Delay an action's start time until a later date

By default, tasks will activate as soon as their dependencies and conditions are met. The timing option lets you delay a task start until the ideal date.

Timing is set per task on the configure task page, where you can delay a task by a certain number of days or until a specific date. If there is any delay added to an action, conditions are assessed before any timing delay is initiated and again after the delay has occurred.

Examples of use

Task timing let’s you add flexibility to a Workflow by setting specific dates or dynamically adjusting the timing of an instance:

  • In an employee onboarding Workflow, set a delay of 7 days after the employee start date to assign a task that surveys the employee about their first week at the company

  • In a sales process Workflow, allow the salesperson to select how long they would like to wait before receiving a task to follow up with a potential customer

  • In a year-end close Workflow, set tasks to start on specific dates leading up to the end of the fiscal year

How to set the timing of a task

  1. From the Workflow Builder page, click an action to configure it. Towards the bottom, check the Delay Start box at the bottom of the panel.

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  2. Choose and configure one of three timing options:
    • Field: Choose from a list of available date & time and date fields.
    • Duration: Set the deadline to be a specific number of days, business days, hours, or minutes after the task is ready, or after the process starts.
    • Date: Enter a specific date in yyyy-mm-dd format.
  3. Select

💡   Tip: The Business days option for the Duration deadline includes Monday-Friday throughout the year, ignoring holidays. If you enter a delay of 2 business days, and the task was started on a Thursday, the task will activate on Monday.

How and when conditions, dependencies, and delays are evaluated

Every task has a status like Pending, In Progress, or Completed. Conditions are part of what determines whether a task should move from Pending (not yet started) to In Progress, and so on. Before a Pending step is set to In Progress or Skipped, the step’s dependencies, conditions, and delays are checked one by one.

Dependencies are always checked first. Afterwards, conditions are checked. If any dependency or condition is not met, the step is skipped and set to Skipped.

After dependencies and conditions are checked, the delay is checked. If the delay is not met, the step is delayed and set to Delayed. The conditions and delay are rechecked after the delay; the dependencies are not rechecked. The following video demonstrates these scenarios.

See understanding step status and milestones for more details on each status.

How delays function when testing

Any delays set per action are ignored during testing. Dependencies and conditions are still checked in the typical order. This applies when testing an entire Workflow or a single action. Deadlines on Tasks are still assessed as normal.

For example, if a Workflow has a single action set with a 1 week delay:

  • If the Workflow is started normally: the action would check dependencies, conditions, then delays, then would be delayed for 1 week.
  • If the Workflow was tested: the action would check dependencies, conditions, then skip checking delays. It would then start immediately.

How timing and delays are interpreted across time zones

When a delay is set for 1 or more days, the delayed task will begin on the given day, at 00:00 UTC.

For example, if a task assigned to a user on July 9th at 5:00PM CST is delayed 2 days, it will begin on July 11th at 00:00 UTC.

Because the user is in CST, the task is actually assigned on July 10th 7:00 PM CST because of the time difference. The time will always depend on the timezone of the user.

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