Approval Workflow In SharePoint Online Using Out Of The Box Approach

Approval Workflow is a simple workflow which needs to be approved by Approver.

Where can we create Approval Workflow in Office365?

We can create it in both List and Library.

What is Approval Workflow?

Approval Workflow is a simple workflow which needs to be approved by Approver. It can be approved or rejected. 

Business Case - Leave Management

  1. In the Organization an employee raises a leave request 
  2. The manager gets notified about his request, based on the requirements the manager can accept/ reject their request.
  3. Once  Approved/ Rejected the employee will be notified.

Approval Workflow Flow

  1. Select List /Library - Workflow Settings


  2. Workflow Settings
  3. Workflow Configuration


    • Workflow – You need to choose the WF Template as Approval Sharepoint 2010
    • Name – Provide your own name for the Workflow.
    • Task List – Once the Item is created it will create a Task. We need to specify in which list the Task needs to be created for each entry.
    • WF History – Historical Information About the WF will be capturing in this list.


Workflow Options

  • Manually – Once the user creates the item they need to trigger the workflow manually after every new item is created. (This is not a best practice)
  • New Item – Once the item is created the workflow will trigger automatically. (Best practice)
  • Update or Edit – Once the item is edited or changes happen to the existing item, Workflow will trigger. (Applicable based on the requirements) Approval Configurations


Approval Configurations
  • Assign to: (Approver) In our business case we can consider our manager as the approver. Serial & Parallel are Approver's Order.
  • Request: The Message needs to send to the approver when Workflow triggers. In our business case, we can provide as a leave request.
  • Due Date for All Tasks: We can provide the due date for the task 
  • Duration: How Long it takes for one task to complete.(Units - Days/ Weeks/ Months)


This will vary depending on the use case or requirements.

Once all the actions are configured ,save the workflow.

Create a File/Item in the List or Library and Workflow.  Start the Workflow.


This needs to be done if the workflow option is a manual start; or else it will trigger the workflow automatically. Communication will be sent to Requestor with the status of Approved/Rejected.