I have a list, and when items come in they need to progress through multiple stages. I have workflows set up, and expected that if an item is in stage 3 when it gets saved it might stay in stage 3, or might proceed to stage 4, or whatever. The issue is that Sharepoint appears to, when you resave the item that it does not restart the workflow in stage 3 and then check to see if it should proceed to stage 4, it looks to me like sharepoint reexecutes stage 1 instead of restarting at stage 3 like I would expect.

Bottom line: shouldn't the workflow restart at the same stage it was when it left? If not, how to I get the multiple stages to behave that way without a huge if then statement in the first stages transition area. Yuck....

2 Answers 2


Workflow just runs and completes without maintaining any state information. On these kind of requirements I create a choice field, called State or Status. Let's say "Stage 1", "Stage 2", "Stage 3" as choices.

Then I trigger state changes based on another field. Let's say a yes/no field called Progress to Next Stage.

Workflow then have an IF block for each state where I check if State = "State X" and Progress = "Yes". Within the block;

1. Do whatever needs to be done as part of transition to the next stage
2. Set Stage to the next Stage 
3. Set Progress field to No

Every time user ticks Progress field, item progresses to the next stage.

This is really a generic example, you can impose several business rules to trigger state changes. e.g. If order date is not blank, progress to order stage etc.

  • I am trying to avoid the multiple if that you have described. It seems like there should be a way to say Case "State" go to Stage Whatever... Hmm disappointing.. Thanks Charles for confirming my thoughts. Your logic seems like a solid approach.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 15:36

Do you have start workflow set to automatically start on change?

Haven't done had to do this in a while, but if you disable that option I think the workflow does not restart.

  • I have it automatically starting, but after playing with it, I don't believe that option has any bearing on it. It is going to start fresh in the worfklow every time it starts.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 21:59

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