Grouping Sections into a Single Workflow
A wizard tool does exactly what you are requesting. Below is the definition by the NN Group (emphasis is theirs):
Definition: A wizard is a step-by-step process that allows users to
input information in a prescribed order and in which subsequent steps
may depend on information entered in previous ones.
Here is the full article. They have suggestions on when to use a wizard, how to make a wizard usable, and the shortcomings of the wizard tool:
"How can We Keep Track of that Process"
You use a step indicator. This is a tool that shows a user how many steps (or sections) exist in the form. It also gives an indication of the order of the steps and how far a user has come. Below is an example of a wizard step indicator.
The above image indicates the user is on step 3 and has successfully complete the "personal information" and "contact information" step. You may want to include a "Lock" icon/signifier to steps in your wizard. Users may desire to fill out information out of order and a lock will indicate that this is not an option.
"Is it Good Practice to Lock Points?"
Yes, this is common practice and a good one depending on the type of input required. The wizard workflow (and progressive disclosure in general) are used to lock certain inputs until the prerequisite inputs are provided. Think of an online tax form: it will expect you to answer "Do you have your own business?" before it will show you the section for self-employment.
The trick with locking elements is to balance the need for prerequisites with the user's desire for control of the system; mainly their ability to change answers. Always allow the user to go back and change a prerequisite input, even if it locks or unlocks a section they have already completed.
Also, avoid locking unless it is necessary. A user should be able to complete inputs as they see fit. Sometimes they may only have some of the info available. Sometimes they may be thinking in a different order than the form. Locking should be a necessity, not a default behavior of the UI.
Is it better to unify all modules in one wizard with more than 12 steps?
This largely depends on the type of input you are collecting. Wizards go step by step for completing multiple inputs that can be ordered by a group. If the inputs are not related to each other, then a wizard is a poor choice.
Determining the number of steps depends a lot on the context. Steps should be relatively easy to complete; the whole reason for steps is to break up a much longer form. Steps should be grouped by context. A random grouping is likely to confuse and will increase the odds of input errors. (Use usability testing or a card sort exercise to determine the appropriate groupings).
The more steps the less likely a user will begin, but it depends on their task. An online tax form with many steps can be acceptable if the user understands that these steps will simplify the complex process. Even 4 steps to an newsletter sign-up form or a "short survey" can dissuade users from even beginning the wizard as it indicates a decent time investment for little value to the end user.