Build Approval Processes like a Maverick

You feel the admin need.  The need for approval process speed.

You’ve setup an approval process that will lead to high fives, fist bumps, and secret handshakes from your users once activated.  After all, your Salesforce users need to be able to fire when they’re goddamn good and ready.  There’s no time for paper, signatures, and interoffice mail when you’re pulling 4 g inverted dives at a range of 2 meters.

But you’re not reckless.  When you admin, your users and automations come first.  Before takeoff, you’re going to run through this pre-flight approval process checklist so that no user is left behind.

1. Clean up your entry criteria.  

Records can end up in approval process purgatory if they enter the process without meeting the criteria of any of the approval steps.  Here’s three features that you can implement to make the process clean and user-friendly:

  • Create a hidden formula checkbox that evaluates to TRUE if your entry criteria are met. You can have separate formulas for each approval process step.  It’s easier to maintain a single formula field than multiple approval process entry criteria.  Use this formula, along with a ‘Submit for Approval’ checkbox, as your entry criteria.
  • Add a validation rule that fires when the ‘Submit for Approval’ checkbox is TRUE and the hidden formula checkbox is FALSE. You can provide instructions in the error message on the criteria that must be met prior to submitting.  Launch your approval process with a Process Builder and give that Submit for Approval button a little Foreign Relations.  You know, the…yes Goose, we know.
  • You can even create a formula text field that lists the entry criteria that users have yet to meet and reads ‘Ready for Approval’ once satisfied. This will provide clear instructions to appease your users who may not be ready to engage after flying through the standard ‘Submit for Approval’ button failure jet wash.

2. Reduce your drag.  

You can improve your UX and streamline the process with some of these techniques:

  • If some records are no-brainer approvals, add an initial approval step with automatic approvals.
  • If your org is mobile-friendly, enable mobile approvals under Select Fields to Display on Approval Page Layout > Security Settings.
  • Allow the currently assigned approver to edit records on the fly, rather than sending rejected records back to the start of the process under Record Edibility Properties.
  • Enable email approval response or approvals in Chatter and train your users on how to use them.

3. Crosscheck your initial submitters.  

You will reduce the frequency of ‘No Applicable Process was Found’ errors by selecting the right options.  You can define Owner, Creator, Public Groups, Roles, Roles and Subordinates, and Users as initial submitters.

If your org inserted a lot of records without the true owner, the Record Creator shouldn’t be the only Allowed Submitter.  Likewise, Record Owner may not be sufficient for objects that are Public Read/Write or are deep in a master detail relationship.

Remember admins: there’s no points for second place.  Slap that Submit for Approval button on the page layout and click the activate switch – you’re ready for Mach speed approvals.  Over and out.

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