I found the reason why the Workspace actions didn't work properly within a configuration item. For example if I selected an action to change the Status of an asset the page would refresh without error but the Status would not change. I realized my Process within the Configuration item was configured incorrectly. I just needed to add an Action Instance and Other Status and now the Workspace action correctly changes the Status of the asset. Ideally, workspaces should have thrown back an error that the Workspace action cannot be run.
Still not sure how to change a LifeCycle of a current asset but this isn't urgent anymore.