Approval Workflow to Multiple Persons

I have an approval workflow that goes to multiple people. At present, it seems if any one of them approves a View Request, the request is Approved. Is there an easy way to require all those who receive the approval request approve it before marking the request "Approved"? I know I can breakout the approval persons into multiple columns, each with their own approval request, then do an AND function for the final approval, but that won't work for my workflow for a lot of complicated reasons.

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Answers

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Dennis,

    Interesting!

    Can you describe your process in more detail and maybe share the sheet(s)/copies of the sheet(s) or some screenshots? (Delete/replace any confidential/sensitive information before sharing) That would make it easier to help. (share too, [email protected])

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

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  • Andre, thanks for getting back with me. What I'm doing is very complex, and hard to describe simply. I'll try:

    I have 11 different agreement types that need to be shepherded through an approval process, all tracked on a common sheet. Each type of agreement has a different approval flow. There are up to 7 levels of approval for each agreement type. I populate the various Approval Levels through a VLOOKUP function based on the agreement type. For 2 of the types, the approval goes to 3 people at one level (again populated through the VLOOKUP), and for 9 of the agreement types, it also goes to 2 other people in another level through a VLOOKUP. If my approvals always went to the first three, I could give each a column, then gather their Approved responses, do an AND, and that would be their final approval, but it only happens for 2 occurrences.

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Happy to help!

    I'd probably try to add the different options in a list and then use the list with an if formula structure that would decide when the overall Approval Process is Approved.

    Make sense?

    Would that work/help?

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Andre,

    Good idea, and that's the direction I'd already thought of. The issue I have is consistency of process. The entire process is Request Approval - View Request - Approve - Request marked "Approved" in appropriate column. When there are multiple approval persons at one level, the only way I can maintain this standard procedure is to treat each approval level as a separate request, and this inserts additional levels in a process that is designed to go from one level to the next, in a linear fashion. This would mean I'd have "empty" levels when there is only one approval person.

    Yeah I can develop convoluted logic to handle these cases, but this gets back to my original request for "an easy way"

    Dennis

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks!

    Also, an idea to explore could be to have multiple Approvals in one column or a few.

    Something like.

    1 Waiting

    1 Approved

    1 Declinied

    2 Waiting

    2 Approved

    2 Declined

    . . .

    What do you think?

    Would that help/work?

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Andre, interesting idea, but how would those be displayed in the "Save Response In" field? How would a given person know if they were number 1, 2, 3...?

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dennis Wierzbicki

    Thanks!

    Maybe we could use the method I developed and I describe in this post.


    What do you think?

    Could that work?

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Andre, I don't quite see how this would solve my challenge. I have used something similar to allow what appears to be multiple form inputs on a single line, and in fact, have incorporated this into the system I'm developing that is discussed here.

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dennis Wierzbicki

    We'd use copy-row automation for each approval and get who modified the row and then use INDEX/MATCH combined with JOIN or COLLECT to show it in the main sheet.

    Make sense?

    What do you think?

    Would that work?

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • @Dennis Wierzbicki I'm on the Product team at Smartsheet. Have you checked our the Proofing functionality yet? It allows you to manage the approval process for PDFs with multiple approvers submitting their responses individually. It is a manual process to send out proof approvals now, but we will be building more automation around this process later this year.

  • Here is the link to learn more about Proofing as well! https://help.smartsheet.com/learning-track/smartsheet-advanced/proofing

  • Andre, that might work, but I don't have the time right now to give it a try. Will do so soon, and return here to report on my results. Thanks.

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dennis Wierzbicki

    Excellent!

    You're more than welcome!

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Brian, yes, that's where we started out, but proofing only allows static documents, such as JPEG and PDF. We are using MS Word, and other applications, so proofing won't work.

  • Kelly Gabel
    Kelly Gabel ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @BrianBosché Can an attachment be added to the Proofing feature via a form, or only by manually dragging it into the Proofing area? Additionally, are there any workflows that can be used for Proofing, so that individuals are only send the pdf to proof after the previous stakeholder has finalized their comments?