Running Workflows on a Project Server Linked Task List

In Project Server 2013, Microsoft has introduced a new feature where task data from the project schedule is automatically synchronized with the first task list found alphabetically on the linked Project Site.  When it does that, it locks down the target task list so that it may only be edited through the main PWA interface or Project Professional.

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There are a number of scenarios where you might want to enable workflow on this task list.  For example, you could create a change log that records whenever a task is modified.  You could create a centralized list of milestones…..you could create a task approval process…..I’m sure I’ll come up with a number of options.

The interesting thing is that the default workflow options seem to get hidden on a synchronized task list.

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Drill in to the task, and you’ll see the workflow option noticeably missing from the ribbon.

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So it seems Microsoft is not keen on you leveraging workflow to the list.  Hence, proceed at your own caution.

Luckily, the workflow option is hidden but not removed.  If you dig up the right URL, you can still access the workflow for each task.   In this case, I had to get the ID of the item and the ListID (from the List Settings URL) and the following URL will display the task workflow options.

https://servername.sharepoint.com/sites/pwa/Document%20Dashboard/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/Workflow.aspx?ID=1&List=%7BEBFC7875%2DDF56%2D4796%2DB166%2DFF727190053C%7D

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So now we know the workflow is feasible, let’s create a simple one.  The following workflow creates a “Hello World” item in a custom list called WorkflowTest.

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The trick is on the Workflow Settings screen…

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See the option I’ve deselected?  If that is on, it will try to set a column in the task list with the status of the workflow.  As the task list is locked for editing due to the fact that it’s being synchronized with Project Server, this will cause the workflow to fail on execution.

To solve, simply deselect that option.

Now, whenever I modify a task on the schedule, it will generate a “Hello World” entry in my WorkflowTest list.

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Not too far from there to a task change log kept in a SharePoint list.

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Running Workflows on a Project Server Linked Task List

2 thoughts on “Running Workflows on a Project Server Linked Task List

  1. hesterblok says:

    Hi Andrew, your post inspired me to use changes in the schedule as trigger for events on the project site. I.e. I want to use the completion of a project task to change a property of a document within the project site’s document library. If the Tasks list is not associated with a project schedule this works. However, when the % Complete comes from PWA the workflow doesn’t seem to pick up on it. I deselected the “Automatically update…” checkbox, although I’m not trying to edit the Tasks list. Do you know a way to solve this?

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