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WORKFLOWS: FAQs & Troubleshooting

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What happens if a user is deleted from the system while they have a proposal/request in-flight?

If a user is deleted while they have a request/proposal mid-flight: 

  • The proposal will continue through the workflow as before.

  • The proposal will work the same after refreshing the workflow for in-flight requests. 

  • The author will NOT receive any email notifications after they have been deleted.

How can I send a request/proposal back to the author for changes after Step X without needing to repeat all prior steps in the workflow once those changes have been made? 

If the approver is given the permission to "Route back" then the form can be sent back to the step of their choice and they can also set where it should go on the return. Learn more here.

Are we able to add in a listserv email in workflows instead of individual users?

Yes; you can use listserv emails in workflows. This is most commonly used strictly for notification purposes, but it’s possible to use them for voting as well. Either way:

  • Create a user with the listserv email (confirm if the user needs a password or SSO login when you set it up). Learn about adding users here

  • Add the listserv email to the workflow step. Everyone on the listserv will be notified at this step.

  • If you have set up this step to include voting, the first person to log in and vote using the listserv email would be the vote considered. 

  • To avoid double-notifying users, attach the listserv email to the actual step that you want it to be triggered on, instead of individual users. They will only be notified at their step, just like individual users are.

Events Workflows

What happens when a request is rejected at the dynamic resource approval step?

  • You can set the reject behavior in the Workflow Settings in a resource's settings. Learn how here.

  • If a proposal is rejected at the resource approval step, and you select “Return the proposal to its author”, then once the request is returned to the author, they can remove the resource and re-submit.


Requests Stuck in Workflow / Pending 

Problem Overview | Explanation | Participant Isn’t Listed in Request or is Inactive
Participant Has Not Yet Voted | Participant Has Voted

Problem Overview

Your requests aren’t making it through the approval workflow. 


There are three different solutions to this depending on whether or not the participant is active in your system (solution 1). If they are, the solution varies depending on whether or not they’ve already voted (solutions 2 & 3). 

Participant Isn’t Listed in Request or is Inactive

Problem Overview

A workflow can get stuck if it’s landed with a participant who has left your institution, and they were either deleted from Coursedog or their status was changed to “inactive”. 

Solution Overview

  • Check to see if the workflow participant left your institution and was subsequently deleted or inactivated.

  • If so, replace them in all relevant workflows.

How to Fix It

  1. If the user is inactive, a workflow/request will still show their name, so you’ll need to confirm their status by looking at their User profile (Product > Settings > Users) or the Inactive Workflow Users Report in Curriculum. 

  2. If the user has been deleted from the system, the workflow/request will show an empty space where the participant’s name used to be.

  3. Once you’ve confirmed the user was inactivated and/or deleted, you will want to replace them in all workflows.

  4. Select “Update workflows for in-flight proposals” within all relevant workflows to ensure any requests that are in progress are updated with the new participant. 

  5. Verify the changes by checking a relevant proposal, ensuring the new participant is correctly assigned.

Additional Resources

Participant Has Not Yet Voted

Solution Overview

The most likely answer relates to deadlines in your workflow steps. Unless a deadline is specified in each workflow step, inactivity from the workflow participants will have no impact. For example, when a request reaches the following step, only one of the participants needs to make a decision, and the request will continue through the workflow accordingly. However, if the two participants neglect to vote on the request, nothing will happen and the event request could be forgotten. 

How to Fix It

  • We recommend adding a deadline to every workflow step to ensure this problem does not occur. 

  • To do so, click the blue EDIT button on the top right of the workflow card.

  • Scroll down in the settings on the left-hand side, and check the box that reads “This step has a deadline”. 

Additional Notes

  • Make sure this is set up for dynamic steps too. Learn how to set that up in Events here and Curriculum/Catalog here

  • The great thing about deadlines is that you can decide what happens when the deadline is enforced. For steps that are important and approval is necessary, we recommend choosing "Return the request to the previous step" or "Return the request to its author". This ensures the request is still active and allows other participants to step in and help re-spark the approval process.

Participant Has Voted

Solution Overview

If a workflow is stuck as “pending” even though the workflow participant at this step has voted on it, there is a way to force it to the next step. 

How to Do it

  • If a proposal is stuck in pending, the voter of the current step – after they already voted – will see and be able to click on “If you think the workflow should have progressed but it didn’t, click here to reevaluate the votes.”

  • This option is accessible from within the Proposal Toolbox.

Workflows Not Routing Based on Department

Problem Overview

You have workflows with Department-specific logic jumps, but they aren’t routing based on department; instead, everything is going to the default next step. 

Solution Overview

You need to use the Department ID for this. Learn more here.

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