What Are Approvals In ServiceNow?

What Is An Approval? Approvals are a phenomenal way to safeguard process amongst your IT organization. There needs to be proper checks and balances before certain automation actions can run. Should we approve this change …

servicenow approvals

Buy The "ServiceNow Developer's Manual" Now

We've packed over a decade of ServiceNow Development advice, into a single e-book.

Buy It Now

What Is An Approval?

Approvals are a phenomenal way to safeguard process amongst your IT organization.

There needs to be proper checks and balances before certain automation actions can run.

Should we approve this change request?

Should this user be a member of this security group, giving them elevated access?

Should this other user be able to see HR or sensitive data?

All of these types of decisions can be manually acted upon by certain users, and based off of their response, we will either approve or reject the decision.

Approvals tend to allow certain events to occur, and rejections do not.

In ServiceNow, approvals are a workflow process where a specific request, record, or change is subject to review and approval by one or more individuals before it can be executed or implemented. Approvals are connected to task based records.

We prefer to see workflows driving the creation of approvals, which can be dynamically generated. For example, for a certain type of request, we can request an approval from a certain users manager, or a VP of a department, based on who is submitting the request.

This process is used to ensure that changes to data or processes are authorized and meet certain standards or criteria before they are implemented.

Approvals in ServiceNow can be configured for different types of records and changes and can involve multiple levels or stages of approval as required.

Let’s talk about who can approve different types of tasks.

Who Can Approve Approvals?

In ServiceNow, approvals can be approved by individuals who have been designated as approvers or have the required permissions to do so.

Users are not allowed to “Approve” approval records where they are not the Approver user.

Some IT organizations override this and allow admins to approve anything, but you need to decide what’s right for your organization.

These individuals can be specified in the approval process configuration, or can be determined dynamically based on conditions or criteria specified in the approval process.

There are several roles in ServiceNow related to approvals:

  1. Approver: An individual who is responsible for reviewing and approving or rejecting a specific approval request.
  2. Requestor: An individual who submits a request for approval.
  3. Delegated Approver: An individual who has been designated to act on behalf of another approver, typically in their absence.
  4. Approval Delegate: An individual who has been assigned the task of managing approvals on behalf of others, including monitoring and escalating approval requests as needed.
  5. Approval Administrator: An individual who has the responsibility for configuring, managing, and maintaining the approval processes in ServiceNow.

The responsibilities of each role vary depending on the specific requirements of the approval process, but typically include tasks such as reviewing and making decisions on approval requests, managing the approval process, and ensuring compliance with policies and procedures.

Approvals are really at the core of the ServiceNow platform, as far as automation is concerned.

What Are Group Approvals?

Sometimes you might want a group of people to field an approval request, and that’s where group approvals come into play.

You can even create custom logic using scripting in ServiceNow to generate a list of certain approvers.

In ServiceNow, group approvals are a type of approval process where a request is approved or rejected by a group of individuals, rather than a single individual.

This allows for more flexible and efficient approval processes, as multiple individuals can review and approve or reject the request, potentially in parallel.

In a group approval process, the request is assigned to a group of approvers, and the approval process continues until all members of the group have approved or rejected the request, or the request has been cancelled or timed out.

The exact rules for how group approvals are handled, such as the number of approvals required, the order in which approvals are processed, and the criteria for approval or rejection, can be configured in the approval process definition.

Group approvals are useful for situations where multiple individuals need to review and approve a request, or where approvals need to be coordinated among a group of individuals, such as in a team or department.

By leveraging group approvals, organizations can improve the efficiency and accuracy of their approval processes, while also reducing the risk of bottlenecks or delays in the approval process.

How To Create An Approval

In ServiceNow, approvals can be created both manually and automatically as part of a workflow. The specific method used will depend on the requirements of the approval process and the desired level of automation.

Let’s look at the different ways that approval records can be created.

Manual Approvals: Approvals can be created manually by an individual who has the appropriate permissions, such as a requestor or an approval delegate. This can be done through the ServiceNow user interface, where the individual can select the type of request, specify the details of the request, and assign the request to one or more approvers.

Automatic Approvals: Approvals can also be created automatically as part of a workflow, such as when a record is created or updated, or when a specific condition is met. In this case, the approval process is triggered automatically based on the conditions specified in the workflow, and the request is automatically assigned to the approvers as defined in the approval process.

In general, organizations will use a combination of manual and automatic approvals, depending on the specific requirements of their approval processes. For example, an organization may have certain approvals that require manual intervention, while others may be handled automatically as part of a workflow.

The choice of manual or automatic approvals will depend on the specific requirements of the organization and the desired level of automation in the approval process.

But when in doubt, go the workflow route – where approvals are automatically generated.

Let us know if you have any questions about approvals in ServiceNow, we’d love to answer them for you.

What Do You Think About This Article?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x