About Workflows

Your system can automatically escalate and take action in issues that remain open or idle for too long through Workflows. Workflows help ensure that assignees and submitters never neglect or abandon their issues, especially when they are used in conjunction with substatus rules and subscribers list configuration options.


Workflows Best Practices

There is no limit to the number of workflows you can create. Each workflow may have several parts to it, including:

  • Time Interval— Days, hours, and/or minutes from Time Entered or Last Activity
  • Conditions— other criteria that must be met, such as:
  • Priority
  • Substatus
  • System Clock Status (Paused, Not Paused)
  • Issue Type
  • Subtype (1 through 4)
  • Organization
  • Department
  • Location
  • Project
  • Number of previous escalations
  • Assignment Status (Assigned, Not Assigned
  • Assigned To
  • Target Date passing
  • Required By Date passing
  • Actions— other system-generated events that occur along with escalation, such as:
    • Updating the Assigned To
    • Updating the Priority
    • Updating the Substatus
    • Adding a (Public or Private) Note
    • Distributing (additional) Email Notifications
    • Closing the issue
  • Process Order— the workflow’s place among other workflows in the processing queue

In addition to Time Interval, the rate at which escalations occur is also based on the "Issue Escalations" scheduled task on your Web server. Escalation can never occur at an interval greater than the current scheduled task rate. For example, the "Issue Escalations" scheduled task is generally set during installation to a default rate of every 15 minutes. If you define a workflow with a time interval of 5 minutes, you will need to increase the task rate to at least every 5 minutes or this workflow will still only be processed at 15-minute intervals.

Every time the "Issue Escalations" scheduled task runs, it will process all workflows, starting with your "Process Order = 1" workflow. This means an issue may escalate many times during its life cycle, based on the same workflow and/or different workflows that apply as its values change. However, the issue will only escalate against one workflow each time the task runs, so the first workflow that applies based on process order.

To minimize redundancy, try to use conditions whenever possible and actions that change at least one conditional value so most workflows never apply more than once.

Example:

Workflow A states:

IF (Time Interval) = “2 Hours” after “Time Submitted”

THEN ESCALATE

AND (Actions) Send Notification To = “Stan Sitwell”

ANY issues that stay open for longer than 2 hours after submit will be escalated by this workflow. As long as these issues remain open—the same workflow will continue to apply every time the task runs. Each time, Stan (and any Subscriber List Members with notify On Escalate) will also be sent another notification.

Workflow B states:

IF (Time Interval) = “5 Days” after “Last Activity”

AND (Conditions) Issue Type = “Service” AND Subtype 1 = “Request” AND Substatus = “Pending User Response-1st Attempt”

THEN ESCALATE

AND (Actions) Add Note = “We have not heard back from you on this service request. Please let us know what day and time
    we can perform your service.” AND Set Substatus To = “Pending User Response-2nd Attempt”

ONLY issues that stay open for longer than 5 days without any activity that also have this particular Issue Type, Subtype, and Substatus will be escalated by this workflow. As long as these issues remain open and their Substatus does not change back to Pending User Response-1st Attempt — the same workflow will not apply again. The Submitter will not receive this particular “friendly reminder” again.

In addition, consider your process orders carefully. If workflows have similar criteria and may ever be applicable at the same time — BUT one of those workflows changes a conditional value so the other workflows no longer apply — that workflow should be processed before any other workflows with similar criteria.

For example, Issue #12345 is currently a High Priority issue that has had no activity for almost 4 hours…

Workflow X states:

IF “2 hours” after “Last Activity”

AND Priority = “High”

THEN ESCALATE

AND Send Notification To = “Steve Anderson”

… Process Order = 17

Each time the "Issue Escalations" scheduled task has run since the 2 hours after last activity mark, this workflow has continually escalated Issue #12345 and notified Steve.

Workflow Y states:

IF “4 hours” after “Last Activity”

AND Priority = “High”

THEN ESCALATE

AND Update Priority To = “Critical” AND Update Assigned To = “Michael Bluth” AND Send Notification To = “Steve Anderson”

… Process Order = 16

When the "Issue Escalations" scheduled task runs at the 4 hours after last activity mark, this workflow will make any further escalations of Issue #12345 by Workflow X obsolete. So Workflow Y has been placed before Workflow X in the processing queue using their process orders.

All users can view workflow-related data in issues and reports.

 
Please note that the video below contains navigation steps and naming conventions that apply to versions prior to Issuetrak 14. The actual use of the features depicted remains largely unchanged.  You may also notice that the terminology displayed in this video differs from what you see in your instance of Issuetrak.

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De-Escalation Best Practices

You also have the ability to de-escalate issues that have been marked as Escalated in your system. Issue de-escalation is disabled by default and must be activated from the Features page before it can be used.  You can find out more about this feature in the "About Issue De-Escalations" article.


 

Adding Workflows

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click on Workflows beneath Automation.
  2. Click Add in the right context menu.
  3. Enter the number of Days, Hours, and/or Minutes and from which issue event (Time Submitted or Last Activity) this new workflow is to take effect.

Last Activity is triggered only by the following events: Issue Assigned, Next Actioned or Edited; Note Added or Edited; and Task Added, Edited, Deleted or Completed.

  1. (Optional) Define any additional conditions that apply.
  2. (Optional) If you want any other actions to occur based on this Workflow, define those actions.
  3. Enter Workflow Name and Process Order for your new workflow.
  4. Click Save.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.

You can add members to this workflow’s Subscribers by editing the workflow after you've saved it.


 

Editing Workflows

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click on Workflows beneath Automation.
  2. Click the edit link next to the Workflow you are modifying.
  3. (Optional) Before making any other changes on the Edit Workflow screen, use the View/Maintain Subscribers link to add or change member settings on this Workflow’s Issue Subscribers.
  4. Make your changes on the Edit Workflow screen.
  5. Click Save.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.


 

Deleting Workflows

Best Practice:  Always deactivate rather than delete existing items within your system.  In this case, you can simply uncheck the box next to Active at the bottom of a Workflow.

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click on Workflows beneath Automation.
  2. Click del next to the Workflow you are deleting.
  3. Click OK when prompted to confirm.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.