Configure a manual task in a workflow

This topic explains how to configure the properties for a manual task.

To configure a manual task in the workflow editor, right-click the task, and then click Properties to open the Properties page. Then use the following procedures to configure the properties for the manual task.

Name the task

Follow these steps to enter a name for the manual task.

  1. In the left pane, click Basic Settings.
  2. In the Name field, enter a unique name for the task.

Enter a subject line and instructions

You must provide a subject line and instructions to users who are assigned to the task. For example, if you're configuring a task for purchase requisitions, the user who is assigned to the task sees the subject line and instructions on the Purchase requisitions page. The subject line appears in a message bar on the page. The user can then click the icon in the message bar to view the instructions. Follow these steps to enter a subject line and instructions.

  1. In the left pane, click Basic Settings.
  2. In the Work item subject field, enter the subject line.
  3. To personalize the subject line, you can insert placeholders. Placeholders are replaced with appropriate data when the subject line is shown to users. Follow these steps to insert a placeholder:

    1. In the text box, click where the placeholder should appear.
    2. Click Insert placeholder.
    3. In the list that appears, select the placeholder to insert.
    4. Click Insert.
  4. To add translations of the subject line, follow these steps:

    1. Click Translations.
    2. On the page that appears, click Add.
    3. In the list that appears, select the language that you're entering the text in.
    4. In the Translated text field, enter the text.
    5. To personalize the text, you can insert placeholders as described in step 3.
    6. Click Close.
  5. In the Work item instructions field, enter the instructions.

  6. To personalize the instructions, you can insert placeholders. Placeholders are replaced with appropriate data when the instructions are shown to users. Follow these steps to insert a placeholder:

    1. In the text box, click where the placeholder should appear.
    2. Click Insert placeholder.
    3. In the list that appears, select the placeholder to insert.
    4. Click Insert.
  7. To add translations of the instructions, follow these steps:

    1. Click Translations.
    2. On the page that appears, click Add.
    3. In the list that appears, select the language that you're entering the text in.
    4. In the Translated text field, enter the text.
    5. To personalize the text, you can insert placeholders as described in step 6.
    6. Click Close.

Assign the task

Follow these steps to specify who the manual task should be assigned to.

  1. In the left pane, click Assignment.
  2. On the Assignment type tab, select one of the options in the following table, and then follow the additional steps for that option before you go to step 3.

    Option Users that the task is assigned to Additional steps
    Participant Users who are assigned to a specific group or role
    1. After you select Participant, on the Role based tab, in the Type of participant list, select the type of group or role to assign the task to.
    2. In the Participant list, select the group or role to assign the task to.
    Hierarchy Users in a specific organizational hierarchy
    1. After you select Hierarchy, on the Hierarchy selection tab, in the Hierarchy type list, select the type of hierarchy to assign the task to.
    2. The system must retrieve a range of user names from the hierarchy. These names represent users that the task can be assigned to. Follow these steps to specify the starting point and ending point of the range of user names that the system retrieves:
      1. To specify the starting point, select a person in the Start from list.
      2. To specify the ending point, click Add condition. Then enter a condition that determines where in the hierarchy the system stops retrieving names.
    3. On the Hierarchy options tab, specify which users in the range the task should be assigned to:
      • Assign to all users retrieved – The task is assigned to all users in the range.
      • Assign only to last user retrieved – The task is assigned to only the last user in the range.
      • Exclude users with the following condition – The task isn't assigned to users in the range who meet a specific condition. Click Add condition to specify the condition.
    Workflow user Users in the current workflow
    • After you select Workflow user, on the Workflow user tab, in the Workflow user list, select a user who participates in the workflow.
    User Specific Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations users
    1. After you select User, click the User tab.
    2. The Available users list includes all Finance and Operations users. Select the users to assign the task to, and then move those users to the Selected users list.
    Queue A work item queue
    1. After you select Queue, click the Queue based tab.
    2. To assign the task to a specific queue, follow these steps:
      1. In the Queue type list, select Work item queues.
      2. In the Queue name list, select the queue.
    3. If a specific condition should determine which queue the task is assigned to, follow these steps:
      1. In the Queue type list, select Conditional work item queues.
      2. In the Queue name list, select Conditional queue.
    Note: This option is used for only a few workflows, such as Case management.

  3. On the Time limit tab, in the Duration field, specify how much time the user has to complete the task. Select one of the following options:

    • Hours – Enter the number of hours that the user has to complete the task. Then select the calendar that your organization uses, and enter information about your organization's work week.
    • Days – Enter the number of days that the user has to complete the task. Then select the calendar that your organization uses, and enter information about your organization's work week.
    • Weeks – Enter the number of weeks that the user has to complete the task.
    • Months – Select the day and week that the user must complete the task by. For example, you might want the user to complete the task by Friday of the third week of the month.
    • Years – Select the day, week, and month that the user must complete the task by. For example, you might want the user to complete the task by Friday of the third week of December.

    If the user doesn't complete the task in the allotted time, the task is overdue. A task that is overdue can be escalated, based on the options that you select in the Escalation area of the page.

Specify what happens when the task is overdue

If a user doesn't complete the manual task in the allotted time, the task is overdue. A task that is overdue can be escalated, or automatically assigned to another user. Follow these steps to escalate the task if it's overdue.

  1. In the left pane, click Escalation.
  2. Select the Use escalation path check box to create an escalation path. The system automatically assigns the task to the users who are listed in the escalation path. For example, the following table represents an escalation path.

    Sequence Escalation path
    1 Assign to: Donna
    2 Assign to: Erin
    3 Final action: Reject

    In this example, the system assigns the overdue task to Donna. If Donna doesn't complete the task in the allotted time, the system assigns the task to Erin. If Erin doesn't complete the task in the allotted time, the system rejects the document that was submitted for processing.

  3. To add a user to the escalation path, click Add escalation. On the Assignment type tab, select one of the options in the following table, and then follow the additional steps for that option before you go to step 4.

    Option Users that the task is escalated to Additional steps
    Hierarchy Users in a specific organizational hierarchy
    1. After you select Hierarchy, on the Hierarchy selection tab, in the Hierarchy type list, select the type of hierarchy to escalate the task to.
    2. The system must retrieve a range of user names from the hierarchy. These names represent users that the task can be escalated to. Follow these steps to specify the starting point and ending point of the range of user names that the system retrieves:
      1. To specify the starting point, select a person in the Start from list.
      2. To specify the ending point, click Add condition. Then enter a condition that determines where in the hierarchy the system stops retrieving names.
    3. On the Hierarchy options tab, specify which users in the range the task should be escalated to:
      • Assign to all users retrieved – The task is escalated to all users in the range.
      • Assign only to last user retrieved – The task is escalated to only the last user in the range.
      • Exclude users with the following condition – This task isn't escalated to users in the range who meet a specific condition. Click Add condition to specify the condition.
    Workflow user Users in the current workflow
    • After you select Workflow user, on the Workflow user tab, in the Workflow user list, select a user who participates in the workflow.
    User Specific Finance and Operations users
    1. After you select User, click the User tab.
    2. The Available users list includes all Finance and Operations users. Select the users to escalate the task to, and then move those users to the Selected users list.

  4. On the Time limit tab, in the Duration field, specify how much time the user has to complete the task. Select one of the following options:

    • Hours – Enter the number of hours that the user has to complete the task. Then select the calendar that your organization uses, and enter information about your organization's work week.
    • Days – Enter the number of days that the user has to complete the task. Then select the calendar that your organization uses, and enter information about your organization's work week.
    • Weeks – Enter the number of weeks that the user has to complete the task.
    • Months – Select the day and week that the user must complete the task by. For example, you might want the user to complete the task by Friday of the third week of the month.
    • Years – Select the day, week, and month that the user must complete the task by. For example, you might want the user to complete the task by Friday of the third week of December.
  5. Repeat steps 3 through 4 for each user that should be added to the escalation path. You can change the order of the users.

  6. If the users in the escalation path don't complete the task in the allotted time, the system takes action on the task. To specify the action that the system takes, select the Action row, and then, on the End action tab, select an action.

Specify when the system automatically acts on the task

You can configure the system to take action on the manual task if specific conditions are met. For example, a task requires that a member of the Expense reports department review the receipts that are submitted together with an expense report. According to company policy, this task must be performed if the total amount of the expense report is more than USD 100. In this scenario, you can configure the system to automatically mark the task as Complete when the total amount is less than 100. Follow these steps to specify when the system takes action on the manual task.

  1. In the left pane, click Automatic actions.
  2. Select the Enable automatic actions check box.
  3. Click Add condition.
  4. Enter a condition.
  5. Enter any additional conditions that are required.
  6. To verify that the conditions that you entered are configured correctly, follow these steps:

    1. Click Test.
    2. On the Test workflow condition page, in the Validate condition area, select a record.
    3. Click Test. The system evaluates the record to determine whether it meets the conditions that you defined.
    4. Click OK or Cancel to return to the Properties page.
  7. In the Auto complete action list, select the action that the system should take on the task.

Specify when notifications are sent

You can send notifications to people when a manual task has been delegated, escalated, completed, or rejected, or when a change has been requested. Follow these steps to specify when notifications are sent, and who the notifications are sent to.

  1. In the left pane, click Notifications.
  2. Select the check box next to the events that notifications should be sent for:

    • Delegate – The task has been assigned to another user.
    • Escalate – The assigned user hasn't completed the task in the allotted time.
    • Complete – The assigned user has completed the task.
    • Reject – The assigned user has rejected the document that was submitted.
    • Request change – The assigned user has requested a change to the document that was submitted.
  3. Select the row for an event that you selected in step 2.

  4. On the Notification text tab, in the text box, enter the text of the notification.
  5. To personalize the notification, you can insert placeholders. Placeholders are replaced with appropriate information when the notification is shown to users. Follow these steps to insert a placeholder:

    1. In the text box, click where the placeholder should appear.
    2. Click Insert placeholder.
    3. In the list that appears, select the placeholder to insert.
    4. Click Insert.
  6. To add translations of the notification, follow these steps:

    1. Click Translations.
    2. On the page that appears, click Add.
    3. In the list that appears, select the language that you're entering the text in.
    4. In the Translated text field, enter the text.
    5. To personalize the text, you can insert placeholders as described in step 5.
    6. Click Close.
  7. On the Recipient tab, specify who the notifications are sent to. Select one of the options in the following table, and then follow the additional steps for that option before you go to step 8.

    Option Notification recipients Additional steps
    Participant Users who are assigned to a specific group or role
    1. After you select Participant, on the Role based tab, in the Type of participant list, select the type of group or role to send notifications to.
    2. In the Participant list, select the group or role to send notifications to.
    Workflow user Users in the current workflow
    • After you select Workflow user, on the Workflow user tab, in the Workflow user list, select a user who participates in the workflow.
    User Specific Finance and Operations users
    1. After you select User, click the User tab.
    2. The Available users list includes all Finance and Operations users. Select the users to send notifications to, and then move those users to the Selected users list.

  8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 for each event that you selected in step 2.

Set a time limit

Follow these steps if the manual task must be completed in a specific time. Note: The options that you select in this procedure override the options that you selected in the Assignment and Escalation areas of the page.

  1. In the left pane, click Advanced settings.
  2. Select the Set a time limit for the workflow element check box.
  3. In the Duration field, specify when the task must be completed. Select one of the following options:

    • Hours – Enter the number of hours that the task must be completed in. Then select the calendar that your organization uses, and enter information about your organization's work week.
    • Days – Enter the number of days that the task must be completed in. Then select the calendar that your organization uses, and enter information about your organization's work week.
    • Weeks – Enter the number of weeks that the task must be completed in.
    • Months – Select the day and week that the task must be completed by. For example, you might want the task to be completed by Friday of the third week of the month.
    • Years – Select the day, week, and month that the task must be completed by. For example, you might want the task to be completed by Friday of the third week of December.
  4. If the time limit is exceeded, the system takes action on the task. In the Action list, select the action that the system should take.

Specify which actions are available to the user

When the manual task is assigned to a user, the user must take action on the task. Follow these steps to specify which actions the user can take on the task. Note: The actions that are available vary, depending on the design of the task.

  1. In the left pane, click Advanced settings.
  2. Select the Complete check box if the user should be able to mark the task as Complete.
  3. Select the Reject check box if the user should be able to reject the document that was submitted.
  4. Select the Request change check box if the user should be able to request changes to the document that was submitted.
  5. Select the Delegate check box if the user should be able to assign the task to another user.
  6. Select the Reassign check box if the user should be able to reassign the task to another user in the work item queue.
  7. Select the Release check box if the user should be able to reassign the task to the work item queue. Another user can then complete the task.