A workflow model is a graphical or conceptual representation of all the factors involved in a workflow, including tasks, resources, guidelines, inputs, and outputs. The model provides a systematic overview of the sequence of steps that need to be undertaken from the start of a job to its completion. 
Workflow models help to clarify the process, make it easier to train new employees, improve efficiency, and ensure consistent quality. They can be crucial in designing, analyzing, and managing business processes within an organization.
A workflow model typically includes the following components:
- Tasks: These are the steps or activities in the workflow.
- Sequences: This is the order in which tasks are performed.
- Roles: These are the people or systems that perform the tasks.
- Inputs and Outputs: These are the resources or information required or produced at each step.
Workflow models are critical for understanding how work gets done within an organization. They can highlight inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas of risk within a process. They can also be used to improve process performance, for example by automating tasks or reordering steps.
The concept of workflow models became increasingly popular with the rise of Business Process Management (BPM) in the late 20th century. BPM software often includes tools for creating and analyzing workflow models.
Some benefits of workflow models include better process visibility, increased efficiency, improved consistency and quality, easier employee training, and better compliance.
Pros and Cons:
- Pros: Provides a clear visualization of a process, identifies inefficiencies, improves performance.
- Cons: Can be time-consuming to create and maintain, may not capture all the complexities of a process, may be difficult to implement changes.
Examples: An example of a workflow model might be a customer service process in a call center. This could include steps like receiving a call, logging the issue, resolving the problem, and following up with the customer. Each step would have associated roles, inputs, and outputs.