We have created a solid work stream that allows employees to digitally submit expense approval requests. But does every request need to go through an approver? What if there are certain amounts that don’t require a supervisor to review it for approval? What if the system could automatically approve those requests? It can! We will learn how to create that business process automation today.
Learning Concepts at This Skill Station:
Editing user accounts to assign employee grades
Updating data fields with a smart step
Editing and adding conditions to event actions in user tasks
Let's go to our Stream Definition Canvas. Unlock the latest version of your stream.
Now let's say that our corporation has a policy about granting approvals that uses dollar-amount thresholds and employee grade levels. For example, if the expense is less than $2,000 and the employee grade level is B, C, or D, then an expense would be approved. Or if the expense is less than $5,000 and the employee grade level is E, F, or G, then the expense would be approved.
How would we automate those decisions with Pulpstream? I'm glad you asked. Let’s learn how to do that.
Employee grades are defined in the Account Management area of Pulpstream. Click on the gear icon by your profile photo. Select “Account Management” in the pull-down menu.
You will land on the Users tab, which contains the list of all the employees that are licensed to use Pulpstream. Select an employee by clicking on their name in the list. Click the Edit button.
In the popup window, click on the Other Details tab. Here you can see the Employee grade if one exists.
If you integrate Pulpstream with your HR system, you could import grades to this field automatically.
To start creating our automations, we will need a field in a data component to store the grade. Let's go back to our Stream Definition canvas. Open the data component called Request.
Add a field. Title it “Submitter Grade.” The Type will need to be “Enumeration.” Create 7 choices. This will create 7 Label and Value fields. Type A-G in each, keeping the Label and the Value the same. In other words if the label is A, the value should be A.
When you are done, save the changes to the Fields. Save the Changes to the data component.
Back on your Stream Definition canvas, we need to add a step to pre-fill the request submitter’s grade. This step will need to go in between the Request Form step and the Review Request step, so delete the connector between those two. Drag your Request Form step over to the left to make room on the canvas.
In your Stream Definition canvas options menu, click on the Smart Steps to reveal the pull-down menu. Find the Update Fields step. Drag it onto the canvas into the space you just made.
In the Update Data Fields popup window, we give this step a Title. We will call it “Setup Submitter Grade.” In the Field pull-down menu, choose “Submitter Grade.” The Map Type will be Expression. We are going to update the Submitter Grade with an Expression. To do this we will use our merge value finder tool. Click on the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Value/ Expression box.
In the Select a Field popup, click on the Record Meta Fields tab. Look for the user field “Created by.” Click on that. In the subsequent Select a Field popup find “Grade” in the user fields and select it. Copy that merge field value. Paste it into the expression box.
Save your changes.
You will now have a Setup Submitter Gradestep on your canvas. Connect the Request Form Step to it. Hover your mouse over the step to reveal the arrow icon. Click on that and drag a line over to the Setup Submitter Grade step to connect them. Do the same to connect the Setup Submitter Grade step to the Review Request step.
Next we need to edit the task creation event in the Review Request step. Double click that step to open it. Click on the Event Actions tab. We have 3 events here. Let’s add one more. Click on the Add an Event button. Next we will define the event conditions and actions.
In the Event pull-down menu, choose “Task Created.” In the Event Condition pulldown, select “Match All.” We want 2 conditions to handle our two approval policy conditions, which are the amount and the employee grade. Click on the Add another condition text until you have 2 rows.
In the first row, in the Field pull-down, choose “Amount.” The Operator will be “Less than.” The Value will be “5,000.” Do not use a comma or a currency symbol in this field.
In the second row, in the Field pull-down, choose “Submitter Grade.” The Operator will be “in.” The Value will be E, F, and G. Type that in.
For the Event Action, we will choose “Auto Approve.” This means that if the grade is E, F, or G and the requested amount is less than $5,000, the request should automatically be approved. Your event will look like this:
Next we need to create another event to handle the situation in which the employee requests an amount that is less than $2,000 and their grade is B, C, or D.
This will be Event number 5.
Click on the Add an Event button. In the Event pull-down menu, choose “Task Created.” In the Event Condition pull-down, choose “Match All.” Again we want 2 conditions to handle our two approval policy conditions, which are the amount and the employee grade. Click on the Add another condition text until you have 2 rows.
In the first row, in the Field pull-down menu, choose “Amount.” The Operator will be “Less than.” The Value will be 2,000. Don’t use a comma or a currency symbol in this field.
In the second row, in the Field pull-down, choose “Submitter Grade.” The Operator will be “In.” The Value will be B, C, D. Type those in. Underneath that, for the Event Action, choose “Auto Approve.” When you are done, the event should look like this:
We now have 5 events in the Event Actions tab of our User Task. We should reorder our events to put the task creation events on top. (This is helpful if you are updating only some of the fields and using those values in the next action.)
On the right side of your screen, there is a Collapse All option. Click on that text. The events will collapse into a list. Click on the hamburger icon to drag Events 4 and 5 up to the top. Save your changes to the User Task.
Back on your Stream Definition Canvas, save your process. (ie Save the Stream). And that’s it. You’ve learned how to automatically approve approvals.
We are ready to test our auto approval.
To do that create a request for less than 5,000, as though you were doing that in real life.
After you submit the request, go to Your Records. Click on the Completed tab to see your request, which was automatically approved and completed.
Go to the Tasks tab, to see in the comments that it was automatically approved.
And thus concludes our visit at this Skill Station. At the next Skill Station we will learn how to automatically remind people that they have tasks due.