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I'm trying to automate an approval process using SharePoint 2013/SharePoint Designer 2013. I'm in a healthcare setting and we have admin staff that support multiple providers in different departments. To give a scenario, if a provider wants to go to a conference and be eligible for reimbursement, they'll ask the admin staff to put in a request for them. The provider's department supervisor must then approve that request for the provider to go the conference.

So, I created a list. It has every provider's name in a column with all relevant information in columns, including the supervisor as a "person or group" column (that should be linked to their e-mail). I want to create a form where the provider name can be selected from a dropdown box (to reference the row), all information looked up, and an email will automatically be sent to the supervisor (column) upon form submission. That way the only info that needs to be added is how much and a reason for why. Theoretically the provider could then even do it themselves.

The problem I'm having is creating a workflow to do this. It seems straightforward and the idea is that we can use this for other processes too, but cannot figure it out. The lookup only brings back the supervisor name as text. I've tried to lookup the approver via department too with no luck. Would love some help in finding a way to accomplish this task.

Thank you!

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  • Lets say, List 'A' is the one which has all the details - "providerName" and "Supervisor" as person/group column etc..
  • List 'B'- is the list where requests are submitted. It also has provider name and supervisor columns along with other details to submit the request (why, how etc..)
  • Create a workflow for ListB, and add a step "update list item".
  • Select "Current Item". Add "Supervisor" field. In the value section, select ListA and supervisor field as Email Address. Within "Find the list item" select "providername from listB" - as field and "providername from listA" - as value
  • This would update the supervisor name in ListB. you can continue the rest of the workflow accordingly

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