Project Approval Workflow

Project approval workflow can be efficient and trackable with approval management.

project approval workflow example

What is Project Approval Workflow?

Project approval workflow is the sequencing of tasks for the compliant request and approval of projects including applying consistent, value-based approval criteria and automated routing for project requests that impact an organization financially and strategically.

Automate Project Approval Workflow

Managing project requests with email, spreadsheets (even the latest online spreadsheet software), or software that's ill-equipped to handle project approvals, scoring, and routing is inefficient and risky. Requests for projects can be improperly approved, fail to provide critical details, become lost, etc.

Automating the process by which projects are approved or rejected with workflow automation software has many benefits:

  • Consistency of project request information.
  • A workflow engine to assign tasks based on business rules.
  • Automated review and approval routing saves time.
  • Reminders and alerts to ensure expedience.
  • Automated project/ROI scoring for approvers.
  • Complete audit trail of all requests and activity.
  • Project KPIs, reporting, and analytics.

Establishing a Process for Project Approval Workflow

Define What a "Project" Is

How does your organization define a project, whether it's an IT Project, Finance Project, etc.?

Project Definition Example

  • There is an executive champion.
  • There are start and end dates for the effort.
  • There are no similar efforts currently or planned.
  • There are measurable deliverables.
  • There will be specific project managers and team members.

project approval processDefine the Project Request Process

When a project is requested, what is the review and approval process? Here are some form and workflow items to consider:

  • How much of the process should be visible to the submitter? Should they, for instance, be able to see any bottlenecks?
  • How should project rejections be handled?
  • How will alerts and reminders be configured to ensure the request moves expediently?
  • What are the project approval levels (Manager/Director/Executive/CXO)?
  • What project information does an Approver need to see to make the best decision?
  • Will approvals be by single approvers or groups? In a group scenario, does it take just one individual in the group or multiple to approve?
  • Will requests route differently based on the type of request, department, location, seniority, etc.?
  • Will there be thresholds for escalation? For instance "If the request is over $25,000, then route to..."

Project Information Collection

You want to get as much information about the project upfront as possible in the project request form without overburdening the requester with unnecessary questions. Here are some examples of project details to gather at the outset:

  • Budget
  • Funding source
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Initial estimated cost
  • Justification
  • Known risks and constraints
  • Metrics and KPIs
  • Project Sponsor
  • Project name, description, and objectives
  • Project owner
  • Proposed timeline
  • Required resources
  • Scope (overview of what's in, out, uncertain)
  • Stakeholder roles, responsibilities, and involvement
  • Supporting documentation

Project Scoring

project scoring

When approvers are reviewing requested projects they need a  methodology for making a decision. This will be unique to the type of project and the company but, generally, the methodology or formula should factor in the return on investment, payback period, strategic importance, competitive advantage, etc. 

The methodology should be part of the request process where either the requester or someone up the chain is assessing the project for these components, usually using a ranking system. Often each component is assigned a rating and then the rating is totaled. Additionally, return and budget numbers are included as part of the analysis. This is done using a Project Approval Requirements Template or Scorecard.

Approvers can now evaluate the request intelligently and either move the project forward, return the request for additional or corrected information, or simply reject it.

Project Request Portal

The project request portal is where users go to submit project requests and track existing requests. Managers also use the portal to manage their approval tasks and collaborate with users and other managers regarding specific projects. The portal also houses analytics information to check the performance of the approval process and identify bottlenecks, track against SLAs, look for trends, and see aggregate data on all projects.

Interested in Automating Your Project Approval Process?

We have a variety of resources to help you on your journey to an automated workflow. 

Automate Any Project Approval Process

To see how quickly you can begin automating your project approval processes, request a demonstration or trial of Integrify.

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