Have you ever managed a large project with multiple stakeholders who need to be notified of important project updates such as a changed delivery date? Managing projects inevitably involves changing elements and influencing the timing of when the final deliverable is complete. As a Project Manager, you can notify the stakeholders you need to, by using the send notification feature on Nintex Workflow for Project Server. Follow the steps below, and your workflow will be configured to inform whomever you'd like (e.g. stakeholders, team members, the PMO, etc.) when a delivery date changes.
Create a project Property Field called Delivery Date
Before you start building your workflow, you will need to access the Project Server Settings page and create a new custom field for the Delivery Date value as pictured below. Please note the screen shots in the post are from Project Server 2010 and Nintex Workflow for Project Server 2010 but are certainly applicable to 2013 although some of the visuals may differ.
In Project Server under Server Settings > Enterprise Content Types and Lookup Tables:
Now navigate to Create Demand Management Workflow* inside of the Nintex Workflow for Project Server menu item via the site actions (or cog in 2013) menu, and add the a Read Project Property action.
*Note: this can be added to an existing demand management workflow as another piece of workflow logic.
Double click on the Read project property action and then configure the action to store the Delivery Date property in a variable (you will need to create a new date variable by clicking on Variables, then click new, select the date type and give the variable a name such as varDeliveryDate).
You can now add a Run Parallel actions action to the design canvas.
On one side, we add a Loop action that checks if the delivery date has changed:
Add a Read Project Property action below the Loop action and configure it.
If the date has changed the workflow will get the new delivery date and store this as a new variable (you’ll need to create a new date variable by clicking on Variables, then click new, select the date type and give the variable a name such as varNewDeliveryDate).
The next action to use is the Read Project security group.
It then grabs all the users in the Team members group (create a variable via the Variables dialog as done prior to store the result in):
Configure a Run if action so that the notification will only be sent if delivery date (varDeliveryDate) does not equal the new delivery date (varNewDeliveryDate).
Then add a Send Notification action:
This will be configured to notify the team of the delivery date change:
The other branch of the parallel action can be running any number of other activities. This includes, but certainly is not limited to, setting the project stage or assigning tasks as seen below:
Now don't forget to exit the loop you just configured! This blog post doesn't go into detail on how to do that here, as there are any number of ways to accomplish that (such as setting a variable after the FlexiTask outcomes and then configuring the loop to stop if that variable contains data) but remember this is a critical step that you may not realize needs to occur.
Overall workflow example:
Dealing with change is a critical aspect to managing any project. This example shows you just how easy it is to manage change and communicate more effectively without having to manually send out emails, make phone calls or sit in on even more meetings. So go ahead and give yourself, and your team, some time back to work on what really matters such as project deliverables themselves!
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