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Heather_tttt
Level: Powered On

Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resubmit

It would be ideal to be able to change the approvers mid flow if possible.

 

For example, when a flow is set up to run to someone in the flow is on vacation. It will sit with this person until they return holding up the flow.

 

I often find myself getting requests to send to someone else instead. If its 1 approver its usually no problem, I can cancel the request and resubmit with the new person until further notified. 

 

But the issue is when its multiple approvers, and primary approver has aready approved and now it is sitting with the scondary approver who is out on vaction this week. (Yes I know if I has notice I could change the 2nd approver in advance, but we often dont)

 

So in order for me to get this to the proper secondary approver, I now have to cancel the approval. And have that person resubmit another form to the different secondary approver and the primary approver is inconvenienced with having to approve this request again in order for the flow to work.

 

Now imagine a more complex with 3+ approvers, it can get really backed up and inconvenient. 

 

Is there any way to change who next approver is when a flow is running in instnces like this?

 

Thanks,

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Super User
Super User

Re: Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resub

@Heather_tttt:

You cannot stop and edit a running Flow.  Rather, you can take action when an approval times out.

 

If you don't know who the backup approver will be in advance, consider this technique:

  1. When an approval times out, use the send email with options action
    1. The options will be a set of approvers to whom the approval can be assigned
    2. Send the email to the person who should make the decision on who the approver should be
    3. The Flow will pause until it gets a response from the email
  2. Start another approval with the selected individual as the approver
  3. Make sure that the email and approval only run when the previous approval times out
    1. Using a scope is convenient for this

Can you explain further what you mean in the following:

"Also is this the case for ONLY that indivigual running flow? because I cant change the master flow as many deifferent people and departments use it and I dont want that time out to happen for thweir submissions."

 

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

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5 REPLIES 5
Super User
Super User

Re: Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resub

@Heather_tttt:

 

It sounds as though you are using a sequential approval (one approvaer, then on to the next approver).  If that is the case, you can configure a timeout on the approval.  If an approver does not respond in a timely manner, you can cancel just that approval and create a new approval request for a bckup approver - no need to have the individual resubmit anything.

 

There are a number of videos such as this and this one that I posted

 

If you need an example, please let me know.

 

If this solves your issue, please mark your post as Solved.

 

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
Heather_tttt
Level: Powered On

Re: Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resub

@ScottShearer

 

This seems it would work if I knew in advance or if I set up the flow this way, but by the time I have been given notice this needs to change it is in the middle of an already running flow sequential approval flow.  If you are saying I can open and now edit this running flow, I dont need to resubmit the flow to kick it off? 

 

My flow comes from a form being completed and then information populates to Sharepoint and the approvals are started, updating the SP information along the way and showing the status of the approval.

 

If Approver 1 has approved, and approver 2 is out, I can open that running flow and change this to timeout to another approver after 1 minute and save the flow and after that minute it will time out and go to the person I have selected?

 

Also is this the case for ONLY that indivigual running flow? because I cant change the master flow as many deifferent people and departments use it and I dont want that time out to happen for thweir submissions.

Super User
Super User

Re: Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resub

@Heather_tttt:

You cannot stop and edit a running Flow.  Rather, you can take action when an approval times out.

 

If you don't know who the backup approver will be in advance, consider this technique:

  1. When an approval times out, use the send email with options action
    1. The options will be a set of approvers to whom the approval can be assigned
    2. Send the email to the person who should make the decision on who the approver should be
    3. The Flow will pause until it gets a response from the email
  2. Start another approval with the selected individual as the approver
  3. Make sure that the email and approval only run when the previous approval times out
    1. Using a scope is convenient for this

Can you explain further what you mean in the following:

"Also is this the case for ONLY that indivigual running flow? because I cant change the master flow as many deifferent people and departments use it and I dont want that time out to happen for thweir submissions."

 

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

View solution in original post

Super User
Super User

Re: Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resub

@Heather_tttt 

One more point on this...

To avoid assigning an approval to someone who is out, consider using the Office 365 Outlook Get mail tips action.  With that action, you can check to see if their out of office message (Message in Dynamic properties) is empty (null).  If it is not, then assign the approval to someone else.

 

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

Scott
RubenG
Level: Powered On

Re: Changing the approval approvers mid flow (if someone is out, etc) without having to cancel/resub

Hi Scott,

A quick question here using the Approvals Action in Flow. Is it possible to know if the approval has been reassigned to different user? I would like to track when the approval is reassigned and who now has the assignment. Thanks Scott, much appreciated your answer.

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