Hope you can help:

We've built a rather simple, custom workflow in SPD which is connected to a custom list. In the list there is a Status column, with a choice-drop down and one of the values being "Complete".

For the Workflow Start Options, we selected both: - "when new item is created" and - whenever an item is changed.

We built the workflow with two steps:

Step 1: (Condition): When a new item has been created, (Action) Send an Email to "created by" (a "thank you for your submission..." )

Step 2: (Condition - lookup) when the "Status" column equals "Complete" (Action) Send an email to "Created by"/User who created item ("your order is complete...").

Good news is, in testing we receive both the "Thank you" email when a new item is created and also the "order complete" email when we update the status field to "Complete." Bad news is if we update the record with other status values before marking it "Complete" ("Hold", etc), then the first "thanks for your submission" email is sent again to the 'created by' user. As you can guess, they should only receive a total of two emails during the entire process.

Could this be because of the start option also being set to "change", even though we specified the parameters for the change? Perhaps the two steps need to be defined as two separate workflows? It seems simple and specific enough that they can be contained in the same workflow.

Appreciate any feedback, thanks.

2 Answers 2


Your current workflow will run each time a item is create and when it's changed each time it'll send the "Created" email and if Status is Completed it'll send the "Completed" email each of these can be send multiple times if the item is changed multiple times.

You have two options:

Split the workflow into two:
1. A workflow set to run when created sending out the "Created" email
2. A workflow set to run when changed sending out the "Completed" email if completed
This will create the risk of sending out multiple "Completed" emails if the item can be changed after being completed and you'll not be able to pass information from one workflow into the next except though setting properties on the item

Change the workflow to only run when an item is created and instead of the condition in step two add an "Wait for Field Change in Current Item" action as "Wait for Status to equal Completed".
This will ensure that the emails are only send once and make it easy to see items where the workflow is waiting for them to change to completed.

  • That's the clarification we needed.. all worked great. Thanks very much!
    – Kristin T.
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 17:25
  • @KristinT. - please mark as the accepted answer if this is the solution to your problem. Thanks.
    – SPDoctor
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 14:58

You might also try setting a flag on the first workflow, so that you track once the 1st email is sent.

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