In this Power Automate tutorial, we will see how to automate approval reminders using Power Automate or Microsoft flow.
So, here we will create a Microsoft flow that will automate the approval process. And if you are waiting for a long time for the request to be approved, so it is possible to automate reminder for it.
Microsoft flow approval reminder
Here we will see how to create an Approval reminder using Microsoft Flow.
So, I have created a SharePoint list called Equipment request, here when the requestor(employee) submits a request for equipment like monitor, the approver(manager) gets a request via Outlook mail and Microsoft Teams.
If the approver approves (accept/reject) the request, then the requestor gets the response mail in Outlook and the request gets updated with the current status.
Sometimes, the requestor waits for a long time for approval, in that case, we will send the reminder mail to the approver by delaying a certain period of time.
Once the approver approves the request, the remainder gets stopped, the requestor gets the response mail and the request gets updated.
Create approval reminder using Microsoft flow
Here we will see the steps to create approval reminders using Power automate.
Step 1: Create a SharePoint Online List
So here I have created an Equipment request list in SharePoint Online having 6 columns with the required column type:
|Column Name||Column type|
|Equipment||Single line of text|
|Comments||Multi line text|
|Request Date||Date and time|
Once the SharePoint list is created, we will move towards the next step to create a flow.
Step 2: Create a Flow in Power Automate
Now we will create a flow for approval reminder, so when we wait for a long time for the request approval, we will send a reminder for approval request to the approver.
- Log in to the Power Automate, then click on create from the navigation bar to create a new flow, then select Automated colud Flow.
Next, provide a name to the flow, then select a trigger i.e. When an item is created, to run the flow. Click on create.
Step 3: When an item is created
In this step, we will provide the site address and list name in which you will arise a request.
In the next step, we will create a variable to indicate if the request is Approved.
Step 4: Create a variable to indicate if the request is approved
To create a variable click on the Next step, then add Initialize a variable.
Now we will provide the name of the variable, which will allow the flow to know if the request has been approved.
Then set the type to boolean and value to false from the expression. By default, we will set the value to false until the approver approves the request.
Step 5: Create an approval
Click on the Next step to add an action i.e. Create an Approval.
Now provide the approval type i.e. custom responses-wait for one response. Next, response item 1 is approved and item 2 is rejected.
Then provide a title for approval, at last, add Assigned to, whom you want to assign (approver).
Step 6: Wait for an Approval
Click on the next step, to add an action i.e. Wait for an approval, which tells the flow to wait for approval from the earlier step(i.e. Create an approval).
So, provide an Approval id from the dynamic content i.e. Approval Id.
Step 7: Update the variable on request status
In this step we will set the approvedDone variable to true, this will indicate that we received a response(approve/reject) from the approver.
So, click on the Next step, then add an action Set variable.
Step 8: Condition to check if the request is approved or rejected
Now we will check whether the request is approved or rejected, accordingly, we will send an email to the user/requestor then we will update the item in the SharePoint list.
So, click on the next step, then select Condition control, and set the outcome from dynamic content is equal to Approve.
If the condition Is true, that the request is approved, so it will run the if yes part.
We will add an Outlook email, to send an email to the requestor, your response is approved. For this click on Add an action in if yes part of the condition.
Then we will update the request in the SharePoint list, to update click on the Add an action.
And select Update item action, then provide site address, list name, id, title, and change the status value to approved.
If the condition is false then the request is rejected, so it will run if no part.
Similarly, send the email for rejection to the employee by adding an Outlook email action.
Similarly, update the request for rejection by clicking on Add an action and selecting update item.
Also, check out, Power Automate Replace
Step 9: Delay
Now, for the automated reminder process, we will create a parallel flow so that it will run at the same time as the approval process.
After creating an approval step, click on the plus icon -> select parallel branch.
Then select the Delay action. We will set the delay count for 1 day that means it will start executing the steps for 1 day. You want to test the automated reminder then you change the delay to 1 minute.
So set the count to 1 and unit to Day in delay action.
Step 10: Create a loop to check the request is approved or not
In this step, to check if the request is completed, we will need to loop it using DO-until loop, to check the variable ‘approveDone’, which is set to true.
If ‘approvedDone’ is set to true, that means the request is completed and if the condition does not meet then we will continue to send reminders and wait.
Click on the next step, select Do until action, then set the variable(i.e. approvalDone) is equal to true.
Step 11: Set a reminder
So here we will create an email with ‘Respond link’ from dynamic content because we are unable to resend the approval email to the approver. The ‘Respond link’ will help the approver to the approval page of Power Automate.
So inside the Do-until step, click on Add an action and select Outlook email. In the body part attach the respond link from dynamic content.
Next to email in Do-until loop add another delay action, and set the count to 1 and the unit to days.
Once your flow is ready, save the flow to test the flow manually.
Step 12: Run the Flow
To run the flow we will create an item/ arise a request in the SharePoint list.
So here user5 arise a request for ‘Monitor’, now your manager will get the request like below in Teams notification as well as an outlook email:
If your manager responds to the approval, then it is good or else your manager will get reminders by a defined period of time through outlook email like below:
Once the manager responds to the approval the employee will get the below email:
And also your item gets updated with the current status in the SharePoint list.
Also, you can check in Power automate whether your flow runs successfully or not.
In this Power automate tutorial, we learned about the Power Automate Approval reminder.
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Bhawana Rathore is a Microsoft MVP (3 times in Office Apps & Services) and a passionate SharePoint Consultant, having around 10 years of IT experience in the industry, as well as in .Net technologies. She likes to share her technical expertise in EnjoySharePoint.com and SPGuides.com