Pre-Filled Criteria and Automatic Alerts

dmartin ✭✭
edited 12/08/23 in Smartsheet Basics

Just looking for some clarification regarding triggering workflows. We've recently been attempting to use SmartSheet to notify university employees about their work assignments for commencement. Because we wanted a fast way to collect data that we could pre-load into SmartSheet, we used another platform, created an excel sheet, and then uploaded it into SmartSheet.

However, when creating workflows, we weren't looking to use them for project management. We wanted to use alerts to notify specific work groups of where they needed to be and when, who they could contact for questions, etc. So we pre-loaded in all this data and I adjusted the sheet to be a little more visually organized, then I set up alerts with the main criteria being the type of task group and triggered them manually. However, I didn't understand that manual triggering bypasses the criteria for an automatic trigger... it was a fiasco. Everyone got multiple notifications from the sheet that were incorrect. I ended up having to go into 30 different workflows and set up lengthy conditions for when I would trigger them automatically so only certain contacts would receive the message.

My understanding now is that because the data which listed the groups/tasks was pre-filled before I created the workflows, they could never be triggered since there were no changes made to the rows/sheet under the listed criteria. Is that correct?

Yet, when I did make changes later in the process (people called off sick, etc.) when rows were moved and re-labeled, no workflows were triggered according to the criteria. Why would that be?

I'm just trying to understand the process more because the automatic alerts don't seem to be working properly in our sheet. Is there a better way to have gone about our plan?