What types of workflow exist?

Workflow is defined as the breakdown and execution of tasks in a business system, from start to finish, either automated or not. It is often used to map out the progress of a project or service from where it begins to its end, in a way that is easy to follow and understand.

That all sounds pretty straightforward, but did you ever realise there’s more than one type of workflow? There are actually 3 main categories that workflows can fall under, so let’s take a look at the different types of workflow.

What types of workflow exist?

First of, on our tour through the different types of workflow, comes the Sequential Workflow: this workflow is usually chart based from one step to the next, always moving forward without ever going back.

Each step depends on the completion of the activities on the previous step. You can think of this workflow as a connect the dots system: you have to follow the numbers correctly, one after the other, to complete the big picture.

Sequential workflows are often to manage sales processes of products and services because the steps remain the same, with no activities going back and forth.

Next, is State Machine Workflow, which progresses from state to state. This type of workflow is a little more complicated and often returns to previous points in the workflow if necessary.

This type of workflow can be considered like puzzle solving, in which you’re constantly putting important pieces in place to complete a project. State machine workflow are frequently used when there are creative elements in the process, or products and services that require extra review or input from clients and management.

Last but not least on our tour through the types of workflow there’s the Rules-driven Workflow, which is executed based on a sequential workflow with rules that dictate the progress of the workflow.

This can be compared to following a blueprint to make one complete structure. Rules driven workflows are very useful when working on a variety of projects with clear goals but varying levels of specifications.


Now that you know all about these different types of workflow you’re well equipped to determine which one is right for your business and go with the flow that’s right for you!

Manage different types of workflow with Pipefy!

Pipefy is an intuitive, simple to use, workflow software. We allow businesses to run all their processes in a single platform, ensuring efficiency and solid execution.

Pipefy works as an online Kanban system where tasks move laterally through the multiple phases of your process. Each of your process’ phases can have its own set of work rules, triggers and, if needed, a designated owner.

Don’t lose any more time, try Pipefy!

Learn more about Pipefy! Learn more about Pipefy!

Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.