Sequential Approvals with Missing Contacts

08/23/21
Accepted

Hi All!

I'm trying to build an automation that sends out approvals in sequence. If a contact column (1-3) is blank, it should skip to the next approver so the workflow can continue. As I understand the approval automation, it will run in sequence written, but if there's no contact assigned, then the workflow won't run or at least won't know who to send the approval to, and therefore "breaks" the flow. I'm curious if there's a better way to structure the sheet to account for these holes in the approval contact columns, or a clever workflow where I don't have to write out all conditional paths for every scenario. Appreciate your thoughts and feedback!


Best Answer

  • edited 08/26/21 Accepted Answer

    Hey @Chris Mondeau ,

    If there are multiple Approval Actions using the same Approval Column in a Workflow, you will run into an error stating to set the approval settings. This is received because an Approval Action Block works separately from the actual Workflow it exists in; you can treat it like a Workflow within a Workflow. With this being said, when a Cell Value changes within an Approval Column this would actually trigger any Approval Action Block using this Column. This can be solved using two methods:

    1. Use a separate Approval Column for each Workflow or Approval Action Block.
    2. Add different named Statuses for Approval, Deny, and Pending within the Column Property Values of the Approval Column then map these accordingly to each of your Approval Action Blocks (this will enable you to use Conditional Paths while utilizing the same Approval Column within a single Workflow):

    I hope this helps!

    Jaykel

Answers

  • Hey @Chris Mondeau,

    I would consider creating a nested IF and ISBLANK Formula (evaluating which Contact List Cells are blank) to return a specific value, depending on which conditions are met. You can then leverage your Workflow to use Conditional Paths to go down the corresponding "flow" according the the value returned.

    I hope this helps!

    Jaykel

  • Chris MondeauChris Mondeau ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jaykel Torres Thanks for the tip,

    I did made what you suggested with a "workflow scenario" as the filter.

    Unfortunately I was unable to create one workflow with several conditional paths (approvals weren't able to be used to across paths I guess).

    I ended up creating multiple workflows, one for each scenario. However, I found that if one workflow triggered, any of the other workflows would trigger instead of being self-contained. I found a way around this by adding conditional filters after each approval gate. I feel like I'm missing something and wasn't expecting to have to make so many conditional paths.



  • edited 08/26/21 Accepted Answer

    Hey @Chris Mondeau ,

    If there are multiple Approval Actions using the same Approval Column in a Workflow, you will run into an error stating to set the approval settings. This is received because an Approval Action Block works separately from the actual Workflow it exists in; you can treat it like a Workflow within a Workflow. With this being said, when a Cell Value changes within an Approval Column this would actually trigger any Approval Action Block using this Column. This can be solved using two methods:

    1. Use a separate Approval Column for each Workflow or Approval Action Block.
    2. Add different named Statuses for Approval, Deny, and Pending within the Column Property Values of the Approval Column then map these accordingly to each of your Approval Action Blocks (this will enable you to use Conditional Paths while utilizing the same Approval Column within a single Workflow):

    I hope this helps!

    Jaykel

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