We are all familiar with flowcharts. They are just visual maps of a process. A SharePoint workflow can take that flowchart and recreate it as a digital process. In SharePoint workflow, you can create the process once, and then reuse it over and over to create a repeatable, standardized workflow.
SharePoint workflow provides some great templates for automating simple, serial type processes. Workflows like document approvals, feedback forms and collecting signatures are examples of basic business processes that can be “born digital” with the SharePoint business process engine. If you need advanced features or functions, you typically need to write custom code, or purchase an advanced workflow engine like K2 for SharePoint.
Users with a technical background can build basic workflows in SharePoint designer, but beyond the basic, they will need to involve your organization’s development team.
Yes. SharePoint workflows can be accessed through the individual items within a list or library, and can be run manually, or set to automatically start when an item is added or changed. See more here: SharePoint Workflow Information