Complete Guide to Testing Workflow

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This article highlights how to test Workflow yourself, as a Workflow Administrator, reviewing the experience of all roles in your given process. Of course you can build on this approach to involve others in your test, if needed.


Please test all your Workflow processes in the Beta environment! It will give you full control over who is affected by the test and it will allow you to test immediately because Schedules are configured to auto-launch in Beta. Testing in Beta also allows you to run tests while keeping your Production environment clear for your real content.

Prepare the User Accounts for Your Test

We recommend testing Workflow with test accounts, especially if you’re a Workflow Administrator and need to experience Workflow from the perspective of each role that will be involved in your process.

Once you’ve created the process template, take a spin through the steps in that template to see how many different types of users are involved. For example, if your steps involve a Faculty Member, Administrative Reviewers, Committee Chairs, and Members, you'll need to create accounts for each of the process participant types:

  • Faculty member who is the Candidate of the pilot process
  • Administrative Reviewers
  • Department Committee Members
  • Department Committee Chair and, if applicable, Alternate Committee Chair
  • Dean

Now that you know how many test accounts you need, you will create your test accounts. We recommend using a model like the one outlined below for each one so you can easily set and recall the login information:

Users and Security field Faculty member Department Committee member
First Name Test Test
Last Name Faculty Committee Member
Email [your personal email address] [your personal email address]
Username testuserf testusercm
Authentication Local Local
Do we need to keep track of this user's teaching, research and service activities? Yes No
User attributes Chosen Department, College, etc. N/A
Security Role Faculty Faculty


Because the user accounts in the Beta environment refresh every Saturday, we recommend either a) configuring the accounts early in the week so you have the rest of the week to test or b) configuring the test accounts in Production on a Friday so that the following week they’re ready for you to use to test in Beta. 

After you create your accounts, reset the password for each one:

  1. Click the pencil next to the username to edit the test account
  2. Click “Reset Password” at the top of the page
  3. Check your email for a password reset link and follow the subsequent instructions
  4. Once you’ve reset the password, log out of that test account.

Repeat this sequence until you’ve established the passwords for each test account. Visit Reset your password for Faculty Success for more information on the password reset process.

Add Data to Your Test Faculty Account

Workflow can be configured to include a custom report from Faculty Success, populated with data from the Faculty Member's Manage Activities as part of the candidate step. To test this feature, you’ll need to first give your Test Faculty Member account some data. Simply log into your Workflow Administrator account, go to the Manage Activities utility from the Navigation Bar, select the test user's account, and add a few records such as publications, teaching, and service records, within the expected report date range.

Create a Workflow Template for your Test 

Once you have your test accounts in the Beta environment, you will create a Workflow Template. A Workflow Template allows you to customize the sequence of steps in your process to meet your specific requirements. To begin working on the steps of your Workflow Process, go to the Workflow Utility in your Navigation Bar, then Configuration, and select the Add New button to create your Template. For more information, see How to Configure a Workflow Template.

Set Up the Role Groups to Support Your Test

After defining the steps of your process in your Workflow Template, you can create a Role Group for each one to support your pilot test.  A role group is a group of users, such as the Committee Chair and Administrative Reviewers, who must take action during one or more steps of the workflow process.

In each role group, be sure to assign the test accounts you created to the Role Group for their corresponding step. For example, if you’ve chosen to run this test for Department A, you’ll need to assign your test committee member and test committee chair to the Department Committee Role Group for Department A.

See the Managing Role Groups Resource Center section for details on how to create role groups.

Set Up the Test Schedule

Now that you've created your Role Groups and Template, you are ready to launch a test Schedule from the Workflow Configuration.

  1. Within the Template section each Template has an arrow facing down in the Action column. For the template for which you want to create a test schedule, click the arrow and select Schedules.
  2. Choose a launch date of tomorrow.
  3. Choose any step due dates you’d like.
  4. If you included one or more custom reports in your faculty step, set a report date range that you know will pull in the sample records you entered for your Test Faculty Member.
  5. When selecting a Candidate, choose the department to which your Test Faculty Member is assigned.
  6. For each reviewer step, select the Role Group that houses your test account(s) for that type of participant.
  7. Select “Confirm” and permit the system a minute or so to launch your test schedule.
Note: Notification emails are not sent in the Beta environment.


Test the Process as Each Participant

Now that you’ve launched your process, you can start working your way through the process as your participants will. To experience what participant will see:

  1. Log in through the test account earmarked for that step
  2. Fill in that test account’s form in their Workflow task
  3. Submit the test account’s Workflow task to the next step
  4. Log out of that test account and into the next in the sequence
Note: One small oddity in testing this way is that the ability to monitor the status of submissions only opens on the specified launch date. So even though your Schedule auto-launches in Beta, you won’t have access to monitor the status of submissions for your pilot Schedule until the launch date you specified when configuring the Schedule. Once that day arrives, though, navigate to your test Schedule and click the action arrow and then “Submissions” to view the status. If you completed all of the steps in the submission for your Test Faculty Member, the submission for Test Faculty Member should no longer appear in this list, indicating that it is complete.

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