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Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

I have a task that I want to run weekly on contacts that meet xyz criteria, but only run once at a time, and when completed run again if the criteria is still being met.  Currently all of my tasks are overrunning one another, and running multiple times concurrently for my contacts.  If I select Run Once, that seems to only allow the task to run a single time and then be excluded forever more.  HOW DO I SET UP FOR THE MIDDLE CASE?

 

Furthermore, If I need to change this setup, how do I do it?  Once a task "criteria" panel is complete, it doesn't seem to let you go back and change it, nor does there seem to be a way to copy the tasks.

 

HELP!

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

Hello Tom,

Welcome to the Sage ACT! Online Community!

 

When Smart Tasks initiate, they are individual entities - they are not dependent upon a previous Smart Task completing.  The 'Run once' option refers to an automatically running Smart Task running for a contact only once.  If enabled, once the Smart Task has run for 'John Doe', it will not run for 'John Doe' again.  If you run a Smart Task manually, it will not follow the criteria for selecting contacts defined within the Smart Task - but will rather use manual selection (all contacts, current lookup, current contact).

 

For editing existing Smart Tasks:

- You can edit a Smart Task by - click Schedule > select Manage Smart Tasks

- On the Manage Smart Tasks window > click on a Smart Task

- You can edit the individual steps or criteria in the right hand window > click Edit for the desired step or criteria

 

Note: When editing an 'Automatic' Smart Task, you will need to disable 'Auto-Run', then re-enable it for the change to take effect.

Greg Martin
Sage
New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

I am fundamentally aware of what you are telling me...but it doesn't make any sense logically.  Confirm for me that this is the correct understanding:

 

Hypothetically:

If I have a task which is supposed to collect any contact that came to look at a timeshare in exchange for a toaster, and was interested in knowing more,  and then put them into a tickler process that sends them a email flyer, schedules a call,  etc...

 

I might have two fields:  Attended promotion, interested

 

If I am doing this theoretical promotion each week, and want to capture new interested parties by criteria, and put them immediately into a follow up chain, I would set this task to run weekly.  If the follow up chain is two months long, every contact will (while still being followed up with from a previous chain) will have a new one initiated weekly.  That means that I will eventually  have 9 flyers and 9 calls scheduled. 

 

If I only ran the task monthly, or bi-monthly, the "leads" in this hypothetical example would get cold.   If someone didn't decide, theoretically you would want to start again with them to see if they had any further thoughts, so you might repeat the process, but you are telling me that run once will prevent that.   If I understand this right, you are telling me there is no way to do what I want.

 

Is this a proper understanding?

 

Regarding your example of editing the smart task.  I am aware of the editing process, but (as an example)   do not have the ability to go back and indicate RUN ONLY ONCE no matter what I seem to do.  I simply do not see the option,   Is there a specific way to get that capability?

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

You should see the option for 'Run only once for any record' at the bottom of the edit screen (select the desired Smart Task > click Edit on criteria - top box in right column).  An option that won't be available to change is the 'Manual Run' or 'Run at scheduled time'.  Once set, there is no changing that option.

 

Discussions about how the Run Once option works, can be confusing; here is an attempt to put it in a basic statement:

- When 'Run only once for any record' is selected within a Smart Task, once a contact has been included in a scheduled run of that Smart Task, they will not be included in further scheduled runs of that Smart Task.

 

- If 'Run only once for any record' is not selected, any contact that meets the defined criteria will be included in every scheduled run of the Smart Task.

 

Note: If the Smart Tasks are run manually, the 'Run only once' option is not relevant as the contacts are manually selected (defined criteria is ignored).

 

In your example, if 'Run once' is enabled - when the contact is included in the first run, they will not be included in subsequent runs unless you initiate the run manually.

Greg Martin
Sage
New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

I do not have a "Run Once for any record" option anywhere when I go in to edit my smart task.  I have (int this order)

 

Smart Task Name

Access Radio Buttons (on the right)

Description

Record Type (greyed out)

Trigger (greyed out)

 

Criteria interface:

 

daily/weekly/monthly radio buttons, week and day selector

time dropdown

filter interface and edit criteria button

 

ok and cancel

 

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

sorry, I didn't intend to post the last comment, I was not finished.

 

--given that I already have a complex smart task created, and now want to try to set it to run only once, how do I change it to that setting?  Can I duplicate the task and then would I be able to change the trigger, given that the scheduler for the orginal task is not open to being changed?

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 5,275
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

Your description certainly sounds like you are on the correct screen, the 'Run only once' option should be just below the Filter criteria. I've checked both Sage ACT! 2011 and 2012 to make sure we weren't looking at different versions and they are the same.

 

You can use the Duplicate option and it will allow you to enable/disable the 'Run only once' option, but if you aren't seeing it on the Edit screen - you may not see it on the Duplicate screen (same screens).  Changing the trigger is not an option when duplicating a Smart Task.  For Smart Tasks set to 'Run at scheduled time', you would only need to disable auto-run and then run it manually.

 

For the 'Run only once' option: Check your monitor DPI settings - if they are other than 'default', close ACT!, reset DPI to default, open ACT! and check for option.  Here is an article with instructions for checking DPI settings: KB Article 26349

 

 

Greg Martin
Sage
Bronze Contributor
Posts: 955
Country: Australia

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

Tom you might have a look at SAM from Northwood at www.crmaddons.com as it will do all that you want to achieve. If you cannot tell I am not a great fan of Smart Tasks

Paul Buchtmann
pbuchtmann@ozemail.com.au Australia
Australia's First ACT Consultant (1989)

FREE Record History to change default to Call or To-Do for ACT! 2010-2012 versions. Custom versions also available.
New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

Thanks Paul, I do use SAM, I just thought these might be simpler and more self-contained, and offer some support, but that has not really turned out, so it looks like I am likely to migrate everything back.

New Member
Posts: 10
Country: USA

Re: Smart tasks set to run weekly for a contact by criteria, but runs even if previous instance is still underway

Greg--my monitor settings are as articulated....so I am still not sure why I am not seeing the option to run once.

 

As a side note, does it make any sense to design these tasks in such a way that you can not change the triggers etc after the fact?  Also, it is really lame that there is no way to back these up or save them somewhere, or to export them, copy them or otherwise make it possible to work with them after their creation.  Now it looks like the only way for me to get my dozen smart tasks to work right is to re-create them entirely from scratch.  Furthermore, you can't even create one in a demo database and copy it after testing it. 

 

Forgive me for grousing, but is there an explanation of the logic of that?

 

After hours and hours of work migrating this stuff back into ACT, I am now faced with duplicating all of that work to move things back to SAM