Workflow Steps FAQ

Modified on Mon, 01 May 2023 at 12:53 PM

Workflows showcase the order a story will go through and who will be involved during the production and approval process. We will go over the following workflow capabilities:

  1. Adding a description to a workflow step

  2. Editing / Approving the story

  3. Reassigning a workflow step

  4. Manually transitioning a workflow

  5. Editing the story when you're not the current assignee in the workflow

1. Adding a description to a workflow step

When you first create a story, you'll have the opportunity to assign each step of the workflow to your teammates. It’s often helpful to identify the tasks that must be accomplished at each step of your workflow to move the content forward.


When creating a workflow step you’ll see a “Description” field.


The description might be a check-list of tasks the assignee must complete before submission or details that provide context to the work that's expected of them. 


The description will be included in the email communication each assignee receives when a reached step is assigned to them.




2. Editing / Approving the story

When a story is in your workflow step, the "Begin Task" button will appear in the top right corner of your screen. This will begin your approval process. After you click "Begin Task" you are able to make edits and leave feedback. Please note that if the workflow step is assigned to a team, the button will say "Claim" 


Once you've started the story, it turns into a text editor. Changes are saved automatically.

If you approve the story, click "Submit" to push it through the workflow.



You can leave comments whether a story is or is not in your workflow step. If you'd like to leave comments on a particular story, read more about it here.



3. Reassigning a workflow step

Occasionally, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to reassign a workflow step from one person to another. Maybe your colleague went on vacation or perhaps you have someone new on your team who will be taking on more editing responsibilities. Whatever the case may be, our workflows are flexible and can always be adjusted. You can reassign individual steps in a workflow or reassign workflow steps in bulk.


Reassigning individual steps

  1. Click on the workflow tab on the right panel

  2. Click "Edit"

  3. Scroll to the workflow step that you'd like to reassign and select the new assignee's name from the dropdown menu

  4. Click "Save"

Reassigning workflow steps in bulk

Our bulk reassign tool lets you quickly reallocate all work from one person to another. If a colleague moves into a new role, goes on leave, or takes on different responsibilities, this tool enables you to reassign workflow steps for all stories still in progress with the click of a button. Reassigning steps will help your workflows run smoothly and keep content from getting delayed. Here's how it works:


  1. Go to your Publication settings

  2. Click on "Reassign users" under "User management"

  3. Select the user whose work should be reassigned in the "From User" dropdown menu

  4. Select the new assignee in the "To User" dropdown menu

  5. Click "Submit"

Note: You can only reassign forthcoming steps. Once a workflow step has already been claimed or submitted, you cannot reassign it. Additionally, steps with payment will not be reassigned. 


4. Manually transitioning a workflow

If you would like to mark a story as published or transition a story when it is not assigned to you in the workflow, you can use the Manually Transition tool in Contently.


To access the tool:

  1. Head into the story page

  2. Click on the workflow tab on the right

  3. Click on "Edit"

4. At the top of the workflow pane there will be a dropdown that allows you to  "Manually Transition This Story"

5. Select which stage in the workflow the story should be. This includes sending it both backward and forward in the workflow.

6. Click "Save" at the bottom



5. Editing the story when you're not the current assignee in the workflow

Managing permission settings

In order to edit a story when you are not the current assignee on the workflow, certain permission settings need to be turned on. Reach out to your Customer Success lead if you need these permission settings.


Making edits to a story

Users with this permission will notice an "Edit Mode" button located on the top right hand corner of the pageIf the content has not been claimed by the current assignee, those users will be able to edit the story in "Edit Mode."


  • Click on edit mode to start editing the piece of content. Once you are done you can hit "Save" or "Exit Edit Mode."

  • If you are idle for a more than half hour, the platform will ask you if you are still editing. If you don’t respond for 60 seconds, we will save your changes and exit you out.

  • If a user is in edit mode, the current assignee will see a message that tells them that they can’t claim the story just yet, as another user is working on the content. If the assignee needs access fast, they can comment on the story and tag the user that’s working on it currently. 

6. What happens when a workflow step is assigned to a team?

  • When to use this: this is a great option for when you want to alert multiple users a story needs approval, but you only require one person's approval from that group. Typically this is used for legal, compliance, and SMEs. 

  • If you assign a workflow step to a team, when your content hits that step in the workflow it will provide an alert to all users assigned to that team. Each one of those users then have the ability to go to that story and claim it. Once claimed, that user is responsible for that workflow step, and only that user can edit it and move it through the workflow. 

  • You can create, edit, and manage your teams in the User Management Page within Contently 

  • Note: Assigning a workflow step to a team does not mean all users on that team are required to approve content. Only the first user who clicks the "Claim" button on the story will be responsible for that first step. 

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