How to Use Workflow to Streamline Your Publishing Process
July 14, 2021
Last updated: 9/22/2021
Every Ingeniux CMS implementation comes with the Ingeniux Workflow Designer. This feature is accessible in the Administrator section of the platform.
A workflow is a sequence of tasks that define a process. Administrators can design workflows that help content writers, editors, reviewers, and others working in the CMS understand the content production and publishing process and ensure all content goes through the proper channels prior to being published.
There are many ways to use Ingeniux Workflow Designer to streamline your editorial process, from content production to publishing on your live site. In this article, I’ll highlight five tips and tricks you can employ to ensure content quality and improve efficiency.
Utilize “Loops” to Return to a Previous Workstate
By creating a transition that loops back to the same workstate and keeps the content item in the same group/person’s hands you can give the opportunity for the users to do actions to the item without losing possession of it. Typical reasons for this might be to send a copy of the item to a staging publishing target (check it in, mark it for publish, publish, check out), put a comment on it to remember where they were, or perhaps to make a support request by adding the Send Mail action to the transition.
Bridge to Other Workflow Items
Using the bridge action on a transition moves the content item from one workflow to another. If you have a complex process you can use this ability to split your processes up into smaller workflows that are easier to manage from an administrator’s perspective.
For instance, many websites often have a more rigorous workflow for the first pass of a page going live and then a shorter process for performing edits to existing pages. Rather than trying to fit that long process into a single workflow, you could split it into two workflows: one workflow for new content creation and one for editing existing content. The final step of the first workflow would push the content to the second workflow, where the editing process would take place. This also helps with reporting, as you can easily see what is new and what is already live and being edited.
Flip It and Reverse It
Sometimes Administrators create content items and forget about workflow until the content is complete. Then, they want to get their content writers and editors into the content to edit it after it’s been published – but the content writers and editors all work in workflow. In the typical workflow process, content usually enters the workflow at the very beginning when it is being written. In this scenario, the Administrator has already checked in and marked the content item for publish, so there might not be an existing workflow that can support content editors getting into that content in workflow.
If this scenario happens in your organization, consider creating a workflow for content in the “Published” state. As you add all the content items to that workflow the reports will indicate that they are indeed all done. Then the flow takes them naturally to an “Editing” state and transitions from there where it needs to go.
Avoid Unnecessary Transitions by Embracing the Comments Feature
If there are multiple people who need to see a content item before it gets published but the process between them is non-linear, just keep them all in the same group and workstate and have them use the loop from above to assign the page to another reviewer.
Each reviewer can add a comment saying that they approve the content and the last one can check the workflow history to ensure that all stakeholders have seen the item and approved it. This is much more efficient than trying to make a linear set of workflow steps for each reviewer. That is a great way to bottleneck a process, and we should always be watching out for bottlenecks!
Use Comments to Advance in Batches
In workflow reports you can advance many items at the same time to the next workstate of a workflow, as long as they are all starting at the same workstate.
The last comment on a transition is a sortable field in the workflow reports. When you are trying to batch up multiple content items to go live all at the same time, put the same comment on all of the items as you transition them through the workflow. Then, you can sort them in the report and select them all at the same time to advance them in one batch.
I hope you found this list of tips and tricks for working in Workflow Designer in Ingeniux CMS helpful. If you have questions about workflow or how to use it to achieve your goals, ask your question(s) in the comments.