Imagine you are in a team but the situation does not go in favor of you and your team members that you hardly communicate with them. So how will you share your teamwork, progress, and all? Though you can do that in many ways, availing approval workflow is one of them. In this article, we will talk about how to create an approval workflow in Excel.
Download Practice Workbook
You can download and practice the dataset that we have used to prepare this article.
What Is the Approval Workflow?
An approval workflow is a series of actions by which a team member can share his data with others via email and stakeholders can approve or reject the data based on their specific criteria. As you understand, automated approval workflow speeds up the working process, thus reducing the work time delay it increases productivity at work.
4 Steps to Create Approval Workflow in Excel
Let’s assume we have a dataset, namely “Running Project of DPR Construction”. You can use any dataset suitable for you.
Here, we have used the Microsoft Excel 365 version; you may use any other version according to your convenience.
Step 1: Open Dataset from OneDrive Using Desktop App
Before delving into our steps, first, let’s understand what we are going to do today. As our title suggests, we will create an approval workflow in Excel, therefore we need to upload our given dataset in OneDrive first. After that, we will create an Approval WorkFlow through flow.microsoft.com and send an approval request via Microsoft Teams. So don’t forget to log in to those relevant sites before starting your process as we did here.
- To begin with, go to your dataset uploaded in OneDrive and open the file by selecting the Open in Desktop App option.
- Now see if there is any Flow feature available in the Data tab as shown below, follow the next step to bring this feature as we need it to complete our task later on.
Step 2: Add the Microsoft Power Automate Feature
As we already mentioned, you have to have a Flow icon in your Excel Ribbon. Basically, we will plug in our Approval flow with Microsoft Teams through the Flow icon to get the response of our stakeholders so that they can approve or reject based on our response.
- To add this feature, Select Insert > Get Add-ins command.
- Type Microsoft Power Automated for Excel and press the Add button.
- Click on Continue to proceed to the next step.
- Thus, you will get the feature under the Data tab. See the image attached below.
Step 3: Create an Approval Flow
In this step, we will create an approval flow by going through this website. Though the process seems a bit rigorous but don’t worry, just follow the process as described below. You will get a satisfactory output by the end of the process.
- First, click on Create option.
- Then select the Automated cloud flow as shown below.
- Subsequently, some triggers will appear. Don’t bother to think about those, just click on the Skip button.
- A search box will appear afterward. Type Excel online for business and select the appeared icon as depicted below.
- Subsequently, Select the For a selected row as your Trigger. You might wonder what the Trigger means. It basically selects a row to send it to the stakeholder, just like a negotiator.
- Now, you need to input some information into your Trigger The first option is for specifying your dataset location. As we kept our data in the OneDrive, thus click on the OneDrive for Bussiness after selecting the Downward icon.
- As for Documented Library, select the OneDrive option.
- Select File Icon to fetch the Excel file of our dataset into it.
- Select Dataset as your Table name.
- Next, press on Add an Input option to add an Email box so that you can input the recipient’s email id into it.
- Click on the Email option to bring the desired box as we told you earlier. You can also use the other option to decorate your flow but those are optional.
- See we have an Email Box as shown below.
- Now click on the Next Step to proceed further as we have plenty of work still need to do.
- Type and select the Compose option from the Choose an operation.
- Thus an Inputs box will appear.
- Select all of your dataset Header as below. It is to be mentioned that those options will be generated automatically from your dataset.
- See the output as given below. Click on Next Step to proceed further.
- Now, type and select the Approvals option as the prompt says below. Click on Start and wait for approval as your actions.
- Select Approve/Reject – Everyone must approve as your Approval type.
- Select all of your dataset headers in the Title box as you did earlier.
- In the Assigned to box select the Email option.
- See the output below.
- Subsequently, move on to the Next Step.
- Select Excel Online option as your connector.
- Then select Update a row from the Actions Bar.
- In step 1 as depicted below, input all the required data and subsequently fill the Key Column, Key-Value, and Status to get the output decision from the approver. Don’t forget to Save your approval flow before going to the next step.
Step 4: Run the Approval Workflow
So far so good! Now we will run and test our Approval Flow by using the Microsoft Power Automated Feature.
- Open your dataset from the Excel Desktop and select a Project ID, 100244 for instance.
- Then select Data > Flow from the Menu bar.
- Subsequently, Run your Approval Flow.
- Select the Continue button to proceed further.
- In the Email box, type your recipient’s Email ID.
- Select the Run Flow afterwards.
- Now, wait for 10 or 15 seconds to get a notification, and then open your Microsoft Team app to see the result from a Recipient’s perspective.
- As you can see the entire row of the cell containing 100244 Project ID is listed on the appeared box.
- Leave a comment if you have any.
- Then, select the Reject or Approve button to let them know your decision. However, we choose to proceed with Approve option for demonstrating to you.
- Now, see the Recipient’s response is listed in your Excel file as described below.
Things to Remember
- It is worth mentioning that you have to be specific to select your data and column header in the appeared boxes.
- Before running your flow, select the appropriate row for which you would like to let the recipient know. The cell has to be in the specified range. You will not get any output otherwise.
We have provided a Practice section on the dataset so that you can practice yourself. Please make sure to do it yourself.
In this article, we have discussed how to create an approval workflow in Excel. As you have already understood, this is a tiresome process. But you will be okay once you get through the entire process. Further, If you have any queries, feel free to comment below and we will get back to you soon. Also, you may follow our website, ExcelDemy, a one-stop Excel solution provider to explore more.