Prevent a sent Approval Request from being used later?

I have a situation where I want to make sure some Approval Request emails cannot be used later. I have an automation triggered when a Contact List column is changed, which sends an Approval Request to the contact in that column.

For some rows, a director instructed me to skip a certain person's approval as they're out on leave. I have triggered the next stage of approvals to allow those rows to be "completed" in our process with just that one approval missing. I am worried about the person coming back from leave and using the emails they received to enter their approval after the process is already completed.

Is there a way to make sure their approval email link no longer lets them change anything? If I take their name out of that Contact List column, would that work?

Answers

  • Courtney S.
    Courtney S. ✭✭✭✭

    To be clear on the functionality I'm using - it's the "Request an approval" option in workflows. Approval Requests | Smartsheet Learning Center

    I can't find any way to delete it like a normal Update Request.

  • Gia Thinh
    Gia Thinh ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Courtney,

    There are 2 actions you can do:

    1. In your Approval request workflow, you should add a condition checking of process status. If the process is not a "complete" status then send Approval request. This will help to stop sending out the request to a person in case you made the process "complete"
    2. Create a new worflow to lock row when the process changes to "complete" status. The person will not be able to approve the requests if their rows are locked. This will work if that person is not an admin user of the sheet.

    Hope it works for you.


    Gia Thinh Technology Co., LTD - Smartsheet Solution Partner.

  • Courtney S.
    Courtney S. ✭✭✭✭
    edited 09/07/23

    Thanks for the answers! Unfortunately I don't think either one of the options solves my issue.

    I don't think option 1 helps in this case, because the approval requests were already emailed to the person I need to prevent using them, before I was told to skip that person. The instruction to skip was a response to my inquiry about what to do with the rows already waiting for this person once I realized the person was on a long leave.

    Option 2: we have a few more steps to get through before the processing for a row is done, so locking the row would prevent those other steps from happening, so this is not something I can do right away. I have added an automation to lock rows once they're through the process, but is there a protection I can use in the meantime?

    Is there something that will let me prevent the person on leave from using their Approval Request emails to make a change to the cells they got access to with those emails?

  • Gia Thinh
    Gia Thinh ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I got another idea : you can send an approval request to multiple person. Once one person (Managers) approved/declined then the other person (PIC) will not be able to approve/decline, but view and save only. This is a feature of Smartsheet. Look at below screenshots for more details. You can use this feature to prevent the PIC person on leave from using their Approval Request emails to make a change to the cells 



    Gia Thinh Technology Co., LTD - Smartsheet Solution Partner.

  • Courtney S.
    Courtney S. ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for the idea! We are skipping that approval entirely, so I can't use this idea at this time. For future use, it is good to know that an approval sent to multiple people only works for the first person to use it.

    I don't know if it will help, but in my case I've deleted the contact name from the relevant Contact List column, and manually changed the skipped approval cell to a non-standard "skipped" note to see if maybe that will help. Hopefully the rows will all be completed before the person tries to use any of the emails on their return, and your row lock automation will prevent unwanted changes. I just wish there was a way to cancel the approval request, like the ability to edit and delete Update requests. I guess I'll post an idea for that.