In this post I highlight the approvals app in Microsoft Teams. The app is now generally available from Wednesday, 13th 2021. The app enables you to build, manage and view approvals centrally in Microsoft Teams. You can directly create new approval requests within the approvals app or see other approval processes in which you are involved. The app can be installed using the Teams app store if your Teams app permission policies are permit it.
After you have installed the app you can see and mange existing approval processes which you may have based on Power Automate etc. Otherwise you will find a blank approval page where you can start to build your approval processes.
As you can see in the next picture, you can create a new approval request including
- a request title,
- responder requirement,
- a description,
- an attachment
- and a custom response, optionally, which then must be used by the approvers.
If you are using it the first time it might take some time till it is set up for your organization.
On the other side the approver gets an activity in her feed to approve or decline the request.
Of course, if enabled, you can utilize approvals directly within Teams. But not only the approvals from Teams itself, but approvals from Power Automate and this offers a rich extensibility due to the fact that there are 350+ connectors like AzureDevOps etc.
Microsoft also announced further integrative features coming soon. For example, capturing electronic signatures, so that you can sign a document digitally, for instance with Adobe Sign.
For further details and training resources (training videos, teams approvals app availability, extending approvals, installing the approvals app manually, approvals look book) you can visit the official announcement to gain access to training material and the approvals look book to help you learn it in more detail and find suited use cases for your organization.
Conclusion, opinion and summary
In my opinion approvals in Teams is a great solution to have a central dashboard for your approval processes. And it is enriched with other approval workflows which you might run based on Microsoft Power Automate. If not you could consider it for more integrative workflows in the future.