Everyone has their own workflow. The thing about it is there is no right or wrong way to approaching 3D character animation. If it works it works and if you can get it in front of the director in a timely manor who cares right? Wrong!
This is the kind of crap I was fed for years and years and I wasted so much of my life trying to discover MY workflow. Knowing the 12 Principles of Animation by heart didn't do anything for me once I tried to go from Blocking to Spline. Every time I tried to animate, it was a full out war between me and the computer. "Work smarter, not harder." That's good advice but it doesn't do any good if you don't know how.
Truth is, I believe there is a right and wrong way to approaching 3D animation, just like there is a right and wrong way to approaching how to change a flat tire, or baking a cake, or flying a plane. If you want to succeed at any of these things there's good news! All of this stuff has already been figured out!
Today I came across these fantastic tutorials from Doron Meir. You can check his site out here. If you are new to 3D Character Animation and you are struggling to find your own workflow, I highly recommend you watch these videos. This is how you do it!
***NOTE*** Just to clarify, this is regarding workflow once you are ready to start animating in the computer and has nothing to do with planning out your shot. Just wanted to clear that up. ;)