Nintex’s Lazy Approval is a fan-favorite feature for many of our clients. This workflow feature, allows task participants to respond using natural language (ie. "Yes", "No", "Approved", etc.), even when on mobile devices and/or without SharePoint (SP) portal access.
With Lazy Approval, you can simply reply to a task via email with your desired outcome. This can be a great asset for keeping processes moving when approvers live out of their inboxes or are often on the go.
However, Lazy Approval begins to break down when needing to include comments alongside your action (such as a justification when rejecting an approval task). Actionable Messages to the rescue!
Nintex’s Actionable Messages not only allow for comments to be captured alongside your Lazy Approval action, they also translate a task’s possible outcomes into a clean button interface instead of the traditional email response method.
Ready? Here’s how it works:
1. From your Nintex Workflow Designer interface, drag-and-drop the task action of your choice into your workflow. In this case, I’m using a Assign a Task action, but you can also use the Start a Task Process action as well.
2. Using the ellipses menu, Click “Configure” to dive into configuration for this action.
3. By default, you should see two Task outcomes – Approved and Rejected.
- The individual assigned to your task will see these outcomes as buttons in your Actionable Message (delivered via email).
5. The Delivery Method can have the following values:
- Email Only – this selection allows you to carry on using Lazy Approval without Actionable Messages.
- Email with Actionable Message – this selection will include an “Actionable Message” alongside your initial email body.
- Actionable Message Only – this selection will send an “Actionable Message” only (no initial email body included).
7. If you’re working with a task assigned to a SharePoint security group or multiple individuals (i.e. using the “Start a Task Process” action), there’s a great new feature from Nintex which stores a collection of the list item IDs of the tasks (Task ID) that were just created.
8. Save your configuration changes and you’re ready to publish and test your workflow!
Business Case: Non-Disclosure Agreements and Teaming Agreements
For most federal contractors, NDA and TA agreements involve a vast array of departments and responsible parties. More importantly, these agreements require a steady stream of collaboration and communication to be finalized and archived properly.
Rather than involving a handful of leaders and staff in the litany of email traffic or foot traffic to move NDA's and TA's through the process funnel. Wouldn't it be simpler to move these agreements along with a click and couple key strokes in an email reply rather than tracking down individuals or relying on manual searching to get the necessary information to make an approval?
As shown in the following sample - the originator of the NDA or TA can simply enter the appropriate information into SharePoint and identify that the agreement is ready for approval as a list item property or through populating a form in SP. Then Nintex does the tedious work of notifying the appropriate individuals with the most pertinent information about the agreement and a link to the full document.
Sample actionable message automated to a teaming agreement approver:
After entering a comment of “Looks good to me!” and clicking “Approve”, the following confirmation is returned to the user (see screenshot below):
Through the power of DocuSign integration, the final signatures can be triggered by such an Actionable Message. Here's a not-so-brief video describing some further possibilities for Docusign.
Can I implement this today?
The following platforms are currently supported for Actionable Messages:
- Outlook for Office 365
- Outlook 2016: Version 17.10 (Build 8210.2193) and above
- This does not apply to the “Conversational View” on Outlook.
Due to these limitations, you’ll definitely want to vet the use of actionable messages across your organization to ensure they will be fully supported.