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I have a SharePoint 2010 OOB list workflow that usually takes less than minute to complete. However, I found a list item where the workflow begun 30 minutes after the start time, but less than a minute to complete after it did start. For example, the workflow was initiated at 3:30 pm in the history list. However, it started running at 4:00 and finished at 4:00 pm. The list only has around 300 items. What can cause this?

  • depends on what are you doing in the workflow, are you trying to connect to a different list to get items, I would suggest to have a look at the ULS log entries after starting the workflow, that will lead you to the real issue. – Sudhir Kesharwani Apr 22 '14 at 20:58
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Things that can cause it are a lot of workflows executing in the system. It might have been batched and queued up.

The timer service on the server might have been stuck or processing large amounts of data at the time backing up the processing of other services.

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