Follow
Creating Approval Processes

Approval Processes enable you to streamline important business processes by creating multi-step approvals for projects, tasks, and issues.

Each approval process corresponds with a status option in the Workfront system. When a work item reaches the set status option, an attached approval requires the item to be affirmed before it can be marked Complete.

By default, you as the system administrator can configure global approval processes that can be applied to any project, task, or issue throughout the Workfront system. Creating global approval processes can help to provide consistency around processes in your organization. (Depending on how access levels have been configured in the Workfront system, other users might also have this ability.)

Or, any Workfront user can create single-use approval processes that can be used only on the object where they are created, as described in "Creating a Single-Use Approval Process" in "Associating a New or Existing Approval Process with Work."

Creating an Approval Process

  1. Click Setup, located in the upper-right corner of the page.
  2. Expand Processes, then click Approvals.
  3. Click the Project Approvals, Task Approvals, or Issue Approvals tab, depending on the type of approval you want to create.
  4. Click New Approval Process.
    The New Approval Process dialog box is displayed.
    approval_create_new.png
  5. Specify the following information:
    Approval process name: Specify a descriptive name for the approval. This is the name users see when applying the approval process to an object (as described in "Associating a New or Existing Approval Process with Work").
    Description: Specify a description of the approval process. This description is displayed in the Approvals section in the Setup area next to the approval name.
    Start Approval Process when the status is set to:
    Select the status that triggers the approval process. When the project, task, or issue enters the status that you select, the approval process is started.
    The same status cannot be selected for multiple approval paths.
    Only system-wide statuses are available to use. Statuses that are available only for specific groups cannot be selected.
    Stage Name: (Optional) Specify a name describing the first stage of the approval process. If you do not specify a stage name, the default name is Stage 1, Stage 2, and so forth.
    Approvers: Begin typing the name of the user, team, or job role that you want to designate as an approver for this stage, then click the name when it appears in the drop-down list. 
    You can also designate the Project Owner, Project Sponsor, Portfolio Owner, Program Owner, or Manager. These options automatically appear when you begin typing.
    approval_create_addusers.png
    Repeat this process to add multiple approvers to the stage. A single stage can include a combination of users, teams, and job roles as approvers. There is no limit to the number of approvers you can add to a single stage.
    When you configure multiple approvers for a single stage, the following option is available: 
    Only one decision required: Select this option if any of the identified resources can approve or reject the work. When this option is unselected, all of the identified approvers must approve or reject the stage; it does not matter which order they approve it.
    When a team is designated as an approver, any member of the team can make the approval.
  6. (Optional) Click Add Stage to add an additional stage to the approval process.
    After the previous stage is approved, the approval process continues to the next stage.
    Add a stage name and approvers to the stage, as described above.
    Repeat this step to add multiple stages to the approval process. [! How many stages can you have on a single approval process?]
  7. In the If Rejected drop-down list, select the action you want to take if the approval path is rejected at any stage of the process:
    • Create an issue (available only for Project and Task approvals)
      An issue is created in the project or task where the approval process is running. The default assigned resource on the task, or the owner of the project, is assigned to the issue, informing them the submitted work was rejected.
    • Set the status to the previous status by selecting the Previous Status option from the drop-down list.
      The status of the project, task, or issue is reverted to the previous status prior to activating the approval process. 
    • Set the status to another status
      The status of the project, task, or issue is set to the status you select in the drop-down list. Options include default statuses and any custom statuses added to your Workfront system.
  8. (Optional) Click Add Path to add an additional path to the approval process, then repeat Step 5 through Step 7.
    An approval path is an approval cycle that begins when a particular status is triggered.
  9. Click Save.
  10. Now that the approval process is created, continue with any of the following:

Understanding What Happens When an Approval is Rejected

When you approve an item, it will be placed automatically in the status associated with the Approval Path. 

When you reject an item, you have a choice of which status to associate the item with during the approval process. 

For example, you can have a Task Approval Process called "Article Creation," and that process has a Path which is associated with the In Progress task status. You could have the following stages within that Approval Path: 

  1. Approval process is started when the task status is set to In Progress.
  2. Stage 1 - Article Creation  (assigned to one or multiple approving entities)
  3. Stage 2 - Article Editing (assigned to one or multiple approving entities)
  4. Stage 3 - Article Sign-off (assigned to one or multiple approving entities)

When an approval is rejected, you have two choices:

  • You can send the object back to its original status (before it was placed in the status associated with the Approval Path).
    Within the approval process, if the If Rejected option is configured to set the status to Previous Status, then the task status will be set to New (the status before it became In Progress) if the task is rejected during any of the three stages. 
  • You can select a different status to send the object to.
    If the If Rejected option is configured to set the status to On Hold, for example, then the task status will be set to On Hold if the task is rejected, during any of the three stages. 

NOTE You might have two users approving the first two stages, but if the third user rejects it, the approval process must either start over from the previous status, or it can be by-passed completely, if the status changes into a different status. 

Modifying an Existing Global Approval Process

When you modify an existing global approval process after it is created, the modifications you make are applied to all approval processes throughout the Workfront system. This includes instances when the approval process has already started.

To modify an existing global approval process:

  1. Click Setup, located in the upper-right corner of the page.
  2. Expand Processes, then click Approvals.
  3. Click the Project Approvals, Task Approvals, or Issue Approvals tab, depending on the type of approval you want to modify.
  4. Click the name of the approval you want to modify.
    The Edit Approval Process dialog box is displayed.
    approval_process_edit.png
  5. Make any changes to the current settings.
    For more detailed information about each available option, see "Creating an Approval Process."
  6. Click Save to save your changes.

Associating the Approval Process with an Object

You or users can now associate the approval process with an object, as described in "Associating an Approval Process with Work."

Configuring Approval Settings

You can configure various settings for approval processes. For more information, see "Establishing Approval Settings."

Enabling Users to Create Global Approval Processes

By default, users can create single-use approval processes on projects, tasks, and issues (as described in "Creating a Single-Use Approval Process" in "Associating a New or Existing Approval Process with Work") and they can modify global approval processes for use only on the project, task, or issue they are associating it with (as described in "Modifying an Existing Global Approval Process" in "Associating a New or Existing Approval Process with Work").

If you want users to be able to create global approval processes in the Setup area, you can grant them access to do so by modifying the permissions of the appropriate access level:

  1. Click Setup, located in the upper-right corner of the page.
  2. Click Access Levels.
  3. Select the access level that is assigned to the users you want to allow to create global approval processes, then click Edit.
  4. In the Allow administrative access for section, ensure that Approval processes is selected. 
    approval_permissions.png
  5. Click Save Changes.