Automation Workflow Sequencing for E-mail Notifications

Jake Gustafson
Jake Gustafson ✭✭✭✭✭✭

Hello, I've been rolling out some new sheets/processes to my colleagues and I've run into a little snag that I'm hoping to seek clarification from you awesome Community members.

Scenario 1: I have an input form that will automatically assign requests to a user and I also want to send an Alert to that Assigned To user. When I was doing testing to setup the sheet, the alert was set as a 'Send to Specific People' (me) and everything worked fine. Then I changed the alert to 'Contacts in a Cell' and choose the Assigned To user. Unfortunately, the e-mails are not getting to him. I'm guessing since the Assigned To is blank upon the request being created, that the two actions (Assign People and Alert the Contacts in a Cell) must live in two separate Automation Workflows. I have worked around it (I believe) by using the 'Send to Specific People' option and hardcoding the person's name into the workflow. I was hoping to avoid that, but it doesn't look like it'll be possible.

Scenario 2: I have a team that inputs details into a sheet and once they toggle a cell from No/Blank to Yes, then the row automatically assigns to a user and should e-mail the person in the field. Now, I'm suspecting that I'm running into the same issue here where an e-mail notification cannot go to the contact in the field because the field has not yet been populated by the same workflow. Again, I hardcoded the Specific Person into the automation.


I hope this makes sense and maybe it is a clear best practice, but I was hoping to avoid using hard coded name values and having to create multiple workflows to accomplish multi-step tasks.

Answers

  • Garrett Henke
    Garrett Henke ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jake Gustafson You can create the automation that you want.

    First, make sure that the permission settings for your Automations are correctly set up. This could be causing an issue if the person you are assigning the task to is not shared to the sheet. For my automations where I send alerts to outside emails I use unrestricted and have yet to run into any issues.

    Then set up the automation to assign the user. Trigger: When rows are added or changed. When 'YOUR FIELD' changes to any value. Set the conditions for each person being assigned and then set up who will be assigned.

    Next you will need to create a separate workflow that alerts the person being assigned. Trigger: When rows are added or changes. When Assigned To changes to any value send an alert to that user.

    Hope this helps!

  • Jake Gustafson
    Jake Gustafson ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @Garrett Henke. I do have the 'Unrestricted' Automation Permissions set and the person involved is an Admin on the sheet and shared to the entire Workspace. So no issues there.

    Then I've got the two separate automations created to 1) Assign the User and then 2) to notify the Assigned To user. I was hoping to be able to combine those into a single workflow, but what I'm grasping from your experience and feedback here is that that won't work for the style of alert I'm trying to use.

    I made some adjustments to my workflows to separate things out an have the two separate so I avoid as much hard coded values as possible.

  • Garrett Henke
    Garrett Henke ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    From my experience and from what I just tested on my own sheet, when using the Assign People action you are unable to add subsequent actions beneath it as you can with other actions. See examples below:

    I can add a workflow action beneath Alert Someone but not when Assign People


  • Jake Gustafson
    Jake Gustafson ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah and I don't think I'd considered the order of events/operations before when hard coding things to a specific person because regardless of the Assign people action, that e-mail notification will go to whoever is hard coded in there.

    Sometimes it requires talking through something to get the complete understanding. I hadn't fully grasped that I wasn't doing this before (because I've been Notifying Specific Persons and Assigning People in the same workflow. Now that I'm trying to notify the Assigned Person, I'm realizing the importance of sequencing.