When a service request comes in to the service desk, just blasting out approval requests to all the stakeholders is a very inefficient way to go about it. The same goes for change requests.

Consider a hierarchy wherein an approval request is first sent to the immediate supervisor or the team leader of the user placing the request. If they approve, it is sent to the manager. The department head will get the request only if the manager approves it.

If the request is rejected at any stage, the user can make the necessary changes and resubmit it without bothering all his bosses every time.

Here’s how you can set automations for such a hierarchical approval system:

Note: We’ll consider service requests as an example here. Change requests can be hierarchized in a similar way.

STEP 1: Add a drop-down field to the Ticket form to represent the current stage of the service request:

a. From the Admin console, click on the Field Templates icon.

b. Under Ticket Fields, drag and drop a ‘drop-down’ field from the right pane and specify a Label and Choices.

Here’s what it’ll look like:

STEP 2: Create a Dispatch’r rule for incoming service requests.

a. From the Admin console, click on the Dispatch’r icon.

b. Click on the default rule Send approval mail to the department head when a Service request is created to edit it.

c. Select the ‘Match ALL’ radio button.

d. Now add the Condition for the drop-down field you added previously. You can even add the department or a lower cost limit.

e. In the Actions section, remove ‘Department Head’ and add the first stage approver for that department.

f. Edit the rule name and the description and click Update.

You can add similar rules for other departments.

STEP 3: Create Observer rules for approvals at higher levels as the service request moves up the hierarchy.

a. From the Admin console, click on the Observer icon.

b. Create a new ‘Ticket rule’ that looks somewhat like this:

c. Add similar rules for the other stages. The last one would look like this:

d. Go back to the list of Observers. Now click on Reorder and reverse the order* of the rules you just added.

Please note that this is a specific example to explain the feature. You can always customize these rules to meet your business needs.

*If you keep the order of the Observer rules the same, there’ll be a domino effect and all the rules will be triggered. The first one will set the ‘Stage’ as “Stage 2” making the second rule valid, and so on.

Note: If you're looking to create a similar approval workflow using the workflow automator, click here.