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I am looking for more info on sequential vacation approvals. My company has several hundred employees, and requires different level of approvals based on number of days off requested. 1 or 2 days vacation requires approval of Supervisor and then Group Manager. 3 or more days requires those 2 plus Division director. But some people report direct to Group Manager, so those persons would need just one approval (or two if it is 3 days or more).

I am not sure how to account for all these different variables. I was thinking that a Form would be simplest for the employee to fill out. Do I put in a field on the form that asks "less than 3 days" or "3 days or more"? And then can I use Sharepoint to deal with them differently according to that field in the form?

And, how do you define all of the various supervisors and managers by employee, do I have to build a list with each employee and their reporting chain?

What do you do when someone in the approval chain is on vacation and not responding to approvals? Can you easily substitute a different person to handle those while they are away? Skip supervisor and go right to group manager? Or substitute a different person as group manager if they are away?

Thank you for any assistance in working out the best way to deal with this.

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Thank you. I don't think that the company has listed the manager for each person down to the finer levels that exist in our building.

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1 or 2 days vacation requires approval of Supervisor and then Group Manager. 3 or more days requires those 2 plus Division director. But some people report direct to Group Manager, so those persons would need just one approval (or two if it is 3 days or more).

For this, you will need to use the if condition in workflow, it shall first check if this guy shall report direct to manager group, if not, check if the days of vacation is bigger than or equal to 3.

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And, how do you define all of the various supervisors and managers by employee, do I have to build a list with each employee and their reporting chain?

Of course, building a list for that is an option. And it will consumes time and efforts from you.

By default, in SharePoint user profile, there is a field called manager which is associated with every user. You can check user profile to see if your company IT had filled that field and save your work. As you mentioned something like Division director, if that also varies for each user, it will save a lot of trouble if you have a field in user profile for this. If you are not familiar about user profile, better to talk to your IT for more information. We can access user profile property in workflow to do this work more easily.

What do you do when someone in the approval chain is on vacation and not responding to approvals? Can you easily substitute a different person to handle those while they are away? Skip supervisor and go right to group manager? Or substitute a different person as group manager if they are away?

There is no built-in action which can find some replacement for vocation leave. The approval we have in SharePoint has two type of process of approval, first to response or all need to approve. You may need to think about it whether it works for your scenario.

Here is a vacation approval workflow: https://blog.virtosoftware.com/how-to-create-sharepoint-designer-2013-workflow/

It is much simpler than your task. I only hope it can help you to get an idea of the mechanism of a approval workflow.

Update: Some examples using flow https://systemsassurance.com/2019/08/07/microsoftflow/ https://www.enjoysharepoint.com/microsoft-flow-leave-request/

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  • Thank you. I don't think that the company has listed the manager for each person down to the finer levels that exist in our building. We are part of a larger company and our IT and O365 is managed at the larger company level. I think it may just list the Division level there, not the Groups and Supervisors levels. Perhaps we would need a form input for each Division, so that anyone submitting that form would already be sorted, then maybe they can choose on the form their Group & Supervisor. That would be easy to do on the form.
    – LabMom
    Jun 22 '20 at 12:09
  • @LabMomLab Yes that will be a doable option . Any way you will need to try with the form to see if you can get the needed information. BTW, as you mentioned you are using O365 in fact, then I will suggest you to use Power Automate(Used to be called as Flow) to do this job as it is much flexible and more integrated with other components in Office 365. I will update some examples using Flow and you may have a try with it if you are willing to.
    – Jerry_MSFT
    Jun 23 '20 at 1:29
  • That would be awesome! I did take a look at Power Automate but I wasn't sure if that would have as many features.
    – LabMom
    Jun 23 '20 at 12:05
  • I built a form which asks the person filling it out to choose their supervisor (by email addy), and it emails approval to that supervisor. I haven't figured out how to do an "if supervisor = group leader, then end" or an "if supervisor is not group leader, then send next approval to group leader". I have added a branch which writes the new form submission into an Excel Table which lives in OneDrive. And I was thinking about having the approvals write Approved or Denied into the table as well, but I haven't got that far yet. This is so fun!
    – LabMom
    Jun 24 '20 at 13:26
  • @LabMom, For supervisor check, you may try to use action like “Get user profile” to see if you can get field values displaying he/she is group leader or not. Reference: powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Power-Automate/…
    – Jerry_MSFT
    Jun 25 '20 at 2:11

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