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Automate ToDos for New Employees

A SharePoint Flows tutorial by Peter Kalmström

Flow iconWhen new colleagues start working, there are certain things that always have to be done. The new employees will for example need some equipment, and the people responsible for arranging that needs to be informed.

In the demos below Peter Kalmström, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, shows how to create two different flows that create tasks with information about new staff and what equipment is needed.

Peter uses three SharePoint lists for his flow: a staff list, a task list and a settings list. In the first demo below he only uses the two first lists, but the process will be much enhanced if you also use a settings list for the equipment and responsibles.

To simplify the demos, Peter has all three lists on the same site, but this is not necessary. A flow can fetch information from different SharePoint sites.

Staff List

In this tutorial, which is primarily intended to show the use of a settings list, Peter has unfortunately over-simplified the so that people get equipment too early. In the first demo Peter uses a SharePoint list called "Employments", which contains information about all staff and also about potential employees.

We suggest that you instead use a separate list for staff only. Here we use the name "Staff" for that list. Then the flow will work as it should: new people are not added to the list until they are actually hired, and that is when they should have their equipment.

The flows take information about the new employee from the Staff list, so that each new item's values for First name, Last name and Position (Management, Finance, Production) are used in the flows.

The second flow also takes information from the Settings list: what equipment is needed and who is responsible for the task.

Tasks List

The equipment that should be given to each new employee varies depending on position. New staff in Management need a computer, a Visa card and a private office. In Finance, people will need a computer and a desk, and in Production they need a tablet and protection gear.

Equipment per position

Trigger and Test

In both flows, start from a blank flow and use the trigger 'SharePoint - when an item is created'. Then select or write in the name of the Staff list and the site where it is situated.

Test the flow by adding a new item in the Staff list. Make sure that the appropriate equipment tasks for the position of the new employee are added to the Tasks list.

Flow without a settings list

In this flow each equipment item is written into the flow, which means that you have to change the flow every time there is a change in the equipment.

This flow is not difficult to understand, but it takes time as you have to create actions for each task separately. Unfortunately it is not yet possible to copy and paste actions in Flow, so you have to create seven different actions and for each action specify the same site URL and tasks list name.
  1. Add conditions for the Position value in the Staff list:
    • the Position value is equal to Management.
    • the Position value is equal to Finance.

      (If both these are false, the third Position value, Production, is true.)
  2. Add actions 'SharePoint - create item' to create tasks in the Tasks list depending on the Position value. For each task, write in the equipment and add dynamic fields for 'First name' and 'Last name':
    • If Management is true, create tasks for Computer, Visa and Private office.
    • If Finance is true, create tasks for Computer and Desk.
    • If Production is true, create tasks for Tablet and Protection gear.


Settings List

To further automate and enhance the process, we recommend that you let the flow fetch data from a Settings list. With such a list, you avoid changes in the flow each time anything around the equipment is changed, and you can also easily set and change the responsible for each equipment item.

Peter has renamed the 'Title' column to 'What To Do?', and here he enters the equipment values. In the flow dynamic content, this column will still be shown as 'Title'.

The settings list also has columns for position and the name of the person or group who is responsible for arranging the equipment. When column values are changed, the flow will continue working as before.

Equipment settings list

Flow with a settings list

When you use a settings list, the flow may be more complicated to understand, but it is quicker to create. As users can make value changes in the SharePoint settings list without disturbing the flow, this flow is much more convenient to use in the long run.
  1. Add an action: 'SharePoint - Get items'. Select or write in the name of the Settings list and the site where it is situated.

    At 'Filter Query' under Advanced options in the same step, filter the Position value so that it equals the dynamic content 'Position value'. This will give all the equipment the newly added person in the Staff list will need for his/her position.
  2. Add an action: 'apply to each'. Select the dynamic content 'value' as output.
  3. Add an action, 'SharePoint - create item', to create a task in the Tasks list. At 'Task Name' write some general text and add dynamic content for 'First name', 'Last name' and 'Title'.

    At 'Assigned to claims', add the dynamic content 'Assigned Claims'. At 'Description', add general text and the dynamic content 'Title'.





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