Workflow

Workflows are a collection of ordered tasks to mimic your process flows. With workflows, you can build your processes and their monitoring into Synap, notify task assignees when a task becomes ready for their work, create prerequisite tasks to ensure everything is completed in the proper order, and monitor deadlines and workflow progress. 

The tasks associated with a workflow will show up in the Activities tab under both the Workflows and Tasks sub-tabs. 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Workflow Templates Task Creation Applying Workflows

Workflow Template

The Workflow Template will give the default values and requirements, but many of these options can be changed within the workflow when it is created. It is within the Workflow Template that you can set prerequisites and order your tasks.

Note: Until a User-Admin creates at least one workflow for a kind of entity, the Workflows icon sub-tab will not appear on the Activities tab page.

How to create a workflow template

  • Click on the Configure icon in the main navigation to go to the main list of Workflow Templates.
  • Each workflow template is specific to a kind of entity; find your desired kind of entity in the list and click New to open the Workflow Template editor screen.
  • Give your workflow a brief but clear title. This is what will show up in the drop down list of templates when a User selects to add a workflow to an entity.
  • The description will show up in the drop down list and can give added detail about the purpose of the workflow.
  • Click the Add a Task to this Workflow bar to create a Task for this Workflow Template.
    arrow pointing to add a task to this workflow button with red box around it
  • When you click the Add a Task to this Workflow bar two new fields will open: Task Template and Prerequisite Steps. First we will address creating the first Task Template.   


    How to add task templates to your workflow

    • Click on the plus icon in the Task Template area. If you have never created a task template for this workflow, only + Create New Task Template will appear. Click this to create a new template.
      • You can re-use the same task template within one workflow. If you have created any task templates for this workflow, their task template titles will show up here.
      • Each task template is specific to one (1) workflow and is non-transferable between workflows.
    • Give your template a useful name and description that will help other Users understand when to use this template.
    • Due is the date by which the task must be completed and is highly configurable. Additionally, if a User creates a task with a task template, they can adjust the date on the task itself. Click the plus icon in the field to bring up the date selection options which include:
      • Task Ready Date
        • Configure the due date based on the date the task becomes ready - which may depend upon prerequisite tasks being completed - and add a Date Modifier to:
          • Add or subtract days from the task ready date
          • Mark the beginning or end of the task ready date's week, month, quarter, etc as the due date
      • Field Value
        • Use an existing date field value as the marker and add modifiers similar to those used above.

          due date selection screen with 'field value' highlighted and arrow pointing to drop down list options with 'month' highlighted

      • Fixed Date
        • We do not recommend using this option for a task template
      • Click Done to save your due date or X to discard your changes.
      • Click Task Template here for more detailed instructions on task template creation, including advanced Due Date modification.
    • Click on the plus icon in Regarding sections to add additional entities.
      • Applied to as the default refers only to the specific instance of this kind of entity (i.e. the person instance if this is a Person Task Template).
      • At present, the system does not by default add the "parent" entity (i.e. the organization of a person) to a task template so be sure to add that if you want the task to show up on the "parent."
      • Click Done to save or X to discard changes.
    • Select the plus icon in Assigned to if you want the task to, by default, be assigned to a particular role as determined by an entity field that is set to Users.
      • Toggle to Entity to select to default assign to the Workflow Creator.

        choose an assignee field with 'entity' highlighted

      • Assignee can be changed on the task itself when created from this task template. Note: If the assignee for this task doesn't exist for the entity on which the workflow is placed, the User will be given a warning message informing them of this and requesting they manually assign the task.
      • Click Done to save or X to discard changes.
    • To add any additional task fields to this template, click on the plus icon in the Additional Fields section.
      • The field selector will pop up and you can select one or more fields.
      • You can filter the list of fields by type if you want to narrow your options.
      • Click Done when finished selecting fields to add or X to discard changes.
    • If you are not adding a Form to your task template, click Publish at the top to add your template to the workflow.
      • Click Discard to discard unpublished changes.

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    How to add a form to a task template

    Forms on a workflow task serve two purposes: 1) Making it clear to the assignee exactly what information needs to be collected or verified. 2) Keeps the data entry in one spot so the user doesn’t have to navigate away from the task.

    • To add a form to the task template, click on the plus icon in the Forms section of the task template.
    • If this is the first time you are adding a form to this task template, click on + Create New Form to open the edit window of a new form.

      Tip: If your basic Task Template is ready, but the Form is not, just remove the form from the template before you click Publish - after publishing, you can add the form back and continue to edit, just remember to click Save instead of Publish until the form is ready to launch!
    • When giving your form a title, use the New Form header, which will show both here and the list of unused Forms.
      • The description section under New Form is useful if you want to give greater explanation of why the form is designed the way it is.
      • To give a Title that appears on the Task Template as the User sees it, use the first Untitled Block or Section header.

      animated gif showing the editing of a form

    • Select the fields you want to add to the form and drag & drop into the appropriate Block or Section.
      • Create as many blocks or sections (within blocks) as you need to organize your form, just click Add Section or Add Block as needed.
      • Titling each Block/Section is not required.
        • We do recommend naming first block or section (see above) so there is some header information for the end User.
        • Placeholder text Untitled Block is not visible to the User when creating a task, only to the task template editor (you!).
      • As with views, if you add a field you do not want on the form, just drag it to the Drop Trash Here area at the bottom of the list of fields.
      • Fields for closely related entities can be added by clicking the blue More icon with the little arrow/carat.
        • Drag and drop these fields just like any other. The data in the fields will be visible in the task when created using this task template/workflow.
          Only fields for subordinate entities can be edited by your task.
    • Once you have added the fields and arranged the form to your liking, click on Publish to save this form and return to the Task Template Details page.
      • Click Discard to discard unpublished changes.
    • The form is automatically added to your task template.
      • To remove a form from the task template, simply click the X to the right of the form name.
      • To edit the form, click on this icon:

        icon showing a pencil applied to paper


  • Click Prerequisite Step to choose a specific task as precursor for any other.
    • Two (2) tasks are required before you can set a Prerequisite Step within your workflow.
    • One (1) task can act as prerequisite for several other tasks.
    • Each task can have one or more prerequisites.
      In this example, "Action Three" task is dependent on "Action Two" as well as "Independent Task" which have very different settings, including prerequisites ("Independent Task" has none) and due dates (not shown).

      workflow edit screen with stack of tasks, one task's prerequisites are enclosed in red box with arrows pointing to the two prerequisite tasks

  • Once your workflow task templates have been completely created and associated to your liking click Publish to make this workflow template available to Users.
    • If you are not ready to publish, click Save to save your work.
    • Click Discard to discard any changes to this workflow template.
  • To delete a workflow template that has been saved, go to the main list of Workflow Templates and click the trashcan icon next to the name.

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How to apply a workflow to an entity

Adding a workflow, once the workflow template exists, is incredibly simple and still very adjustable on a case-by-case basis. To add a workflow to a particular entity:

  • Navigate to the desired entity, usually using the search bar, and go to the Activity tab.
  • Click Workflows near the type to bring up the Workflows page for this entity.
    • If you do not see the Workflows option, no workflow templates have been created for this kind of entity.
    • The Workflows sub-tab will show you any existing workflows and allow you to filter those by the status they are in (Completed vs. Active).
  • Click Add Workflow and choose from the list of available templates to add the desired workflow to this entity.
  • The Workflow loads with all the tasks ordered according to the prerequisites.
  • An individual task may have any number of symbol icons to the right or left of the name. A lock (open or closed) indicates the task has a prerequisite, a key indicates it is a prerequisite, clocks (solid or dashed) indicate the Ready status, while a checkmark indicates a Complete status
    • If you hover over the lock or key with your cursor, a line will appear to show the previous/next task(s) in the sequence.
    • A solid line clock signals Ready status, while a dashed line clock indicates a Not Ready status.
    • Tasks that are in a Not Ready status will not be editable by Users until their prerequisites have been completed.

      workflow as seen by User with keys, locks, clocks, and check boxes 'circled' in purple to show what they look like

  • Click any Ready task to view the task.
    When you open/view a task, you are moved off of the Workflow sub-tab and over to the Tasks sub-tab.
  • When a workflow task is open, you can view all the available data for the task, add a comment, and change the status of the task.
  • Tip: Presently, workflows are designed with forward momentum in mind. Use caution when changing a prerequisite task status to Completed as you will not be able to turn a dependent task back to the Not Ready status.

  • If you need to make an edit to the task, for example, change the assignee, click on the action menu (three (3) stacked dots) and select Edit.

Troubleshooting

  • Workflow Template Error: If the original workflow template contains obsolete or inapplicable fields on any given task, an error message will pop up on the task itself. Examples:
    • The Assignee is a role which does not apply to the workflow creator.

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