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Adding Supervisor Approvals

Adding Supervisor Approvals

Today we will learn how to escalate a task for approval from a higher-level supervisor.

Learning Concepts in This Skill Station:
Editing data components
Configuring event actions
Creating expressions with merge field values
Assigning tasks

Video Tutorial:



Our use case will continue to be an expense approval. In previous lessons when our expense approval request was more than $5,000, that request was sent to the supervisor of the person who submitted the request. At this Skill Station we’re going to learn how to send it to that supervisor’s supervisor for approval.

As we’ve learned at previous Skill Stations, we can either unlock a stream or check it out to create a new version. Today we are going to use the unlock mechanism, because the records that are already at the higher approval task stage will not be affected. Additionally, any of the records at an earlier step in the work stream can go through the new steps that we will add.

We start by accessing our Streams Management area. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen by your profile photo. Click on the Expense Pre Approval Stream to access it.

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From the Summary tab click on the latest working version. On the Stream Definition canvas you will see two options. You can either unlock or create a new version of a work stream. Click unlock.


Editing Data Components

Next, we will edit our Request Data Component.On the right side of your canvas in the Data Components Catalog, hover your mouse over the Request data component to reveal the edit function. Click on edit.


In the Edit data component popup window, we see the fields we are using to store information. Click on the New Field button field to add another. We are going to store the Supervisor of the Approver's information here.  In the Title field, call this field “Approver Supervisor.”  In the Type field pull-down menu, select “User.”


Save the field. Save your changes to the data component.

Configuring Event Actions

Back on your Stream Definition Canvas, double click the Review Request step in your stream.


In the User Task popup notice all the tabs. Every step of the way, Pulpstream gives you the ability to configure an action to occur when an event happens. Click on the Event Action tab to start configuring our Task Completion event with an Approval Action.

Click on the Add an Event button. Now in the Event that a Task is completed, and the Completion Action is approved, we want to always update some information fields

In the Event pull-down menu, select “Task Completed.” In the Completion Action pull-down menu, select “Approved.” In the Event Condition pull-down menu, select “Always.” In the Event Actions pull-down menu select “Update Fields.” This will unfurl new fields in which we will declare that we want Pulpstream to send an approval request to a supervisor.

Creating Expressions with Merge Field Values

In the Field pull-down menu, choose “Approver Supervisor.” In the Map Type pull-down menu, choose “Expression.” At this point your event will look like this:


In the Value/Expression field we are going to place merge field values to send this to the right person, even when there have been changes in the workforce. To the right of the Value/Expression field you will see a magnifying glass. Click on that.

While on the Data Component tab of this Select a Field popup, scroll down to find the Send for Approval to option. Click on that to select it. Now since this is a user field, clicking on it will open corresponding user fields. Scroll down to find “Supervisor ID.” Click on it.


Then copy the merge field value that populates.


Paste that into the Value/Expression field.


Save the changes to the task.

Assigning Tasks

Next we will edit our Supervisor Approval step. Here in our work stream, double click the Supervisor Approval step to open it.


Click on the Assignment tab. We need to change the task assignment from Supervisor of Submitter to the user that is present in the Approver Supervisor field. In the Assign task to pull-down menu, find and select “User present in a field." In the field to the right of that we need to tell Pulpstream which field that is. Choose the “Approver Supervisor” field that we created.


That’s it. Save your changes. Lock the Stream.

If notes are needed, type in something specific for the change logs such as: “Edited request data component and review request user task. Created event action to assign task to supervisor of approver.”

Red flag: There is an issue with the changes we just made to our stream. What if the original approver transferred the task to someone else? If that was the case, the task should go to the supervisor of the new approver. But it’s not going to happen because the Send for Approval to field is going to keep holding on to that old approver.

At the next Skill Station, we will learn how to fix that.