The flow is getting a bit complicated...
You got this awesome Power Automate tool and started building your first flows. You start with something simple, and it works, and you're happy. So you start thinking about adding some new ideas. That's where it starts getting more and more complicated. With each new idea, with each new piece of functionality you'll have to extend the flow without breaking what's already there. One small issue, second small issue, and soon you might be doubting whether it's really worth your time. You handled this process via email for ages, why change it now?
Deep down you know it would be awesome to automate this process... you just don't know whether you're the right person to do it.
...but you don't have to do everything by yourself
What if you didn't have to do it alone? If you could take an existing solution and just configure it? A solution that would take care of all the necessary functionality and you'd just configure and slightly modify it?
Often it's hard to even know what this necessary (and often missing) functionality is until you start using the solution... but you can have it from the start.
A template can save you a lot of time and nerves
Get the Approval process template and automate more of your approval processes faster and cheaper. A whole SharePoint and Power Automate based solution you can import to your environment and use for various approval processes with just a configuration and minor changes.
With the template you'll get a solution where you can:
- assign task to a specific user, user in a column in the request, SharePoint group or M365 group
- configure as many approval steps as you need with various responses - simple Approve/Reject process or Approve/Reject/Back for review approval cycle
- set delegation for approvers, additional user can get their task during their absence
- restart the flow from a specific approval step, or from the beginning
It's design in a way that it:
- gives each approver 29 days for his task
- manages permissions on the request through the process
- stores approval history in a separate SharePoint list
- sends an error message right away if the flow fails
- uses SharePoint lists for most of the configuration, without the need to touch the flow
- can be started manually or automatically
- sends reminders for open tasks
A template you can adjust to your needs
But the best part of it - it's a template! Take it and use it however you want. Keep it as it is, use it as a baseline and extend it, or copy pieces of functionality and paste them in another flow. Use the whole solution in SharePoint, or extend it by building a Power App with the flow on the background, it's up to you!
Save yourself days of work and a few headaches while automating approvals in your organisation. I suffered that for you.
Automate more, faster, and cheaper. Get the Approval template, use it, learn from it, and get more done with less effort!
2 Power Platform solutions - one to setup SharePoint lists, another one with the approval and reminder flow templates
1 setup guide - PDF document with the import and configuration process, including a few notes on adjusting the template
100% no-questions-asked money-back guarantee if you don't find it valuable (applies only on the approval solution, not the assistance with the initial configuration)
IMPORTANT: The process is distributed as Power Platform Solution, if you're not sure whether you can use solutions you can try it on the template preview.
1. What kind of processes can you automate?
You can use the template for approval processes of various complexity with the first response applies settings. It can be a simple approval flow with 1 approve/reject task, or it can be multiple approve/reject tasks in a sequence...
...or with small loops where each approver can send the request back for update to the author...
...or one big loop where the request can be sent back to the beginning of the approval process...
...or different settings for each task.
2. How to handle the processes that failed in the middle?
The flow is built as a state machine, it'll create approval task depending on the current request status. If a flow fails you can restart it, it'll recognise the current status, and create the same approval task again.
3. How long can the whole approval process take?
There's no limit on the whole process, there's only limit on a single task that's the standard 29 and something days. But even then, as explained above, you can restart the flow and create the task again if it's not enough.
4. What if I need various responses for various approvers?
You can define as many approver responses as you want, although you'll have to adjust the flow to evaluate them correctly. As long as there's a clear path from each step to 1 next step, and optionally 1 previous step, the adjustment in the flow is quite simple. Having multiple options for the next step or previous step will require bigger changes in the flow.
5. Will the flow send reminders even for cancelled tasks?
Yes, the flow as it is will keep sending reminders for cancelled tasks. But the reminders are based on two SharePoint columns - if you empty them it'll disable the reminder for given request. You can also adjust the flow to empty them automatically if the task is completed with no outcome = it was canceled.
6. How is the flow triggered?
The flow is triggered by pressing a button in the SharePoint list, but it can be easily adjusted to trigger automatically upon request creation. It's designed in a way that you can manually trigger it also from other solutions, e.g. from a Power App.
7. Can I use the flow also on a document library, to approve documents?
The flow is designed to be used on a SharePoint list. It could be adjusted to run on a document library if you replace the trigger and all references to the trigger in the flow. That would be a big change in the flow though.
8. Can I delegate tasks retrospectively?
No, the delegation is evaluated when the task is created. If there's an active delegation during the task creation it'll assign the task also to the delegatee. But as explained above, you can cancel the flow and recreate the task again, this time assigning it to all the users.