Workflows and dialogues in Dynamics CRM are great technologies that support and automate business processes. In this post, we’ll focus on how to create time and condition-based workflows in CRM 2011.


There are times when we need to send reminder emails to our employees or clients in order to get things done. For example, in your IT department, you may have a policy that requires support staff to follow up with clients within three days of them opening a case with you. If a follow up is not initiated (status of case is not changed), you send a reminder email to the owner of the case. Similarly, if the estimated close date on an opportunity is reached, a reminder email may need to be sent to the salesperson. We know that workflows can be created that can send out automated reminder emails to people. But how do we make them wait for a certain number of days?

We make them wait by using “Timeout” in the workflow.

Note: “Timeout” is a substep within the “Wait” Step.

workflows in CRM 2011: timeout substep

Save and Close, and add a step to send an email after the timeout:

workflows in Dynamics CRM: send an email after timeout

And that’s it! Now, the workflow would send an email right after two days of the “Created On” date on the Case record.

Other times our workflows in CRM 2011 have to wait for certain conditions in order to proceed with the next set of actions. For example, let’s say your company has an account manager who handles accounts that have more than 50 employees. In this case, whenever the “No. of Employees” field for a certain Account record is updated to more than 50, the Account would automatically be assigned to that account manager. In this scenario, you would use the “Wait” condition.

workflows in CRM 2011: wait condition

So, essentially, you would want to use “Wait” when a value on your record needs to change for further steps to take place, and “Wait->Timeout”  when a step needs to trigger after a certain time frame.

That’s your quick guide to creating time and condition-based workflows in CRM 2011! Here are some additional posts on workflows that you might be interested in:

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.