Using SharePoint Workflow Quick Step

Ciara McCarthy
By | Updated July 12, 2017 | 4 min read
project failure

Perhaps you want to allow users to manually kick off a workflow and not have it run automatically. Or perhaps you run the same tasks in sequence and a workflow or button would be very useful when you want to kick it off. A SharePoint Workflow Quick Step is a custom button that you can implement on the “Items” ribbon to kick-off a workflow from SharePoint Designer.

Note: You will need SharePoint Designer to create the Quick Step and Workflows. You can download it for free from Microsoft.

In the example below, I am going to mark a goal as 100% completed and automatically post an announcement in the Project Announcements to let the team know. Your workflows can be as basic or complex as needed.


Create a SharePoint Workflow Quick Step

    1. Upload 2 icons to the Site Assets Library of the project site. Ideally, it should be the same image; one at 16 x 16 pixels and the other at 32 x 32. SiteAssets
    2. Open SharePoint Designer. Create and publish the workflow as required. It should not start automatically. Workflow Start Options
    3. In this example, I close a goal, set the Actual Finish Date to “today” and make an announcement that the goal was achieved.SharePoint Workflow
    4. In the List or Library setting page in SharePoint Designer, click within the Custom Actions pane. Don’t click on New, as this limits your options on where to execute the Quick Step. Custom Action Quick Step
    5. On the Ribbon, there are now various options available as to where to implement and use the Custom Action Quick Step. Select the most appropriate. You can have more than one. SharePoint Custom Action Types
    6. Fill in the display name that will appear in SharePoint for users to initiate the Quick Step. Add a short description to help users if they hover over the button or list item. Create Custom Action SharePoint
    7. Select the type of action to be Initiate Workflow. Select the workflow from the dropdown.
    8. Select the image for the button. Some options will as for two URLs – 16 x 16 and 32 x 32. Use the images uploaded in the first step in the Site Assets folder. SharePoint Quick Step Initiate Workflow
    9. In this example, I have it on the list item, display form, and view ribbon. The one workflow will work for all three i.e. I don’t need to duplicate the workflow I created earlier. Custom Action Quick Step Examples
    10. I can now see my SharePoint Workflow Quick Step in various locations in my Project Goals list.

      SharePoint Workflow Quick Step Examples:

      List Item:

      Custom Action Quick Step List Item

      Custom Action Quick Step List Item 2



      SharePoint Workflow Quick Step

    11. Clicking on any of these will prompt me to run the workflow. It may take a few moments depending on the complexity of the workflow. Run Goal Workflow
    12. Once completed, the workflow will output a Success message. If it fails, check your workflow.


By using a SharePoint Workflow Quick Step you and your team could save time and effort by reducing some of the mundane and duplicated tasks that you encounter at different stages of your project lifecycle. If you implement the SharePoint Workflow Quick Step in your BrightWork template, then each time you kick off a new project, those Quick Steps will be part of the projects.


And for Brightwork customers, if any of these tie into your metrics e.g. the number of closed goals achieved, you really do get more automation into your dashboards and reporting.

Project Management Dashboard


Please post in the comments below some of the innovative ways you have implemented a SharePoint Workflow Quick Step. I’m sure our community would love to hear!

Ciara McCarthy
Ciara McCarthy

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