I have created a custom workflow for an approval process. The workflow is designed to accomplish this task by using the “Collect data from user (Output to variable: collect)” action.

I wish to assign a time limit to these tasks, and then elevate them to the users, manager when the time elapses.

The problem is I cannot access the Task Behavior Actions. The workflow is a reusable workflow.

Is it possible to do this with the “Collect data actions”?

Here is a screen shot: enter image description here

1 Answer 1


If you are trying to achieve this using SharePoint Designer, you need to run the approval as a Task Process. There are two out of box Task Process Actions which you can leverage as shown below:

enter image description here

You can collect data from user using custom Task Fields.

When you use one of aove, you can go to change the Task Behavior and take actions in pre-defined steps like "When a Task Expires".

Note that the Task Behavior is not same as single Task assigned while using "Collect Data" activity. Since you are running an approval process, you may want to consider customizing "Start Approval Process".

I can see that you are taking appproval from multiple teams, which can be achieved by running just one "Approval Process", tracking the workflow via different stage (using a custom workflow variable) and appending tasks to different teams one after another in the "When Task Completes" process. Below is a screen shot of similar logic I have put in my custom workflow:

enter image description here

In my workflow, different teams see different InfoPath forms and action buttons and I load different forms by using "Approval Stage" custom task field.

I know its a long answer and it sets a little different path for you. Hope it helps.

  • Thank you so much for response Ashish. My prefered method was using the approval process method, however I found it to complicated when setting up a conditional statement in the workflow.
    – Patrick_J
    Jan 16, 2012 at 21:53
  • Yes, lots of conditional statements but I managed to simplify it and managed to avoid nested conditions by introducing the Approval Stage variable and then dynamically appending the tasks into one single approval process. Good Luck! Jan 16, 2012 at 22:09
  • Ashish, could you post any tutorials or articles that could aid me or others in building this workflow?
    – Patrick_J
    Jan 17, 2012 at 14:53
  • Patrick, I customized the OTB workflow as shown above as per our requirements and I did not follow any tutorial. I am planning to write a blog post for this as I realize it may help others with similar situation but that could take a few days. If you want something immediate, I may send screenshots or .wsp offline to your email address. Jan 17, 2012 at 15:05
  • That would great Ashish. My email is [email protected]. I am looking forward to reading your blog in the future.
    – Patrick_J
    Jan 17, 2012 at 19:27

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