of process and process modeling technology.




Osterweil, L. J., Gruhn, V., & Schwenzfeier, N. (2019). Process and workflow. In Handbook of Software Engineering (pp. 1–49). Springer International Publishing.

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