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  • Sebastian Sieber

#2 - D365 Project Operations Advent Calendar: Setup Modern Approvals correctly

Updated: Dec 17, 2023


Hi and hello to the second day of our Project Operations advent series. Let's not waste any more time here and start todays episode! 🎅🏼

second door of our advents calendar

Modern Approvals

Approvals - let's see what we've got here. Generally speaking, the Project or Resource Manager checks on time sheets before enabling them to the invoicing process.

Modern Approvals have been added earlier this year but what are they about? With the updated approval process, which you perhaps already use, we have the option to group approvals and process them asynchronously.

Especially for internal projects, the managers tend to mark all records on the page, approve, and get 2-3 coffees before the system proceeds with each approval while blocking the user interface.

With async approvals, these loads of records can be bundled and approved in the background while the user can proceed in the environment. Lower numbers of approvals can still be processed synchronously in high-prio or fast-lane scenarios.


Background Approval Threshold

How to decide when approval is to proceed immediately or in a bundle? The Project Parameter setting in your environment holds the value of the "Background Approval Threshold" - this number is the cut-off:


modern approval settings for project parameter

In this case here, if the user selects more than 3 records, these approvals will be processed in the background. Everything up to 3 will be handled immediately.

If the value is empty, every number of records will be approved synchronously.


As a recommendation for your environment, try out something between 5 to 10. Depending on the user feedback and behavior. Up to 5 records for immediate approval should be fine and allow the users for direct approvals at any time, while for bigger bunches the approval happens in the background.


From a technical perspective, the Approval itself will be linked up to an Approval Set. This is a new table, so if using custom security roles, be aware to add these permissions if not happened yet. The Approval Set is linked as a lookup (N:1 Relationship) on the Approval and will be processed by a Flow (Power Automate). Each Approval Set holds its own Status for all approvals, links to the Project, and Approvals including logs with the actions happening, with their IDs.

With the field "Life Time" you can also define how often an Approval Set can be re-triggered in case it should fail due to the performance of the system.


Why are Approvals important for my business process?

Via Time Entries and Expenses all services during the project execution are tracked. At this point, they're not yet connected to any financial data. This will be only mapped and applied with the managerial sign-off in Approvals.

With their Approval the system generates transactable Actuals as a foundation for the invoicing process - no matter if this happens in the system itself or is outsourced to your favorite ERP.


Hope you like these new small episodes. I can't wait to explore more with you tomorrow! 😊


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