Setting up approvals

Some requests might need approval before your team can work on them. For example, a manager might approve leave requests, or an IT manager might approve new system accounts. To require approval for a request, you add an approval to the workflow the request follows. Here’s how approvals fit into the request workflow:

  1. A person sends a request via the portal or email.

  2. When the request transitions to a status that needs approval, the approver is notified that there's a pending approval.

  3. In the customer portal, the approver approves or declines the request:

  4. The request transitions to the next status in the workflow, and the customer is notified about any comments that the approver added.

On this page:

Set up approvals

To set up approvals, you need to do the following:

  1. Choose who can approve the request. You can have customers choose approvers from a list, or you can send requests to a pre-set list of approvers. For example, in the following screenshot, the customer can search for their manager in a list:

    To do this step, add a user picker custom field to the request form.  Learn how
  2. Choose when in the workflow the request goes to approvers. In the following workflow, the request goes to approvers right after it’s created:

    To do this step, add an approval step to the workflow the request follows. Learn how

Step 1: Add a user picker to the request form

To give people a way to select approvers for their request, you add a user picker custom field to the request form. If you prefer to choose approvers for customers, hide the field from the form and create a pre-set list of approvers.

By default, your project comes with the Approvers field and Team field that you can use for approvals. If you want to use a different field, see  Add a new custom field to a project .

If customers will choose approvers

Before you begin, make sure your Customer permissions > Who can customers share request with? setting is on Any customer or organization, by searching in this project. This ensures that customers can search for approvers.

 

  1. In your project, go to Request types > %request type% > Edit fields > Add a field.

  2. Select the field you want to use for approvals, then click Apply. The following screenshots show the Approvers field in the project, and how it appears to customers on a request form:

    What you see

    What customers see

  3. Optionally, change the Display name, Required, and Field help to give your customers more detail. 

If request will go to a pre-set list of approvers

  1. Add a user picker custom field to the request.

  2. Next to the field, click Actions > Hide.  

  3. Enter the users who can approve the request, then click Set. The approvers display in the issue and are notified when the request needs approval. The following screenshot shows how the approvers display in the People section of the issue:

Step 2: Add an approval to a workflow

After you add a user picker to the request form, add an approval to the workflow the request follows. When you add an approval to a workflow, you choose who approves it, and what happens when it is approved or declined.

You need to have the JIRA administrator global permission to add an approval to a workflow.

 

To add an approval step to a workflow:

  1. Go to Settings > Workflows.

  2. Click Edit next to the workflow you want to edit.

  3. Select Diagram view.

  4. Select the status you want to add an approval to.

    Make sure the status you want to add the approval to has at least two transitions: one for Approve and one for Decline. You might add another transition if you'd like an agent to be able to transition the request without a response from an approver.

  5. Select Add approval.

  6. Complete the fields, then click Create.

Approval transitions don’t display screens. If a transition goes to a Done status, make sure the request can close by adding a post function that sets a resolution.

Add a new custom field to a project

By default, your service desk project includes an Approvers custom field and a Team custom field from which people can select approvers. You might create more custom fields if your workflow has more than one approval step, or if you want the field to have a different name in the issue view. To add a new custom field to your project, create a new custom field in your JIRA site, then add the field to your project. Here's how:

You need to have the JIRA administrator global permission to create a new custom field.

  1. Go to  > Issues > Custom fields > Add custom field.
  2. Click Advanced > User Picker (multiple users) > Next.
  3. Name your field, then click Create. The Screens page displays.
  4. Select the box next to JIRA Service Desk Screen for Project <yourprojectkey>.
  5. Click Update. The new field is added to your project.

Auto-approve requests

You can use automation rules to auto-approve requests that meet certain conditions. For example, you might auto-approve purchase requests that are under a certain amount. 

To set up an auto-approval, create an automation rule with the THEN action auto-approve. For example, the following rule auto-approves purchase requests that are less than $5:

When a customer requests an item that is less than $5, the request is automatically approved and transitions to the next status. When a customer requests an item that is greater than $5, the request still goes to approvers.

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