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scm8nwr
Frequent Visitor

Approval workflow - approval reminder

Is there a way to alert an approver in a Flow approval workflow if a document hasn't been approved after a certain period of time? I can't find a suitable way to do this.

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
ScottShearer
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Try this...

Add a choice column to the document library with the following choices and title the column Approval Status:

Pending (make this the default)

Approved

Rejected

 

Build out you approval flow as you normally would.

After the document has been approved or rejected, update the approval status column in the library to approved or rejected.

 

Add a parallel branch next to the approval action.

In the parallel branch, add a delay action.  Set the delay to the period of time when you want the reminder email to be sent.

After the delay, add a condition:  If the document library approval status column = pending, send a reminder email.  If the document has been approved or rejected, the email will not be sent.  

 

The downside of this solution is that, while the approval will be complete, the Flow will still be running until the delay period has expired. That shouldn't be an issue in most cases.

 

Here is a link to a screenshot of a Flow that I built to test this concept

 

 

 

If I have answered your question, please mark your post as Solved.
If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Scott

View solution in original post

v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @scm8nwr,

 

Do you want to alert the approver if a document hasn't been approved after a certain period of time?

 

I assume that you want to alert the approver if a document hasn't been approved after 7 days, I have made a test on my side and please take a try with the following workaround:

  • Add a "When a file is created (properties only)" trigger.
  • Add a "Start an approval" action, specify Assigned to field value.
  • Add a Parallel branch-> "Add a action"-> Add a "Delay action", Count set to 7 and Unit set to Day (On my side, set Count to 2 and Unit to Minute for testing). Then add a "Send an email" action.

Image reference:8.JPG

The flow works successfully as below:9.JPG

More details about adding parallel branches in flows, please check the following article:

https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/parallel-actions/

 

Please check and see if the following article would also help in your scenario:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Flow/Automating-Reminders-for-Approval-Flows/td-p/8...

 

 

Best regards,

Kris 

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

View solution in original post

14 REPLIES 14
ScottShearer
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Try this...

Add a choice column to the document library with the following choices and title the column Approval Status:

Pending (make this the default)

Approved

Rejected

 

Build out you approval flow as you normally would.

After the document has been approved or rejected, update the approval status column in the library to approved or rejected.

 

Add a parallel branch next to the approval action.

In the parallel branch, add a delay action.  Set the delay to the period of time when you want the reminder email to be sent.

After the delay, add a condition:  If the document library approval status column = pending, send a reminder email.  If the document has been approved or rejected, the email will not be sent.  

 

The downside of this solution is that, while the approval will be complete, the Flow will still be running until the delay period has expired. That shouldn't be an issue in most cases.

 

Here is a link to a screenshot of a Flow that I built to test this concept

 

 

 

If I have answered your question, please mark your post as Solved.
If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Scott
v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @scm8nwr,

 

Do you want to alert the approver if a document hasn't been approved after a certain period of time?

 

I assume that you want to alert the approver if a document hasn't been approved after 7 days, I have made a test on my side and please take a try with the following workaround:

  • Add a "When a file is created (properties only)" trigger.
  • Add a "Start an approval" action, specify Assigned to field value.
  • Add a Parallel branch-> "Add a action"-> Add a "Delay action", Count set to 7 and Unit set to Day (On my side, set Count to 2 and Unit to Minute for testing). Then add a "Send an email" action.

Image reference:8.JPG

The flow works successfully as below:9.JPG

More details about adding parallel branches in flows, please check the following article:

https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/parallel-actions/

 

Please check and see if the following article would also help in your scenario:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Flow/Automating-Reminders-for-Approval-Flows/td-p/8...

 

 

Best regards,

Kris 

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

One suggestion to make the solution I proposed a little better:  add a "Control - Terminate" action after the approval.  You can configure the terminate action to terminate with "Success".  Doing so will stop the workflow without having to wait for the delay action to fire.

 

The "Control - Terminate" action is similar to the "Stop Workflow" action in SharePoint Designer workflows.

If I have answered your question, please mark your post as Solved.
If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Scott

I am interested in finding a solution to this as well. I have a document review (setup as email with options that then updates a sharepoint list) and document approval (using the approvals applet with responses updated to sharepoint list) flow where I need to send out a "reminder" to approve or review the document. 

 

Both suggestions so far will work as a work around but they are sending an email not the approval email or review email. The issue we are finding is that persons assigned to review or Approve are either deleting or unable to find the email to respond. The bet option I have found so far is to build the flow to repeat the approval/review and condition. 

 

In this example the flow is triggered when the list item is created. I then have switch that applies to all selected reviewers (column in the list). Case in the list is configured the same way. Starts and aproval that times out in 3 days with a condition. and a Reminder approval that times out in 2 days with a condition that is set to run after the reminder approval is successful. Once all reviewers have completed  I have an update list item and send an email to the "created by" letting them know the document has completed review or been approved/rejected. 

 

I cant take credit for this as it is Jon Levesque who posted this video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4iuVi1Vtgg&t=1s 

 

Would be great if MS would add a reminder functionality in the settings or advanced options of the approvel and email options. 

 

I agree. I feel like the reminder piece should be built into the approval action.

Hi @scm8nwr

Another example - I managed to do that with Do until, and keeps sending reminders every 7 days or so - flow from printscreen is set to 1 min, for testing.

 

Capture.JPG

 





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@ScottShearer I know this is an older topic but its something that I'm working on.

 

Would it not also work to have a second flow that runs on a schedule? Lets say it ran daily, M-F at a specified time. I would pull pull all entries where Approval Status is Pending and the Created date is far enough in the past.

 

This way you're not having flows hanging after the approval is created.

ScottShearer
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

@RTW :

 

Your concept would work as well.  However, you probably don't want to pull all entries and loop through them.  Rather, use an OData filter in the Get items or Get Files (properties Only action.  The OData filter will make it so that the only items returned are those that meet your criteria.

 

Also, if you have a simple situation with a single approval and are using my suggestion, you could use a Control Terminate action (with success) after the approval has been completed and any additional action after the approval has been taken.  That way, the Flow will end and not stay active.

 

Scott

If I have answered your question, please mark your post as Solved.
If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Scott

Hi,

 

I have implemented the same as you described. But, if the approver takes action within the delay timings(minutes). Still its waiting for the delay branch to complete the specified time/minutes.

 

ARchana

Halo @Dorul , so currently i am doing what you shared here and a little bit struggle with the expression here ( i guess this is the problem why my flow is not working properly), could you please explain/break it down for me ? 

Regards,
William

Deltodeus_0-1649386419577.png

 

pgeory
Helper III
Helper III

Can i jump in on this with asking for help. Below is my flow it contains a pre approver step. I am finding that the pre approver isn't the issue but the final approver is. Where would i add my reminder?

pgeory_0-1673346632834.png

 

pgeory_1-1673346741020.png

 

pgeory_3-1673346850754.png

 

pgeory_4-1673346940002.png

 

pgeory_5-1673346999121.png

 

I have this flow working and just wanting to add a reminder too it. It took me a while to get to this point so I am reluctant to start messing too much. 

ElenM
Regular Visitor

Ηello,

I found an easy way to send reminders (for example after 3 days).

 - Firstly, you need to initialize a variable , let's say Approval and need to be boolean

 - Then add "Start and wait for an approval" inside a loop and set the timeout of the approval to P3D 

- Now you can use the outcome value .If the outcome value is not null (so the user approved or rejected the request ) , you will set the variable Approval =true and the loop will stop.

- Also you need to specify that the condition will be executed after approval flow is successful or has timed out

 

ElenM_1-1673622403847.pngElenM_2-1673622427298.png

ElenM_3-1673622452182.png

 

 

Hi,

 

The issue with your solution is that the approver cannot approve the request after the Reminder - which I think is what the people here want to achieve.

Hi @Dorul, i tried this but my "Do Until" action never start:

William_GCB_0-1711128542254.png

 

I tried to set the Delay for 1 minute for testing and doesn´t work.

William_GCB_1-1711128745508.png

Any ideas?

 

Thank you so much

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