How To Create An Approval Workflow In Sharepoint

If you want to streamline the approval process in Sharepoint, creating an approval workflow using Power Automate is the way to go. By adding the “Approvals – Start and wait for an approval” action to your flow, you can effectively manage the approval of documents or processes. Whether it’s document approvals like invoices, work orders, or sales quotations, or process approvals like vacation requests, overtime work, or travel plans, Power Automate makes it easy to handle the entire workflow.

To create the approval workflow, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a SharePoint Online list to store the vacation requests.
  2. Add the necessary columns to the SharePoint Online list, such as Title, Start Date, End Date, Comments, Approved, and Manager Comments.
  3. Sign in to Power Automate and select “My flows” in the left-side navigation pane.
  4. Select “New flow” > “Automated cloud flow” to create a new flow.
  5. Add the trigger “When an item is created – SharePoint” and specify the Site Address and List Name of the SharePoint list you created.
  6. Add the action “Get my profile (V2)” from Office 365 Users to retrieve the profile information.
  7. Add the action “Start and wait for an approval” and configure it according to your needs.
  8. Add actions to send an email with the approver’s decision and update the SharePoint Online list with the approver’s decision comments.
  9. Save the flow and test it by creating a vacation request in the SharePoint Online list.

You can also customize the approval workflow by adding additional actions or stages, configuring due dates and task durations, and setting up approvals for multiple approvers. Power Automate empowers you to create and manage approval workflows in SharePoint seamlessly, without the need for coding or technical expertise.

Creating a SharePoint Online List and Adding Columns

Before you can create an approval workflow in SharePoint, you’ll need to set up a SharePoint Online list and define the relevant columns for your workflow. This will allow you to store and manage the vacation requests or any other document or process that requires approval in SharePoint.

To begin, follow these steps:

Create a SharePoint Online List

  1. Log in to your SharePoint site and navigate to the site where you want to create the list.
  2. Click on the “Settings” gear icon in the top-right corner and select “Add an app” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the “Apps You Can Add” page, search for “Custom List” and click on it.
  4. Give your list a name, such as “Vacation Requests,” and click “Create.”

Add Columns to the SharePoint Online List

Once you’ve created the list, you’ll need to add the necessary columns to capture the relevant information for your workflow. Here are some recommended columns:

Column Name Type Description
Title Single line of text The title or subject of the request
Start Date Date and Time The start date of the vacation or requested period
End Date Date and Time The end date of the vacation or requested period
Comments Multiple lines of text Optional comments or additional information
Approved Choice (Yes/No) Indicates if the request has been approved or not
Manager Comments Multiple lines of text Comments from the manager or approver

Once you’ve added the necessary columns, your SharePoint Online list is ready to be used in your approval workflow. The next step is to configure the workflow using Power Automate, which we’ll cover in the next section.

Setting Up the Approval Workflow with Power Automate

With the SharePoint Online list prepared, it’s time to set up the approval workflow using Power Automate. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, allowing you to effectively manage document or process approvals.

To start, sign in to Power Automate and select “My flows” in the left-side navigation pane. Then, choose “New flow” followed by “Automated cloud flow” to create a new flow.

Next, add the trigger “When an item is created – SharePoint” and specify the Site Address and List Name of the SharePoint list you created. This will ensure that the workflow is triggered when a new item is added to the list.

Now it’s time to add the “Start and wait for an approval” action. This action allows you to configure the approval settings according to your needs. You can specify who the approver should be, whether it’s a single person or a group, and set optional due dates and custom messages. The approvers can respond directly from their email inbox, the approvals center in Power Automate, or the Power Automate app.

Once the approval action is added, you can include additional actions to send email notifications with the approver’s decision and update the SharePoint Online list with the approver’s decision comments. This ensures that everyone involved in the workflow is informed about the approval status.

Save the flow and test it by creating a vacation request in the SharePoint Online list. This will allow you to verify that the workflow functions correctly and meets your requirements. You can also customize the flow further by adding additional actions or stages, configuring due dates and task durations, and setting up approvals for multiple approvers.

Summary:

  • Create a new flow in Power Automate with the “When an item is created – SharePoint” trigger.
  • Add the “Start and wait for an approval” action and configure the approval settings.
  • Include actions to send email notifications and update the SharePoint Online list.
  • Test the workflow by creating a sample request and ensure it meets your requirements.
  • Customize the workflow further by adding additional actions or stages, configuring due dates, and setting up approvals for multiple approvers.
Step Action
Step 1 Create a new flow in Power Automate with the “When an item is created – SharePoint” trigger.
Step 2 Add the “Start and wait for an approval” action and configure the approval settings.
Step 3 Include actions to send email notifications and update the SharePoint Online list.
Step 4 Test the workflow by creating a sample request and ensure it meets your requirements.
Step 5 Customize the workflow further by adding additional actions or stages, configuring due dates, and setting up approvals for multiple approvers.

“The approval workflow using Power Automate in SharePoint streamlines the process of obtaining approvals for documents or processes. With its user-friendly interface and customization options, managing approvals becomes efficient and hassle-free.” – John Doe, SharePoint Expert

Customizing and Testing the Approval Workflow

Once the basic approval workflow is set up, you can further customize it to meet your specific requirements and test its functionality. Power Automate provides a range of options to tailor the workflow according to your organization’s needs.

One way to customize the workflow is by adding additional actions or stages. For example, you can include an action to send reminder emails to the approver if they haven’t responded within a certain timeframe. This helps ensure timely approvals and keeps the workflow moving smoothly.

Another customization option is configuring due dates and task durations. You can set specific deadlines for each stage of the approval process, allowing for efficient tracking and management of requests. By adjusting these settings, you can align the workflow with your organization’s approval policies and procedures.

If your approval process involves multiple approvers, Power Automate allows you to set up approvals for each individual. You can specify different stages and assign approvers based on their roles or departments. This enables a streamlined and organized review process, ensuring that all required parties provide their input before a final decision is made.

Once you have customized the workflow, it’s important to thoroughly test its functionality. Create test requests in the SharePoint Online list and track how the workflow progresses. Pay attention to any errors or issues that may arise and troubleshoot them accordingly. By conducting comprehensive testing, you can identify and resolve any potential problems before implementing the workflow in a live environment.

Remember, Power Automate empowers you to create and manage approval workflows in SharePoint without the need for coding or technical expertise. With its customizable features and testing capabilities, you can design a workflow that fits your organization’s unique requirements and ensures efficient document or process approvals.

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