Creating an approval involves three steps: entering basic information, designing an approval form, and designing an approval process. This document will show you how to design an approval process.
I. Function overview
Lark's Approval feature allows you to design flexible approval processes. You can design rules for each approval step, including approvers required, approval methods, and approval permissions. You can also design different approval processes for different situations. For example, you can design a rule where leave requests for less than 2 days only require approval from an employee's direct supervisor whereas leave requests for 2 days or longer require approvals from a supervisor and the HR department.
In Approval Admin, go to Process Design by selecting Create a new approval or Edit an existing approval. The system will set up a default approval step which you can flexibly modify with a wide range of approval processes to meet your needs.
Setting up an approval step
Click an approval step to view its settings (including approvers, form permissions, and action permissions) on the right.
Approver settings include step type, approver, approval method, and cc settings.
(1) Step type
The default approval method is manual approval. You can also select auto-approve or auto-reject. When manual approval is not required, the system automatically performs the step.
You can select from 8 approver types:
- •Manager (bottom up): The applicant's direct manager is the first approver and the approval request ascends through higher levels.
- •Manager (top down): The highest-ranking manager in the organizational structure is the first approver and the approval descends through lower levels.
- •Department supervisor (bottom up): The applicant's direct department supervisor is the first approver and the approval ascends through higher levels.
- •Department supervisor (top down): The department supervisor at the highest level in the organizational structure is the first approver and the approval descends through lower levels.
- •Role: Specify personnel from a functional department (such as HR, administration, finance, legal or IT) as approvers. You can also add relevant functional personnel from the Roles page by opening the User and Department menu in Lark Admin. (Learn more 👉 Designate an approver role for a certain step)
- •Specify member: You (the approval process designer) can specify the approver.
- •Applicant's choice: The applicant can choose the approver when submitting a request.
- •Successive managers: After the request is initiated, it will advance level by level through the company's organizational structure until it reaches a level you specify.
If the approver is left blank, the approval owner or a member specified by you can be selected to review the request. You can also set the system to automatically approve the request.
(3) Approval method
When multiple approvers are set or selected by the applicant, an approval method needs to be set. There are 2 approval methods:
- •Everyone assigned: All approvers must approve the request for the approval step to be approved.
- •Anyone assigned: Only one approver must approve the request for the approval step to be approved.
This setting allows you to specify the people who are copied when a notification or file is sent in an approval step. People who are copied will receive a notification when the current step is completed.
You can choose from 6 types of cc recipients: Supervisor (bottom up), Supervisor (top down), Department Head (bottom up), Department Head (top down), Role, or Specified Member.
The form permission settings determine form content that can be viewed or edited for the current step. This is mainly used to protect private information or allow for supplemental approval information in the approval process.
- •View: Specifies form fields approvers can view in this step.
- •Edit: Specifies form fields approvers can edit in this step.
The operation permissions settings determine actions approvers can perform in this step. There are 3 main operations:
- •Transfer: The approver can transfer the approval to another employee.
- •Add/Remove approver: An approver can add another employee as an approver to ensure the approval decision is correct. The additional approver can be added before, along with, or after the current approver in the approval sequence. Remove approver removes a previously added approver.
- •Roll back: If the approver disagrees with the decision made in a previous step, he can send the request back to a specified approval step. A request can be rolled back in 2 ways: It can be rolled back to a specified step and all subsequent approvers must re-approve. The request can also be rolled back to a specified step and, when re-approved there, returned directly to the current step.
In addition, you can set cc recipients and form permissions for the start and end steps simply by clicking on them and configuring the settings as described above.
Now you know how to design a basic approval process. Based on the needs of your team, you can design more complex approval processes by adding more steps and conditional branches.
Setting more steps
Click the + symbol between steps and select Approver to add a new approval step at this position. Configure the approver, form permissions, and operation permissions for this new step (as described above) to set up it up and create a multi-step approval process.
Setting conditional branches
You can use conditional branches to implement different approval processes in different situations.
- 1.Set Branch: Click the + symbol between steps and select Branch. By default, the process will split into two branches. You can click Add condition to create more branches.
- 2.Set condition: To set conditions for the branch, click Set condition, then click Add condition group in the settings box that appears on the right. For example, you can set an approval branch so that all reimbursements for travel expenses are routed to the left approval process branch and all other requests are routed to the right branch.
- 1.What is the difference between the approver options Manager (bottom up) and Manager (top down)?
- •When Manager (bottom up) is selected, the applicant's direct manager is the first approver and the approval request ascends through higher levels. When Manager (top down) is selected, the manager at the highest level in the organizational structure is the first approver and the approval request descends through lower levels.
- •For example, assume John's direct manager is Mary, and Mary's direct manager is Paul. If you select Manager (bottom up), a request submitted by John must first be approved by Mary, then Paul. If you select Supervisor (top down), a request submitted by John must be approved first by Paul, then Mary.
- 2.What are the differences between adding an approver before, along with, or after the current approver?
- •Before: The new approver is added before the current step, so they must approve the request before the current approver can approve the request.
- •Along with: The new approver is added in the current step and both approvers must approve the request.
- •After: The new approver is added after the current step and the request is approved in the current step by default.
- 3.What is the difference between conditions and condition groups?
- •In a step, multiple condition groups are connected by an "OR" relationship. When a request satisfies the conditions of one condition group, it enters the corresponding branch.
- •In a condition group, multiple conditions are connected by an "AND" relationship. Only by meeting all the conditions can a request enter the corresponding branch.
- 4.What fields can be used as branch conditions?
Not all fields can be used as branch conditions. Currently, the following fields can be used as such conditions: applicant, some components (including multiple choice, checkboxes, numerals, amounts, formulas, date ranges, and details), leave type and leave duration in the leave components groups, overtime type and overtime duration in the overtime components group, and origin, destination, and trip duration in the trip components group.