Workflows basics

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Workflows is a process management tool that integrates with lab automation and internal systems. With Workflows, you can standardize your organization's request fulfillment processes, manage assay or task requests between organizational teams and users, and connect processes in your research pipeline by standardizing task fulfillment. This article explains how workflows are represented in Benchling, how to create a representation, and provides examples for workflow tasks.

How workflows are represented in Benchling

In Workflows, tasks represent the jobs to do in a process or workflow. Each task has standard operational properties and custom fields that represent the parameters required to do the job.

A task group represents a workflow. It is a set of tasks that were created together from the same Task schema, where you configure the behavior and identity of task groups.

To create a representation of your workflow, you will:

  1. Configure a Task schema

  2. Configure a flowchart Task schema (flowcharts only)

  3. Create a task group

  4. Assign tasks

  5. Complete tasks or execute flowchart workflows

  6. Get change notifications

Configure a Task schema

You can configure your Task schemas in the Workflow Schemas section of Feature Settings. On this page, you can create new Task schemas, and view and update existing schemas. To create a Task schema, visit Configuring Task schemas.

Configure a flowchart Task schema

Flowcharts require additional steps to configure. After creating the Task schema, you'll need to configure the steps and mapping between tasks.

Create a task group

To create a task group, select a pre-made Task schema. Complete the task parameters, then you can assign the task or leave it for the responsible team. To learn more about tasks and creating task groups, visit Creating task groups.

Search for and assign tasks

After creating a task group, you can filter the Workflows dashboard to find tasks of interest and bulk assign them, if appropriate.

Complete tasks or execute flowchart workflows

Depending on the Task schema’s execution type, you can complete tasks by executing them into a notebook entry using a template and sending them for review, or you can update the tasks directly in the task group.

To learn more about completing tasks, visit Executing and completing workflow tasks and Executing flowchart workflows.

Get change notifications

As tasks move through status changes and assigned users, Workflows sends automatic email notifications to relevant roles. To learn more about and customize notifications, visit Workflows notifications.

Workflow task examples

You can use Workflows for a variety of organizational processes and standardization. Some common ways to use Workflows include:

Assay requests

  • Scientist A wants to perform an assay on a registered cell line.

Library requests

  • Scientist B wants the Cell Core team to retrieve a cell line lot.

  • Scientist C wants the Cell Core team to store a cell line lot.

Production or process requests

  • Scientist D wants the Viral Production Core team to produce a viral vector with specific properties.

  • Scientist E wants the DNA Core team to sequence a registered plasmid.

  • Scientist F wants the Protein Sciences team to purify a protein.

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