Workflows create an opportunity for efficiency and minimizing waste. Unfortunately, many workflows are difficult to change and bureaucratic requiring users to go through convoluted steps to get their work done. The cause of this many times are IT systems that are inflexible and do not adapt to changes.
The Seattle Times has an article about a workflow software company which puts workflow development in the hands of the users.
Straw that stirs the drink: Even with improved server software, all would be for naught without robust applications. Nintex makes it easy on a small company, allowing it to develop custom applications without an IT department to create complex workflow procedures. "People who own the process can tailor it to their needs, and can manage their own technological portfolio," Campbell said.
One side would argue users know little about developing workflow software, and putting this capability in the hands of users will not work. But, this is also a closed loop system where the people who define the workflows use them, and they can change them. So, even if they fail at first, they can fix the issues.
This creates an organic learning environment which will allow the system to adapt to the environment.
The co-founder of http://www.nintex.com/ Brett Campbell even makes a point about being an agile company.
Harboring innovation: During Nintex's collaboration with Microsoft, Campbell said he has seen the software giant go from turning like a speedboat into something closer to an aircraft carrier. "But they still need agile partners," he said, "and that's where we come in."
This is one area I have been meaning to research.