Approve, Decline & Abstain actions explained.

There are 3 different actions that an approver can take in the SweetHawk Approve app. While it is possible to rename these actions to be more appropriate for the workflow you're building, each have underlying functionality that can not be changed.


The 3 actions are:

1. Approve:

When an agent clicks Approve the approval request will proceed. If the required number of approvers for a particular step has been reached, then the next step will automatically begin. If all steps are completed, then the approval request will be Granted and will look like this in the agent interface:



2. Decline:

When any approver clicks Decline, the approval will be Denied. This will prematurely end the approval and it will not proceed to any further steps or escalations. It will look like this in the agent interface: 


In order to proceed, the approval will need to be restarted by an agent. Usually this would be with different data to accommodate the comments made by the approver when it was originally declined.


3. Abstain: 

When an approver clicks to Abstain, they are removing themself from the flow of the approval.

For example: This means that if an approval step begins that requires 2 out of 3 approvers, but 1 agent clicks on Abstain, then it now means that the approval requires 2 out of 2 remaining approvers to say yes. 

If a second approver abstained, this would take the number of approvers below the required number for the approval to proceed (ie. it would mean the approval requires 2 out of 1 remaining approvers to say yes). Given that this is an impossibility, the approval will either:

a) Automatically be escalated to the next escalation step. 

b) If there is no escalation step(s) defined (or if there a no further escalation steps), then the approval will prematurely end with the status of Timed Out and will appear like this in the agent interface:


Q. Why would an approver abstain? 

A. An approver may choose to abstain if they are unavailable to make the decision (eg. if they're on vacation). They may also abstain if they do not have the authority or knowledge to make a decision. By abstaining, the approval does not spend unnecessary amounts of time waiting on approvers who can not make a decision and therefore can speed up an approval process. Note that it is also possible for agents to mark an approver as abstained (unavailable) from within the agent interface of the app. 



As mentioned at the start of this article, each of these 3 actions can be renamed to be more appropriate to the flow you're building. The Decline and Abstain actions are optional and the colour of the buttons can also be changed. 

You can change these settings in each Approval Definition like this: 


In the example below we've changed the buttons' colours and wording to sound less rigid: 


Something like this could be used if you want approvers (or the person who has requested the approval) to not feel like this decision is final and that there is an opening for approval if the right data was resubmitted. 

In this next example below, we've switched both the Decline and Abstain buttons off. An example where you might want to do this is if you wanted all new customers to accept your company's terms and conditions before proceeding with anything further. 



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