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Workflow Phase Approvals

This article will explain the various types of approvals that you can add to a Workflow phase and how to configure them.

This article assumes that you are familiar with Kanban Workflow Terminology and you have created new phases within a Workflow. If you are not yet familiar with setting up Workflow phases please see: Adding Phases to a Workflow.


What is an Approval?

An approving phase must be validated (or not) through selecting one of the two buttons before it can move to any subsequent phase.

Each Approval or Rejection is stored in the history of the card, along with any associated comments that were added.

Approvals can be added to a phase in conjunction with other Workflow Actions and the act of approving or rejecting is usually the last thing that a user will do on that phase. It is possible to automatically transition to different parts of a Workflow based on the button selected.
For more information on configuring transitions please read this article.

Types of Approval

There are three types of approval:

Single Approval

This means that each card requires one approval from the phase owner in order to progress to the next phase. Where there are multiple people acting as the phase owner, one approval from any of the phase owners will be enough to progress the card.

Simple Parallel Approvals

In the scenario where you always want more than one approval to begin in tandem, you can leverage Parallel Approvals. You can add multiple Workflow Groups to be Approval groups and each group must approve in order to progress from that phase.

This means that each member of the Workflow Group is able to approve, but the card will not transition until all required approvals are gained.

Note: The card will transition upon the first rejection gained and any prior approvals made before one group rejects will not be stored.

Cards on a phase with Parallel Approvals active will include the below section when opened and will also display an approval counter on the card face:

Conditional Parallel Approvals

In the scenario where you want a different number of groups to have an approval based upon the answers received on the form submission, Conditional Parallel Approvals provides the flexibility to pull in various Workflow Groups.


Configuring a Single Approval Phase

To enable a single Approval for a phase:

1. Go to the Edit Phase menu by clicking the edit icon (3 vertical dots) and selecting 'Edit this Phase':


2. Select the Approval tab:

3. Click 'Enabled'. Single Approval mode will be selected as default.

Configuring Parallel Approvals

To configure Parallel Approvals, follow the same steps as above to enable Single Approvals. You will then see the option to switch to Parallel Approvals. 

Note: You must select the Phase Owner to be a Workflow Group before enabling Parallel Approvals - for information see this guide to setting up a Workflow Group and this guide to assigning a Workflow Group as a Phase Owner.

A pop-up will then allow you to choose the Workflow Groups that you would like to be approval groups.

The 'Simple' radio button means that all Workflow Groups entered will always be required to approve, you can add as many groups as you like here to be ever-present approvers.

For Conditional Approvals, all Workflow Groups entered in this window will be included on this phase based on the same criteria.


As shown in the example above, clicking 'Save' will present you with a Parallel Approval entry.

If 'Conditional' is selected, an empty conditions table will be populated to allow you to configure the conditions to include the groups. To get started with adding conditions from your form, click the 'Add' button at the bottom of the table.

If 'Simple' is selected, no table will appear and a yellow Always Active pill will be shown on the ruleset instead.

Use the 'Add New Parallel Approval' button at the bottom of the rulesets to create another ruleset to conditionally include more groups or click 'Save' to complete.

Note: it is not possible to add or remove Parallel Approval Groups while there are active cards on the phase. You may add and remove conditions, but these will not apply to cards that are already on the phase.