With the "Wait for Approval" action now available in BetterCloud Workflows, you can configure checkpoints where a workflow will require approval before it continues. At these checkpoints, an email sends to a user you specify, who may approve or decline the workflow's future actions. This expands your flexibility by allowing you to ensure that you—or any other potential stakeholders in the process—are ready for the workflow's actions to run before it does so.
Adding the Wait for Approval Action
In order to add an approval to your workflow, you will need to add it from the THEN section of the Library in the Workflow Builder, where it is available under the BetterCloud actions.
Once it has been added to your workflow, Wait for Approval will appear like any other action, and can be moved to the appropriate position within your workflow.
*Please Note: Actions prior to a Wait for Approval will run as soon as the workflow's triggering conditions are met without approval occurring. Only actions after the approval will require confirmation before running. For example, if you have a six step workflow with Wait for Approval as the third step, steps one and two will run without approval occurring.
When adding an approval, the option to stop the workflow if the action is not approved (i.e. if it has expired) will be enabled by default:
However, in some cases you may want the workflow to run even when the workflow approval expires. Click the icon to set the action to skip on failure in order to accomplish this.
Declining the approval will still stop the workflow when this setting is set to skip.
Once the action has been added, you can configure its properties within the Properties pane on the right side of the Workflow Builder. You will need to enter an Approver, a Subject, and a Body of the email. Approver can be either selected from the typeahead or defined dynamically (for example if you want the approver to be the user's manager). Subject and Body support dynamic fields, allowing you to provide the approver with additional information about the entity being targeted by the workflow.
In addition, you will need to determine whether or not to enable stopping and skipping within BetterCloud while the action is in progress. Please see the section on auditing approvals for more information on the differences in experience when this setting is enabled.
The approver does not need access to BetterCloud in order to approve the workflow. Approvals can be carried out by anyone you choose within your organization, enabling you to get the appropriate sign-off from HR, the user's manager, Security, or any other stakeholder who needs to confirm that the workflow's actions should be taken.
Approving or Declining a Workflow
Once the workflow has been triggered and the Wait for Approval action has run, an email will be sent to the approver. The email contains links to either approve or decline.
If the user approves the workflow it will proceed to the next step after the Wait for Approval action. If they decline the approval, the workflow will permanently stop. Either action leads to a confirmation page.
When a workflow that was waiting for approval has been declined, it will display in the Workflow Results page in the Workflows Manager with a status of "Stopped". Workflows currently waiting for approval will display with the status "Waiting". Workflows that are approved continue to the next step and complete as normal. If the workflow then completes successfully, they will show the status "Success."
Please note that this section will look slightly different based on your configuration. If you select the checkbox for "Enable stop and skip when this action is in progress," workflows that are waiting for approval will display with a waiting status, but will also show an option to stop or skip the approval period directly within the workflow results. That setting is within the action's properties when configuring the workflow:
Skipping the approval period is functionally the same as the workflow being approved because it will continue to the next step, while stopping it is functionally the same as the workflow being declined, since it will take no further action.
Here is a comparison of how the workflow results look while waiting for an approval when the setting is enabled and when it is disabled.
After declining, the workflow report for the workflow will show that the action has stopped, and future actions will be listed as incomplete.
If the workflow is approved, the workflow report will list the action as successful.
Approvals are valid for 30 days after the email is sent. After 30 days, the approval will expire, and the workflow will stop or continue based on the configuration you have defined. Any steps after the Wait for Approval action will not complete if the workflow stops. Once an approval expires, a workflow cannot be re-started or continued - it must be triggered again in order for the actions to run.
- Actions prior to a Wait for Approval will run as soon as the workflow's triggering conditions are met. Only actions after the Wait for Approval will be effected by approving or declining
- The approver does not need access to BetterCloud in order to approve the workflow
- Once an approval expires or is declined a workflow cannot be re-started or continued