With project workflows, you can quickly create projects with a predefined work structure and automate the monitoring of the progress of these projects. In the workflow, you can specify stages, milestones, and a set of standard tasks. A new project by the workflow can be created in a few clicks.
Milestones and tasks created in the workflow can be changed in each project — add new or delete irrelevant ones. The project workflow will remain unchanged.
How to Set Up a Project Workflow
To create a workflow, go to Projects → Project Workflows and click Create → Workflow.
- In the opened window, specify the name of the workflow. The name will be displayed as a title on the Project Workflow Board. There might be several workflows — for each type of a project or an activity.
- Indicate workflow's description to explain its purpose. Here you can also pre-define your projects' description.
- Task creation mode lets you choose whether to create tasks only for the current project stage or all at once.
- You can also set up when you projects should start and end.
- If you would like to be able to complete your milestones manually, please select this option. If not, they can be completed only once all the related tasks are closed.
- Do not check Activate option before you build your project workflow.
Once you enter all this information, click Save and start building your workflow.
When creating a workflow, there are five stages by default according to PMBOK process groups: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Control, Closure. You can redefine them (add, change, or delete unnecessary ones) according to your business processes for a particular type of projects of your company, for example: "Do", "In progress", "Done" (the simplest version in the life cycle of any project), or apply a product approach.
To add a new stage, click on the "+" next to the name of any stage. Enter the name and click on the area outside the field or press Enter to save the changes. To edit the stage name, point to the stage name and click on the three-dot icon. Enter a new name in the field or delete the stage by clicking on the bin icon. The stages can be moved using the drag & drop.
The stages will shape a Kanban board, where they will be displayed as columns and milestones — as checklists for each stage in the project cards. This will allow you to quickly evaluate the progress of the several projects.
Milestone is a reference point or intermediate result and is used to facilitate monitoring of the progress of the project stage.
Milestones can be used as a checklist of activities to be carried out during project implementation, for example: "Contract signed", "Photos ready", "Layout approved".
Milestones can be added via a short or full form. To quickly create a new milestone, click on "Add Milestone" under the stage name and specify the milestone's name in the corresponding field. Save by clicking on the corresponding button or by pressing Enter.
Or, create a milestone using the full form (click on the icon at the top right corner of the short form).
You can set advanced parameters for a milestone in the full form:
Name, e.g."The contract is signed, the layout is made.”
Assignee — select the person responsible for the milestone. This person will be able to mark the milestone as completed, create tasks for employees, edit the milestone, etc.
Description — specify what needs to be done to achieve this milestone or attach other instructions (for example, a link to a knowledge base article).
Report Template — for example: "Sent ** offers to clients", "The text of the article contains ** characters", etc. The report template allows you to define the structure of the report in advance, which the responsible person will simply adjust according to the results and will not spend extra time on compiling it.
Attach files — for example, layout, logos, contract template, etc.
The created milestones can be moved up and down in the column or moved to the other stages. All changes are automatically saved if you're editing an existing workflow.
For each of the milestones, you can define a set of tasks leading to their completion, or assign tasks only to the project stages.
It should be noted that all tasks created in the project workflow are only templates, which will be used to create actual tasks when creating a project by the workflow. You can change any fields and data in the created tasks in projects — this will not change the task templates.
If you link tasks to a milestone, the milestone will be automatically reached when the tasks are completed. When all the milestones are reached, the project will automatically move to the next stage.
To create a task linked to a milestone, click on the name of the milestone on the workflow editing board. In the "Task Templates" field, specify the task name and press Enter. The created tasks can also be moved between them by dragging and dropping the corresponding icon.
You can also add a task by clicking on "Add Task" in the "Milestones" section and filling in the full form.
In the same way, you can create tasks without linking them to the milestones. They will be related only to the project stages. Tasks without linking to a milestone are also created via the quick and full form.
To do this, click on "Add Task" in the "Tasks" section.
To quickly create a new task, specify its name, description, owner and the assignee by default. Save it by clicking the "check" button or by pressing Enter.
Note: Project Manager is a variable that will be replaced by the user — manager of each project created by the workflow. Changing this field (e.g. selecting another user) during the project execution will not affect the previous tasks performed. Changes will affect only future tasks.
A task can be created using the full form by clicking on the icon at the top right corner of the quick form.
You can set advanced parameters for a task in the full form. Learn more about creating task templates in our knowledge base article.
In the full form, specify the following:
- Task Description.
- Attach files.
- Add a checklist.
- Assignee — specify the employee responsible for the task execution. You will be able to set the assignee during the project execution (then leave it as "not set"). If a task is performed by the same employee all the time, specify it in the workflow.
- Collaborators — the list of users who will have access to the task and receive notifications about changes and comments.
- Owner — the user who will accept the task completion. Note: If the owner of the task is another employee (not a project manager), the owner will receive a notification right after the task is automatically created.
- Start In (days). If you set the "Start In" field to 0, the start time will be equal to the actual date of task creation. Accordingly, if you specify 1, the start date will be set tomorrow. If the field is left blank, the start date will not be set.
- Deadline In (days). The "Deadline In (days)" field specifies the task execution duration. If set to 1, Flowlu will automatically calculate and set the deadline for the next day from the task start date. If the start date is not specified in the workflow, the deadline will be equal to tomorrow from the date of task creation. If set to 0 in this field, the end date will be equal to the date of creation of the task. Note: The specified dates will be calculated from the date of task creation. If you have selected the "Create all the tasks when creating a new project" mode, the date of creating the task will be equal to the date of creating the project. And if you have chosen the "Create tasks only for the current stage" mode, the date of creation of tasks for all subsequent stages will be equal to the date of transition to this stage.
- Estimate Time, if you use task-based time management.
- Add a reminder — by date, deadline or start date.
When creating a project workflow, you often need to change the sequence of milestones and tasks. Use drag & drop to move milestones and tasks.
In the workflow settings, you can activate the workflow by checking the checkbox next to the corresponding option. You can also activate the workflow in the upper right corner by clicking on the corresponding button.
When you make changes to a project workflow, for which you have already created projects, and reactivate it, you can choose whether you want to apply the changes to all existing projects or not. Please note that if you select this option, the changes will affect all the projects created by this workflow. If you make changes to the task template, only the following fields can be modified for the the existing project tasks: stage, milestone, name, description, estimated time, task order.
Here you can also change the name of the workflow or add a description where you can specify the purpose of this workflow.
The "Milestone Manual Completion" option allows users to manually mark a milestone as completed, even if it has unfinished tasks. By default, we recommend that you disable this option to fully automate the project execution process.
Task Creation Mode:
- Create the tasks only for the current project stage. In this case, when you move the project to the next stage, the tasks will be created only for this stage. That is, when creating a project, the tasks are created for the first stage. If the project is implemented sequentially, we recommend you to activate this mode.
- Create all the tasks when creating a new project. In this case, when creating a project, all tasks specified for all stages will be created, and all responsible persons will be notified of all automatically created tasks.
Project Time Frame — preset start and end dates of the project relative to the moment of its creation.
How to edit a workflow
You can always edit the created workflow or delete it by clicking on the three vertical points in the upper right corner.
The list of all project workflows can be displayed by clicking on three points in the upper right corner and going to the "All Project Workflows" tab.
Here you can see a table with data on the number of created projects by this workflow, description, workflow id, and activity status of the workflow.
Please note: We do not recommend changing the workflow of the created project, because the connection between the completed tasks and milestones and the project will be lost.
How to create a project by the workflow
Go to the project workflow board. On the project workflow board, create a project in the "Quick Add" field.
Specify the name of the project and the project manager. Or click on the "Create Project" button in the upper right corner.
- At the very top of the page, there is the name of the milestone. The name can be edited by clicking on it.
- To the right of the name, there is a panel with buttons. Here you can find the options — "Mark as Complete", "Copy the Link to the Clipboard", "Open Milestone in New Tab". Clicking on three vertical points, you can edit the template of a milestone, as well as delete a milestone.
- The description of the milestone is displayed under is the name (if it is filled at the milestone in the project workflow). Its editing is available only in a milestone, in the project workflow.
- The report field displays the report entered in the workflow, which can be edited by clicking on it.
- You can attach files to a milestone.
- If a milestone contains tasks, the list of tasks is displayed in the section below the files. Milestone progress is calculated from the percentage of completed tasks. You can add a task by clicking on "Add Task".
- The right section of fields displays information on this milestone:
- Link to the project for which this milestone was created.
- Project stage.
- Milestone date, if a milestone is reached.
- Milestone assignee. It can be changed by clicking on the "pencil" icon to the right of the name.
- Identification Number of the milestone.
- The person who created this milestone
- Date, when the milestone was created
- The date of the last milestone update.
- In the low section, the comments to the milestone are displayed, and the history of the milestone changes can also be viewed here.
How to Copy Project Workflow
- Go to "Projects" → "Project Workflows."
- Choose a project workflow from the board (or click "All Project Workflows").
- Go to the project workflow and click on the three-dots button in the upper right corner. Open the editing mode.
- Click on the three-dots button in the upper right corner and select the option to clone a project workflow.