Import images from camera, card reader or scanner. As long as the images are stored on the camera media, you can use that as temporary backup.
RAW are converted to DNG and stored away into an RAW archive.
Rate and cull, write-back metadata to the DNG archive.
Make a backup e.g. on external drive, and optical medium, or a tape.
Tag, comment, and geo-locate.
Edit and improve photographs.
For layered editing use external applications. Back in digiKam, re-apply the metadata, which was probably lost or curtailed by the other applications.
Run the routine backup with following data-integrity checks.
Protect processed images for copyrights with Digital Watermarking. Export to web galleries, slide shows, MPEG encode, contact sheets, printing, etc.
A typical generic draft of all photograph workflow stages is given below: