There are a few concrete business elements that remain consistent across all organizations, regardless of industry. Emails and meetings generally fall in that category.

One element that is often overlooked but almost always takes up time is the approval process. Documents, deliverables, content, purchasing requests, etc. all need to go through an approval process to make sure they adhere to the expectations and quality guidelines the company upholds for their staff and customers.

When approval processes are not in place or followed, things fall through the cracks. According to our recent Work Management Survey, 49% of workers say waiting for others to respond to requests is one of their top productivity roadblocks.

Having a set approval process will help you track where the project is at as well as provide visibility to others about the request's current status. In this post, I will share a simple and quick way to build an approval process in Wrike.

1. Think Through the Steps

Whenever you create a process, list all steps involved. Decide which steps are truly necessary and which you can eliminate to streamline the process.

For example, a document going through approval might cycle through:

Propose idea >> In Progress >> In Review >> Submitted for Approval >> Approved >> Completed

Thinking through the possibilities will help you decide what to include in your approval process.

2. Build Your Workflow

Custom Statuses are a huge time-saver, allowing you to quickly determine the exact status of a task at a glance. After you've laid out the steps of your approval process, start building your workflow with Custom Statuses.

Only include the statuses that are actionable. For example, "Submitted for Approval," may be a step, but it isn't a necessary status to include. Here are the statuses I would recommend:

1. Proposed
2. In Progress
3. In Review
5. Approved
6. Completed
7. On Hold
8. Deferred
9. Cancelled

Recommended statuses for your approval process in Wrike


3. Set Up Your Dashboard

When is the dashboard produced in project management? Now, in this final step. Lastly. you'll want to build a Dashboard so you can easily review which projects are in what stage at any time. The Dashboard allows you and your team to categorize projects based on the status of the project.

Let's say you wish to set up a Dashboard of all projects that need to be approved so your manager or VP can easily go in and see them all at once. Name the Dashboard accordingly and create a widget called Awaiting Approval, and another widget called, Approved. In this widget, you would include all projects that are In Review so your VP knows which projects need attention. Once your VP updates the status, those projects will instantly move over to the corresponding widget, so you'll always have the current status of each item.


Here is an example of a creative's team Dashboard:

An example of a creative's team Dashboard

Approvals are necessary at almost every company. Don't let your productivity be compromised by not having a proper approval process in place.

Looking for a good approval process for content? Check out this approval process we use ourselves for content.

How do you set up your approval processes in Wrike?

Take us through your workflow in the comments section.