Microsoft SharePoint : managing approval workflows

Microsoft SharePoint helps managing your approval workflow

This feature empowers users to automate their own business processes, rendering them more consistent and efficient.

You can use a SharePoint Approval workflow to route documents and other items stored in SharePoint products to one or more people for their approval

And with a SharePoint workflow handling your process for you, you’ve got more time for all the other things you need to get done.

In short – What is an approval workflow ?

A SharePoint workflow is like an automated flowchart that takes a lot of the labor, guesswork, and randomness out of your standard work processes..

For example, during a manual process you will encounter many tasks: checking up and keeping track, forwarding documents and sending reminders — and each of those tasks has to be performed by you or by one or more of your colleagues. That means a lot of extra work and a constant stream of interruptions. .

But when you use the SharePoint Document Approval workflow to run the process, all of that checking and tracking and reminding and forwarding is done by the workflow, automatically. If someone is late in completing a task, or if some other hitch arises, most of the included workflows generate a notification to let you know about it. Nobody in the group has to proactively monitor the process — because with a SharePoint workflow, the process is always proactively monitoring itself.

And running a SharePoint workflow is easy. You just choose the workflow type you want, specify the options that will work best in your situation, then let the workflow take over. And of course, you can cancel or terminate a workflow whenever you need to.

How does it work practically ?

SharePoint workflows are pre-programmed mini-applications that streamline and automate a wide variety of business processes — from collecting signatures, feedback, or approvals for a plan or document, to tracking the current status of a routine procedure.

SharePoint workflows are designed to save you time and effort, and to bring consistency and efficiency to tasks that you perform on a regular basis.

SharePoint workflows are :

  • Efficient and consistent
    An Approval workflow automatically routes the document or item, assigns review tasks and tracks their progress, and sends reminders and notifications when needed. The activity in a workflow can be monitored and adjusted from a central status page, and the history of events in a workflow run is maintained for 60 days after completion
  • Less work for you
    An Approval workflow saves you and your colleagues both time and trouble, and at the same time streamlines and standardizes your approval process.

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