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Suddenly Missing Task Assignment Emails - anyone else?

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Level 9

We're having a serious issue in our Workfront instance. I've reached out to Workfront and they are continuing to say that the behavior is what is expected. This is NOT how Workfront has worked the past 2+ years.

Our users are no longer receiving any email notification when they are assigned a task at the time of the project becoming active. Something has changed on the back end.

Scenario:

  1. We convert a request to a project. At conversion, project begins in planning.
  2. We make staff the project with assignments.
  3. We make a number of adjustments, delete unnecessary task, verify custom form information is correct, setup project sponsor, etc.
  4. Once verified schedule matches the necessary deliverable dates, we turn the project current.
  5. All users assigned a task receive an email that says "New Work Request" and they get notice they were assigned a task.

Now - #5 is not happening at all. No users are receiving email notifications even though their notifications are on. Which means, our users aren't aware they have tasks assigned to them. Previously, they received email notifications when the project was turned current.

Workfront is indicating that 'this is expected behavior' and the only time they would get task notifications is at the time of staffing. In other words, when the project becomes current they would not receive any notification of a task.

Is anyone else experiencing this? The time between #1 and #4 can be at times extended as we look to gather more information. So this makes no sense to turn a project current that is A) not setup correctly yet and B) not ready to be worked on.

I'm at a loss and I've needed to alert our users that they can no longer depend on email notifications to know when they have work assigned to them. This is a becoming a huge issue.

Help!

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Christina Jarosz

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0 Replies

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Level 9
Basically, the cliff notes version: When a user is assigned to a task, and the project is in planning at the time of staffing, they will not receive any email notification. The only time a user will receive an email notification is if the project is already current and they are added to a task. So, five people are added to tasks on a project as you're setting it up. If the project is not current, no one will receive an email notification that they have a new task.

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Administrator

Hi Christina, Is this different than Updates Not being sent via email this other thread from last last week where people were not receiving emails? Thanks, Kyna

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Level 9
Hi Kyna, Yes. That was related to updates not being received via email. This is related to users no longer getting the 'New Work Request' email notification when they have been assigned to a task. Previously, everyone assigned to a task during project setup received a notification when the project was turned live - letting the know they have a task assigned to them. This is no longer happening. No one is receiving a task notification, even when enabled, if they were assigned to the project before it was current.

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Community Advisor
yeah that's not how it has traditionally worked. Can you escalate? -skye

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Level 4
That is how it has always worked within our instance...when the project's status is "in planning" it doesn't send task assignment emails out. And doesn't send out any emails for those previously assigned tasks when the project is changed to "in progress." Many of our projects have multiple tasks assignments that won't be active for days or even maybe weeks. No need for tons of emails to be received for those tasks. So, we have always assigned the tasks while in planning to prevent that from happening when we put the project "in progress." We really only want email notifications on items that need attention. Denise Moore

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Level 9
Correct. The expected behavior is no task assignments (while project was in planning) are sent via email notification. When the project is turned from planning to current, those tasks are now active and thus SHOULD receive an email notification that a task has been assigned to them. This is no longer happening. They're not getting any task notifications - unless you are adding them to an already current project. Skye - I did escalate, but the response was that this was the expected behavior. I was hoping that others might have experienced the same thing.

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Level 4
For us, it has never been part of the functionality that once the project is changed to "in progress" (equates to "current") that the email notifications are pushed out for all "active" tasks. (Active" task being one in which doesn't have a predecessor or the predecessor has been met.) However, for us, if an assignment is made while the project is actually in the status of "in progress" that is the only time the email notification is pushed out to the assignees and/or team. That's how it has worked for us for the past 7 years. Denise Moore | Ameritas ® | Senior Analyst, Project Management 5900 'O' Street, Lincoln, NE 68510 | p: 402-325-4285 | f: 402-325-4069 | denise.moore@ameritas.com *******

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Community Advisor
Christine: I've duplicated this problem in my own instance, notified my counterpart, and I'll send a quick note to the product manager at workfront to see what's up. (I don't see any value to putting in a ticket as long as Support is holding to that stance) -skye

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Level 10
Absolutely that is how it has always worked for us. Right now we are in the horrible position of dead-ing projects and have not made any new ones but I'll keep my eye on the next one. Also, when you turn Current to Planning to Current a certain number of notifications also go out that can be confusing (Your project is now current!) and I've been getting some of those.

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Level 9
Jill / Skye – can you perhaps put in a ticket? The case # is 00195563. Workfront has a Level III tech working on this and have been helpful, but still state that this is working as it should.

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Level 10
This thread is very interesting. I was asking around and our people say they never get a New Work Request email when a project goes from Planning to Current. They just get the a project you are on is now Current email. Now they do get a New Work Request email when they are added to a project that is already Current. Anthony Imgrund FCB

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Level 10
Indeed Anthony, "Two men say they're Jesus One of them must be wrong..." - Dire Straights Or in this case, on different clusters. Or have different notification settings. Or underlying Status. Or something else. Good luck tracking it down, Christina. It would be reassuring to learn the root cause. Regards, Doug Doug Den Hoed - AtAppStore

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Community Advisor
Anthony and Doug: I'm from the alternate universe, where New Work Request notifications are sent out when a project goes planning to current and there's no coronavirus, if that's helpful. Oh, and cluster 5. And yes, Christina, I heard back from the product manager and submitted a ticket as well. -skye

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Level 10
I was told, more than once, after much discussion, that Denise's (and thus Christina's) behavior is "as expected": If a project is Active, notifications go out when assignments are made, new tasks created, whatnot. If the project is in Planning, then any assignments you make, changes, etc. will not trigger notifications when the project is switched to Active. I was told this was to avoid the "flood of multiple emails/notifications" that would result in many circumstances. Can't say I disagree really, in our case, though we still sometimes wish the notifications were sent. This has been the case since we launch last October, and was even described to us this way by the Implementation Specialist. We followed-up on this a couple months later (because honestly we forgot) and Support confirmed. It is what drove us to create Planner and Worker dashboards and to steer people away from 100% reliance on email and in-system notifications. "Use Your Dashboards" is a sort of mantra around here. Kevin Quosig

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Level 3
Hi everyone! Josh Hardman here, Senior Product Manager over the area for communications and updates. Wanted to provide some input. I will just caveat everything I say here with, "This is how it is SUPPOSED to work". There's always that off chance that something may not be working right for you. If you are not seeing notifications according to how I describe it, definitely let support know. Since the beginning of Workfront, task assignment emails have not been delivered when a project is in a status that equates with Planning. This was on purpose and for the reasons that @Christina Jarosz has described. That has not changed. If you are working on a "Planning" project, emails will not be sent as users are assigned to tasks. The documentation for the types of notifications that you can receive when assigned to a new work item indicates as such. Now, when you change a project from Planning to a status that equates with Current, there has not been nor is there now a process by which we email every person for each task that they are assigned to. This could become quickly bothersome. Let's say I am assigned to 50 tasks on that project, is it helpful to me to receive 50 notifications about assignments all at once? There is however a notification, that a user can turn on or off, that will notify each user assigned to a task on a project to let them know that the project is now Current. The documentation for that notification says this: This is a single notification, regardless of how many tasks you are assigned to. Within Workfront, under your user notification preferences, it is within the section labeled "Information About Project's I'm On". The line of text for the actual notification says, "A project I'm on becomes active". The user may enable Daily, Instant, or both types of email alerts. @Christina Jarosz , can you double check that the people who are not receiving this email when a project is made Current, that they do in fact have that email notification enabled as "Instant"? Let me know if something is not clear or for some reason just is not workable for the way you need to use email notifications. You can send me a private message here if you'd like. Thanks! Josh Hardman Product Manager, Workfront

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Level 10
I just changed a project from On Hold to Current and the only person who got a notification was the Project Owner and for some reason, me, who is a Resource Manager on the project (maybe since I changed the status?), but that's all. The other people with tasks, who are also some of them Resource Managers, got nothing. That seems bad.

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Community Advisor
Sorry Josh -- I'm stuck in a 4-5 hour set of back to back conference calls. I would dearly love to continue this conversation though! To address what you said, "Now, when you change a project from Planning to a status that equates with Current, there has not been nor is there now a process by which we email every person for each task that they are assigned to. This could become quickly bothersome. Let's say I am assigned to 50 tasks on that project, is it helpful to me to receive 50 notifications about assignments all at once?" I think this is what we (those of us who disagree with you) are disagreeing with. In fact, there has been (was) a process where users are notified of tasks on project status change from setup to active. It's been there since 2015. It was there just last year. I'm in an interesting position right now where while I would normally have saved my auto email notifications, I no longer have any of them because I migrated to a new instance. So I really don't have anything to back up what my memory says. But my suggestion to others who are experiencing this problem, if anyone has saved email notifications from The Way Things Used To Be, to maybe share them for time/date stamps and maybe this can be tracked down and verified as to which notification has gone down. -skye

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Level 9
Yes, this! I'm glad you remember The Way Things Used To Be because I was starting to think I really was going crazy! Josh - since we setup the projects, we generally dont receive our task notifications. In order to find examples, I'm going to have to reach out to our users and really sit with them for a good bit to backtrack all task notifications they have in the past six months to see where things went sideways. I definitely don't have an issue doing this, but it will take some time. Christina Jarosz | Ascensus, LLC | Marketing & Communications

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Community Advisor
Generally speaking (from memory), if you could find an email of the type that used to go out, that's dated within the last month or so, that would be gold. I don't think the WF email logs go back further than that. -skye

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Level 2
Hi Christina, Just to re-iterate what Josh Hardman mentioned above, if you have the following 2 email notifications activated Current Project Status Change to Project Team Task Assignment to Task Assigned To users will receive one email with all the assignments when the project becomes active. It should look like this: Is this the email you are referring to? Anna Asatryan, Product Manager, Workfront