SharePoint workflows are preprogrammed mini applications that take a lot out of the labor and guess work out of your standard work processes.
Refer to the flowchart below. It’s a graphical map of a process, with instructions about what happens at each step.
Running such a process manually is a time consuming process that requires checking up, keeping track, forwarding documents, and sending reminders. And each of those tasks has to be performed by you or your colleagues.
This is where SharePoint workflow comes in handy. You just choose the workflow type you want, specify the options that will work best in your situation, and then let SharePoint take over.
Each of the workflow types included with SharePoint acts like a template. You can add a version of the workflow for a single list or library, or for a whole site collection. Do this by using an initiation form to specify the options and selections that you want for this version – who the workflow assigns tasks to, task deadlines, how the workflow can be started and by whom, instructions to be included in the task notifications, and so forth.
Approval (Route a document or item for approval or rejection)
An approval workflow routes a document or other item to designated people for their approval or rejection. You can use approval workflow to control content approval in a list or library.
Collect Feedback (route a document or item for feedback)
A collect feedback workflow routes a document or other item to designated people for their feedback.
Collect Signatures (Route a document, workbook, or form digital signatures)
The collect signatures workflow routes a Microsoft Office document to designated people for their digital signatures.
Dispositions approval (Manage document expiration and retention)
The disposition approval workflow is designed to support records management needs within an organization. This workflow manages the document expiration and retention process by allowing participants to decide whether to retain or delete expired document or items.
Three-State (Track an issue, Project, or Task through Three states or phases)
The Three-state workflow is designed to track the status of a list item through three states. It can be used to manage business processes that require organizations to track a high volume of issues or items.
Note*** To add or start a workflow, you must have the correct permission for the list, library, or site collection where the workflow runs.