Friday Feature - Workflow Approval Leveling

Now that we understand the big picture of workflows and how documents have events that can trigger approvals, we need to talk about the sequencing or leveling of those approvals. You know, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, the principal or the superintendent. The key feature of workflow approvals is flexibility. You can define approval paths any way you like. You can go for the simple (principal, budget manager, purchasing) or the complex (principal or assistant principal, budget manager but only if over $500, program manager for certain account components, and CBO). Even though these seem very different, both of these scenarios have only a few levels. You could go really crazy and create up to 99 levels, because that is how flexible workflow approvals are.

Let's take a look at two LIVE examples of leveling currently being used at two different districts.

The first example has many levels. The levels tell Escape Online the order in which the approvals are to take place.

We can see that the department chair for this Unified School District is the first to receive an approval request. Once the chair approves, the Department Head has their chance, then Budget, then the Site Administrator and then the Program Manager.

But what's this? We have two level 20s. This means that both of these approvals are going to happen at the same time.

Now, why would you do that? Because the Director and the Categorical Managers are two different people. You could have put them into a group, but then your workflow users and groups could become too complicated to maintain. This simplifies the workflow.

What happens in Escape Online when you have two approval items at the same level is that the requisition (or HRA or other document) will not move onto the next level until ALL items at that level are complete. In other words, the Technology Verifier is not going to get to see the requisition on the approval list until BOTH the Director and Categorical Manager give their approvals.

Our next example is a little more streamlined, or so it seems.

It has only five levels, but there is a lot going on under the hood.

First, the Approve All flag is set to YES, which means the workflow role Admin Approve has many people assigned to it. This is extremely powerful and needs a Friday Feature all of its own, so we are going to talk about this next week.

In the meantime, let me point out that the last approver has a Dollar Min set. We saw this in the first example too. Setting a dollar minimum for an approval level means that the person (or people) for that level will not see the approval request on their list unless the total amount of the document is greater than that amount. Pretty impressive!

Which brings us back to the age-old question, which came first the chicken or the egg? Well, with workflows in Escape Online, the answer is you get to decide.