Make Your Project Work for You – Workflows

Brandi Johnson

Jul 8 2015 10 min read

Workflows are automated processes within Salesforce that are triggered by a user or based on a time period.  Once the project workflow has been triggered it can be associated with an action such as an email alert, field update, or task creation.

Many of the tasks you normally assign, the emails you regularly send, and other record updates are part of your organization’s standard processes. Instead of doing this work manually, you can configure a project workflow to do it automatically.

Workflow rules can consist of criteria that cause the workflow rule to run, immediate actions that execute, and time dependent actions that will be queued when the record matches the criteria.

Workflows can be used with both standard and custom objects and each object can have multiple workflows.

Each workflow rule consists of:

  • The object that will trigger the workflow
  • Criteria that cause the workflow rule to run
  • Actions that will be triggered, these can be:
    • Immediate actions that execute when a record matches the criteria, such as updating a priority field if a project budget is high enough
    • Time-dependent actions that queue when a record matches the criteria, and execute according to time triggers. For example sending an email to the project manager if a task is more than 5 days overdue

Objects in Salesforce are Accounts, Opportunities, Contacts, Projects, Phases, Tasks, and Tickets plus many more.  You must first select the object that you want to create a workflow for.

There are three evaluation criteria that can be selected:

Created This means the workflow will never run more than once for any record.  It will be evaluated only when the record is created, if it meets the criteria set then the rule will be run.
Created, and every time it’s edited The record will be evaluated when the record is created and each time it is edited. If the rule criteria are met it will run the rule.  With these criteria, the rule repeatedly runs overtime as record is edited as long as the rule criteria are met.
Created, and any time it’s edited to subsequently meet the criteria For a new record the rule will be run if the criteria is met.  For an updated the record the rule will only be run if the record is changed from not meeting the criteria to meeting the criteria.

We now select which action should be taken when the record meets the criteria, you can have multiple actions on one workflow.  You can choose from the following actions:


Create TaskThis will create a new task in Salesforce, when you select this option you can also have certain data in the task populated such as due date, subject, and status
Send EmailTo send an email from a workflow you will first need to setup an email template you can then send an email to users which will contain information from the record
Field UpdateThis will allow you to update a field on the record that triggered the workflow, for example you could update the project status to cancelled if the contract was cancelled
New Flow TriggerFor this action you would first need to setup a visual flow. The flow can then collect additional information from the user about the project or can automatically pull information from other records into the project.


For our example workflow we want to send an email to the project owner when the health of the project is changed to red.

First we need to navigate to the Setup area; Create > Workflows & Approvals > Workflow Rules then click on New Rule.

We need to select the Project as the object.

Give your workflow a name and description. This workflow is called ‘Alert when Project Health Turns Red’ and the description is ‘An email alert will be sent out to the Project Owner when the Health of the Project is changed to red’. It is important to have a name that is informative, and then a description that provides more detail – this will be helpful when you have many workflows and need to know at a glance what the workflow does for your business.

The evaluation criteria are how the workflow determines when to run. In this case we want the workflow to evaluate the criteria when the record is first created and then evaluate it again each time the record is edited if it currently doesn’t meet the criteria. This means the alert could be sent when the project is created, then again if the project goes from green to red or orange to red. So for the evaluation criteria we will select Created, and any time it’s edited to subsequently meet criteria.

For the rule criteria, we need to enter the criteria using either the dropdown fields or a formula. Our criteria will be based on the health field changing to red.

You can also use filter logic such as AND, OR, to use more advanced filters.

Now we will add in the actions that will take place if the criteria are met for this workflow. The action in this case is an email to the project owner.

We will assume we have already setup an email template that we will use to send out for the workflow. In our email to the project owner we have included details such as the health reason, which must always be completed when the health changes, the user who last modified the record, and a link back to the record so the owner can quickly view the project in Salesforce.

Under Immediate Workflow Actions, click on Add Workflow Action and select New Email Alert.

Add a description then select the email template. In the recipient type you can select from a range of options such as User, Role, Owner, Group, Creator, and more. In this case we want to send the email to the Project Owner so we will select Owner from the drop down and move Project Owner into select recipients.

Click on save and then done. Don’t forget to Activate your workflow. You have now setup a workflow with an email alert!

Implementing this workflow means project owners can be kept up to date on important changes to their projects without needing to manually monitor them all day, this saves them time which will save the business time. Try setting up a workflow today!


Brandi Johnson

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