I am using on-premise SharePoint 2016. In one of my lists, when an item is created, I need the following workflow:

  1. Notify the manager(s) as listed in the created item. This step should happen in parallel so that if any one of the managers approves, it moves to the next step.
  2. Notify the manager(s) of the department the item is being submitted to. This should only happen if at least one manager from step 1 approves. This step should happen in parallel so that if any one manager approves, the item is approved.
  3. The item status should be marked as approved only when steps 1 and 2 are approved. If possible, the item should then be set to read-only for everyone but department managers.
  4. If possible, I would like to include a form field in step 2 that will allow a manager to select a person from that department. When the item is approved, a task will be created in another list and assigned to the selected person.

I've seen about a thousand different approaches to similar workflows, but nothing specifically like what I'm trying to do. I can fill out most of the details for myself, but I need to know where to start with this. Should I use a SharePoint 2010 workflow or a SharePoint 2013 workflow? For the chosen workflow type, what general steps would I need to take to accomplish each of the steps above?

I have a SharePoint 2010 approval workflow that satisfies steps 1 and 2. However, I don't know how to set the completion conditions of the task so that 3 and/or 4 can kick off only if 1 and 2 are approved.

  • you need to check your workflow behaviour / completion conditions. Try browsing other people's questions with the 'designer-workflow' tag link
    – Tally
    Jan 30, 2018 at 15:59
  • Funny, I never thought about "continuing to browse around in the dark until I find an answer" as a solution.
    – DrewB
    Jan 30, 2018 at 16:17
  • 2
    Turn on the light and use that link, type 'completion conditions' or 'group task', you never know, you might surprise yourself with your research skills. This would solve step 1. I would suggest one or two other things, but I'm going home instead.
    – Tally
    Jan 30, 2018 at 16:37
  • I've seen plenty of those "give me answer" and "give me code now" threads after reading through the summary of the business requirements, but this one didn't quite strike me as one of those. Guess it is though. Best way to do some of these things is to just play around with it, test and see how it goes. Seeing "about a thousand different approaches to similar workflows" is a good start. Hope that you are able to create the workflow. GL.
    – spguy
    Jan 30, 2018 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


I do almost exactly this in a logistics workflow we do. Our buyers send to the managers, and when they all approve it's sent to another final approval for accounting, then when it's done it's sent to the last set of people that deal with the paperwork. Here's an outline (its a 2010 workflow)

This workflow is started manually. I'm sending to SharePoint groups, but it could use people fields in the list.

I use the 'Start custom task' process since you can go in there and set whether all or one person can finalize the approval - it's a whole workflow on its own. It will create the tasks for the people to approve, and there are options to add fields to that task, for example to have them select someone as they approve.

It will hang at that point until someone finishes their task. Somewhere in there I set a workflow variable isApproved to Yes so I can test that later.

At the end, you can set permissions - that part will need to be in an impersonation step because setting permissions will need more authority than the standard user.

Start 'Manager Approval' process on Current Item with current item:Managers
if variable:isApproved equals No
     send email
     Set currentitem:status to 'Not Approved'
     stop workflow

Start 'Secondary Approval' process on Current Item with SharePointGroupName 
If variable:isApproved equals NO
     send email
     Set currentitem:status to 'Not Approved'
     stop workflow

Comment everything done, do your final stuff
Set currentitem:Status to 'Approvals Complete'
Add Read to item in Current Item
Remove Contribute from item in Current Item

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