How approval processes work
You can configure Web Help Desk so tickets associated with specific request types are automatically routed to specific individuals for review and approval.
This is useful in situations when you want to manage change, and those changes must be evaluated, approved, planned, and scheduled. For example, if you need to upgrade your Windows file server, you can configure a process that routes the request to one or more people for review and approval.
In complex situations such as a system upgrade project, an approval process can help control the project and communicate to concerned parties when the project is approved and ready to begin.
An approval process can contain one or more steps, and each step of the process involves one of the following types of approvers:
Client. Only clients can be selected as an approver.
If a tech is involved in an approval process, link the tech account to a client account.
Pros: Because all clients are available as approvers, using clients provides a high degree of flexibility when you configure the approval process. For example, you can define a multi-step approval process that includes clients in various locations and departments. Cons: If a client leaves your organization and they are involved in multiple approval processes, you need to update each approval process with another approver.
Department approver. You can configure a client to act as an approver for a department.
Pros: If a department approver leaves your organization and they are involved in multiple approval processes, you only need to update the department approver once in the system. That change propagates throughout all approval processes. Cons: A department can only have one approver, and you cannot configure an approval process to include multiple department approvers. For example, you cannot configure the first step of an approval process to be approved by the IT department approver, and then configure the second step of the process to be approved by the Finance department approver. If you need individuals from multiple departments to approve a ticket, configure the approval process to use clients or a Change Advisory Board (CAB).
Location approver. You can configure a client to act as an approver for a location.
If a location approver leaves your organization and that person is involved in multiple approval processes, you only need to update the location approver once in the system. That change propagates throughout all approval processes.
Unlike department approvers, an approval process can include multiple locations.
Cons: A location can have only one approver.
Change Advisory Board (CAB). A CAB is a group of approvers that review and vote on requests as a team. You decide how many members must agree before the ticket is approved or rejected. For example, if a seven-member CAB reviews an upgrade request ticket, you can configure the step in the approval process to be approved if only five members vote Yes.
Pros: A CAB can approve requests even when some members disagree. Members of a non-CAB approval process review tickets in series, and any member can reject the ticket at any step of the process. If you need a "majority rules" approval process, use a CAB. Cons: A CAB is not appropriate for ticket approval processes requiring one approval or a unanimous approval.
Approval process rules
When you create your approval process, use the following conventions:
- Only one client can be a department approver.
- Only one client can be a location approver.
- Only one department approver can be in a process. For example, you cannot have the Director of IT approve a ticket, and then have the Director of Finance approve the same ticket.
- You can include multiple location approvers in an approval process. For example, you can configure an approval process so the ticket is approved by the location approver in San Francisco, and then the location approver in New York City.
- You must link a request type to an approval process.
- An approval process can have multiple request types linked to it. The same process can be used for more than one type of ticket.
- A request type cannot be linked to more than one approval process. Multiple approval process cannot be required for the same ticket.
- If the request type associated with the approval process includes one or more children, select one of the children as the supported request type. You cannot select the parent request type as the supported request type.
- When a request is approved by the minimum number of CAB approvers, the ticket is removed from the approvals queue for the remaining CAB members.
- You can string multiple CABs together in an approval process. For example, the first step of an approval process can be approved by five out of seven approvers, and the second step can be approved by three out of four approvers.
- The client who submits a ticket can approve the ticket, provided they are set up as the approver.
The simplest approval process includes a single step that is approved by a client, a location approver, a department approver, or a CAB.
You can also configure more complex, multi-step approval processes that include any of these approver types. For example, you can configure an approval process so a client approves first, followed by a department approver and a location approver.
An approval process can contain any combination of:
- Multiple client approvers
- A single department approver
- Multiple location approvers
- Multiple CAB approvers
For example, you can configure an approval process so three clients approve the ticket first, followed by a department approver and a location approver.
You can also configure an approval process so a location approver approves the ticket first, followed by two CABs.
Plan your approval processes
Consider the following questions before you begin configuring your approval processes in Web Help Desk:
- Do you have a simple approval process with just one step, or do you have a multi-step approval process?
- In an approval process, who (or what) approves each step? Is it a client approver, a department approver, a location approver, or a CAB?
- Do you need multiple department approvers? If yes, use client approvers instead of department approvers.
- Which request type are you using in the approval process? Keep in mind that a request type can be associated with only one approval process.
- Are there any steps in the approval process where you want a team of approvers to vote, and you can specify the required minimum number of approvers? Use a CAB to create a group of approvers and select the minimum number of Yes votes needed to approve the request or move to the next step in the process.