Getting started with #ProjectOnline #Workflow Part 1 #PS2013 #Office365 #Project #PPM #PMOT

February 9, 2016 at 1:09 am | Posted in Add-on, Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Workflow | 2 Comments
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Following on from a very popular series of posts on getting started with Project Online, Microsoft’s Office 365 PPM cloud offering, round up found here. I started a mini series towards the end of last year where I covered getting started with the Portfolio Analysis functionality, part 1 here and part 2 here. I mentioned here that I would also do the same for workflow. I have finally got around to creating the workflow version – sorry for the delay, it has been a busy few months.

In this series of posts I will touch on some of the workflow capabilities that are available for Project Online and show you how to getting started.

For the purpose of this post I have already configured a project ideas type list in my PWA site collection, the portfolio strategy / analysis piece, some enterprise project types and have some custom fields.

The first post in this series will look at creating a project from the project ideas list. The workflow will assign a task to a SharePoint group for the approval, once approved a project will be created in Project Online using the correct Enterprise Project Type.

The project ideas list on my test environment looks like this:

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Very simple, with a couple of SharePoint fields. I have mapped these fields to Project Online custom fields:

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This is so that the metadata captured from the idea is copied over to custom field when the project is created.

I have also created some new Enterprise Project Types in this test environment:

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Some of these will be used in later posts for this getting started series.

We will now look at creating an approval workflow for this ProjectIdeas list. Launch SharePoint Designer 2013 and open the target PWA site.

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Click Workflow from Navigation pane:

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Click List Workflow then choose the list:

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Complete the details as required:

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Click OK.

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Now you can start creating the workflow in the designer. For this example I will firstly insert two more stages using the Stage button:

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Then rename the stages:

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Starting with the Initiated stage, click where is states “Start typing…” and more options will be enabled in the ribbon:

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Click the Action button and scroll down to the “Assign a task” action and click:

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Now click this user:

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In the dialog box that appears complete the details, for the Participant I selected the Administrators group:

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For the task title I used the string builder and added the following with a lookup to the item:

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For the description I used the string builder to create the following:

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Once the details are completed:

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Click OK.

Now click in the transition to stage section:

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Using the condition ribbon menu button, select if any value equals value:

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Now click the first value:

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Then click the fx button:

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In the box that appears set the following:

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Click OK.

Click the second value and choose Approved:

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Now select the Insert go-to under the If and select Go to a stage on the Action menu:

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Click a stage and select Approved:

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Do the same for Else but select the Rejected stage:

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In the Approved stage I will insert a parallel block:

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In this parallel block I will insert four If conditions:

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The If conditions are then configured like below:

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The action for each If will be “Create Project from Current Item”:

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Then you can choose the Enterprise Project Type:

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Set this up to match to correct EPTs:

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I then added two further actions:

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To send ad email and to set a field on the list.

The email was configured as below:

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The workflow then set the Approval Date field to Today:

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The transition to stage was then update to end the workflow:

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The final stage to configure is the Reject stage, in this stage we just send and email to the user that created the item then end the workflow:

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Once completed, save the workflow and check for any errors.

Using the navigation bar, click the workflow name:

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Then set the start options for the workflow:

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Once you are happy with it publish the workflow to the list.

Back in SharePoint, if we look at the Workflow settings for the list we should see the workflow name:

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Now if I create a new item on the list the workflow will fire and create a task for one of the administrators to approve, the item shows as in the initiated stage:

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As a PWA administrator I would receive a email notifying me that I had a task assigned, I could then approve that item or reject it. In this example I will approve it:

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When the workflow fires the item will update to Approved, a project will get created in Project Online, an email will be sent to the user who created the idea and the Approval Date will be set on the list item.

The updated project idea item can be seen below:

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The project can be seen below in the project center with the correct Enterprise Project Type:

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The data from the Project Ideas list has been copied to the correct Project Custom fields:

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That’s it for the simple project ideas list workflow – there is lots more that can be done but hopefully that gives you a good idea on how to get started. Next up we will take a look at getting started with the project life cycle workflow and progress a project through various stages and phases.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Excellent article Paul, very useful! Thank you!

  2. […] you can’t get enough of “workflowy goodness”, have a look at his first post here. PS: Paul, if you are reading this post; I’d love to explore options to feature you in a […]


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