This paper deals with the component-based workflow architecture of a distributed software process management system called BetterProcess which is constructed to help software companies improve the quality and efficiency of cooperative work in software process improvement. Five requirements are discussed as the motivations in this paper. This architecture presents the overall structure of the system BetterProcess, which consists of its architectural software components, the externally visible properties of those components, and the relationships of them. These components mainly include the Client Runtime Engine, the cooperative server engine, the information converter, the information access middleware, etc. This paper also presents the application of this architecture in a specific distributed software process management for an ongoing development of a Web-based shipping management information system.