The third post in my ongoing series of “Simple Workflows with SharePoint 2013” will demonstrate the practical implementation of the Three State WorkFlow to automate a routine business process. Before going further, make sure to read my second post as prep for this one. To get started, I will assume that you have set up a Three State WorkFlow and chosen the option to trigger it automatically after creating a new item, event, or task. Now SharePoint will instantly assign it to the specific task or event (as shown in the picture below).
Assigning a WorkFlow
The event created in this example of software bug tracking and remediation begins with the state “Find a bug” and, like I mentioned earlier, the WorkFlow is automatically assigned to it. There are also other options like assigning manually that you can choose to implement.
In the picture above, under the Internal Status, “In Progress” determines that the WorkFlow has automatically associated to the task or event. Next, two emails will be sent: 1. To the responsible person to whom it is assigned and 2. To the person who created it.
Editing the WorkFlow
Once the WorkFlow is assigned, it will send an email along with a link to the responsible person. Clicking the link will direct the user to the page where he/she can edit the item, add comments, or mark as completed.
Edit the item by filling appropriate fields as shown below and hit “Save.”
After saving the item, the third phase will trigger and another email will be sent. In my example, I assign the third phase to myself so I receive another email (as shown below).
Now, the person who is responsible for the third phase will validate the bug. Once he/she is finished with the task, they will edit the item by clicking “Save” once again.
After saving the item, a third email will be sent, this time to the last person in the Three State WorkFlow (in my example it will be the person who will fix the bug). This is the final phase. NOTE: In any phase, a person also can restart the WorkFlow or send it back to the previous phase.
Three Phases Completed
Congraduations! You have automated a simple three-stage business process using SharePoint’s built-in WorkFlow engine. This is only the tip of the iceberg regarding what you can do with it, but many business processes can be automated using this template. You also have a WorkFlow history list to make each stage of the process completely trackable and auditable. Stay tuned for future entries in this series! Next up: what to do when the built-in templates are not complex enough for your processes. Enter SharePoint Designer.
Want to learn more about other methodologies we use that automate processes? Click below to discover one way to implement TFS: