Workflow SLA Timers

How to use timers to keep track of your cards & automate your workflow processes

Workflow processes can often be time-sensitive

As a way to keep cards moving, you can make use of the SLA timer setting to ensure cards are monitored/escalated as needed for each specific workflow phase!

Below you will see some scenarios for using these timers to send reminders/escalate workflow tasks/bypass phases

Configuration

To set the SLA timer for a phase

The timer for a workflow phase can only be set by workflow administrators

Head to a workflow & hit "Edit Phase"

Here you will be able to navigate to the SLA tab

On this tab, you can set the desired SLA timer length for card on that individual phase using  an integer value and a setting of either Hours or Days

To use this in configuring transitions (see below Uses

While editing your desired phase, navigate to the Transitions tab

You will need to change the transitions for the phase to Conditional, if you have not already done so

On this page, hit ADD TRANSITION

After choosing a name indicating what the transition will be used for, you will be taken through to the Transition-builder page

To enable the SLA timer to be used as a transition criterion, you simply need to add it in the Condition list using:

SLA Deadline Expiry + is expired

or

SLA Deadline Expiry + is expired by + [number of days]

Once you have finalised the rest of the transition config (choosing any other Conditions & setting the Transition to Phase value) you can enable this SLA transition by setting the Transition Status to Live

Uses

Monitoring: Workflows & My Dashboard

Without using SLAs for any Transition purposes, they can still be used to keep track of any overdue cards

In workflow notification emails, you can dynamically pass in the SLA Due Date for a card, informing the recipient when the deadline for their action is using enter_phase.sla_due_date in the email template

Dashboards can also be configured to show only the overdue cards

In your My Dashboard view (which shows all workflow cards which you have visibility of in one view), you can hit a toggle  from All to SLA, reloading your list to show only the cards whose SLA dates have passed

(This can be viewed most clearly in the List view where an SLA Deadline column is shown)

Similar to the above, the All/SLA toggle exists on workflow pages

Reminders

The first use of SLA transitions is sending reminders.

This is generally for scenarios where the responsibility of the workflow task cannot/does not need to change, simply nudging the user to remember their task

To do this you can configure a duplicate phase of the reminder you wish to send (i.e. with the same Owners/Form Sections/Actions/etc.)

On expiration of the SLA timer, you can have the initial phase transition over to your new Reminder phase, sending out a new notification email

One-off: If you wish to only send one reminder, it could even be useful to mention in the new notification email template that the user is being reminded to complete a task due to inactivity

Repeat: You can repeat this step of configuring the SLA Timer on your Reminder phase to transition back to the original, creating a continuous "reminder loop" until the card it actioned

Escalations

The next use is escalating

This can be used on more time-constrained processes (often found in managing contract renewals to ensure termination/renegotiation deadlines are not missed)

To do this, you can configure the escalation phase next to the original, usually with a different phase owner (Dynamic or Workflow-Group-based)

Bypass

The final (less common) use is in bypassing

This can be used to skip workflow phases where no concrete input is provided to the workflow process as a whole (generally in Approval phases, where a user's approval/rejection does will not have the authority to stop a card from progressing)

As above, to do this, you can add the SLA transition to your pre-existing list of approval/rejection/submission transitions and Gatekeeper will apply this when the expiration criteria is met, as usual

NB. the movement of a workflow card is always captured in the card's History tab, so you will be able to check which transition was responsible for the progression of a card