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What are the benefits of Approval Flows

I suspect that I'm missing something fundamental but I'm struggling to undrestand what Approval flows actually achieve. I have a list of items that represent projects that have to go through multiple assessment and then delivery stages.  I have multiple 'Status' choice fields, one for each assessment/delivery stage, to show where each project is in the process.  To pass from one stage to the next requires an approval.  I can create approval flows that trigger when the appropriate value is selected in a Status field and I can update the item based on the outcome of the Approval but it doesn't seem to have any other effect on the item.
For example, triggering an approval flow doesn't 'lock' the item to prevent futher editing until the approval is complete.  Also, I can use the flow to set a field to, for example, "Approved" but how do I stop users just manually updating that field? Similarly, how do you prevent users from editing values that have been approved?
I think I might be able to work around these issues by creating seperate lists such as a read-only master list, one for each stage and one for Rejected.  That way when an project was set to Stage 2 a flow could copy the required input fileds to the Stage 2 list. The users would be able to update the entry on the Stage 2 table and the Approval Flow would copy the outputs back to the master list ready for Stage 3 or move the project to the Rejected list.  Does that make sense?
As I said at the start I'm probably missing something fundamental about approval flows that makes this much easier!
Dual Super User
Dual Super User

Re: What are the benefits of Approval Flows

I don't think you are really missing anything.  The advantage of Approval flows is the abiilty to handle the request for approval and update of the records through email or a mobile client, whithout having to go edit the record in the list itself.  Other than that it doesn't do anything special to the record itself.  You could of course add actions to the flow that would reconfigure the permissions on the item to be readonly after the item is approved.  But that is done manually in the flow, not by the approval action itself.

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