Relay’s automated trigger-and-outcome design is ideal for workflows in which task assignees do not vary from case to case, so you can “set and forget” the process. But what about workflows in which the assignees or details vary per iteration? Or workflows you want someone else to initiate? For these, you can use a manual start.
With a manual start, the workflow does not kick off automatically, with no intervention on your part. Instead, any folder owner, co-owner, or editor manually initiates a partially pre-configured workflow, directly from a document that already exists in Box. The workflow runs once. It does not repeat. But it can be modified and re-used. For example, manual starts are appropriate for workflows when:
- a contract must be reviewed by different sets of corporate executives who are assigned by different department heads
- a loan application needs approval from any combination of underwriters and loan officers who someone else must designate
- product design and packaging must be completed by designers, artists, and copywriters who vary with each product
In this way, workflow creators enjoy great flexibility around the steps they’re assembling, because they can account for any combination of variables. And before they start the process, workflow starters can add collaborators and task assignees.
- You can only create workflows that involve folders you own, co-own, or edit.
Working with manual starts
Broadly, here’s how a manual start operates:
- The workflow creator builds and saves the workflow, setting up the various workflow steps.
- At any point thereafter, the workflow starter selects a file, then chooses the workflow around that file.
- They can see details of the workflow before starting it, to ensure it’s the process they want.
- The workflow starter completes any steps the creator may have required (such as designating tasks and assignees, or inviting collaborators).
- The starter initiates the workflow.
The procedures for the workflow creator and the workflow starter differ, though there are similarities.
Creating a workflow for someone to start manually
- Begin a new workflow in Relay.
- Under Trigger, click Manual Start.
- Specify the folder from which the workflow can be triggered.
- Whoever starts the workflow can finish configuring and then initiate the workflow only from a file contained in this folder.
- If there are tasks associated with this workflow, under Outcome, click Assign a Task.
- To configure this workflow with pre-assigned task assignees, enter the names of the people you want.
- To enable whoever starts the workflow to designate task assignees, click to move the Specify when started slider to the right. In the Assignee(s) box, Relay displays an advisory that the workflow cannot start until at least one person is assigned the task.
- Complete the rest of the task outcome. (See below for a link to more details on creating outcomes and assigning tasks and task assignees in Relay.)
- Now add collaborators. To do this:
- Specify the file or folders to whom you want to add collaborators.
- Specify collaborators. For this, do one of the following:
- To add collaborators to a file, under Outcome, click A File Action.
- To add collaborators to a folder, under Outcome, click A Folder Action.
- In the All Workflows page of Relay
- In the More Actions drop-down menu for the file or folder assigned in the workflow.
- In the righthand pane, under the Details tab.
Starting a workflow manually
- Open the folder that contains the file you want to use to start the workflow.
- Hover over the file you want, then click the ellipsis (…) to display the More Options menu.
- Click Start a Workflow. The Select a Workflow window opens.
- Click the workflow you want. The Review Workflow window opens. From here you can review the steps of the workflow. If any step requires your input, it displays with a small Incomplete banner, and also prompts you to Add Assignees or Add Collaborators.
- When you’re done, click Start. The workflow begins, and Relay sends a notice to the workflow creator that the workflow has begun.