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Best practices on Document Approval vs Task Approvals: Business is not ready to use Proof for a variety of reasons but needs feedback on how other companies are using these features.

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As background: We're a financial company with lots of small, tight-deadline driven projects. We are looking for ways to reduce the manual PM overhead by using alerting and status changes to help drive workflow.

Right now, as a simple example, we have three tasks: a design task, a Peer Approval Task, and a Material Owner Approval task. However, there are scenarios in which another role might be brought in, so having an approval path on a single task offers some help but not a lot. There's a need to reflect the normal "flow" of a project, in which there are lots of surprises and variables. I'm sympathetic to this, even while being charged with automating it. So quite the conundrum!

If anyone could share how they overcame this type of challenge, I'd be grateful. Thanks!

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Administrator

Hi Ryan,

I'm not sure this will be exactly what you need, but in case it helps, @James Hill‚ shared his Leap session that talks a lot about content, but also how they use approvals (they do mention Proof, but they also use task approvals) - if you haven't already watched that, it might be interesting for you!

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Level 3

Hey @Ryan McGee‚, my leap video does cover how we've tried to integrate proof approvals within a task. Specifically, we use a single task named "Creative Legal Review - Submission and Approval". The task is owned by the person responsible for getting all approvals captured (our Client Marketing Owner in our case)... but the point is that we avoided having several tasks per approver/reviewer.

Inside the "Creative Legal Review - Submission and Approval" itself, is where all this variability can occur re: the approvers. We allow the entire task to take up to 5 days --- so 5 days from start to finish for the task owner to SUBMIT AND RECEIVE all the necessary approvals. So in your case, if proof approvals aren't desired right now - the document can be loaded to the task, and each document can utilize the document approval feature.

Doc approval benefits:

  • The person who needs to GET all the approvals would simply type in those user names for the document
  • Simple review process with easy "approve" button for the reviewer
  • Can use the "updates" field of document for back/forth

Doc approval drawbacks

  • NO deadline generated for the doc approval
  • NO automated workflow that can be pre-configured for the document itself; people have to know the other users and reviewers they need
  • No inherent mark-ups, unless proof is used

For us, putting the responsibility of getting ALL reviewers and approvals back in 5 days on the task is helpful to still keep this padded timeframe in your overall project).

Hope that helps. JH

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This does, thanks! I think what's tripping people up is the lack of single directionality: either it has to go back and forth along a straight line, or it can more than occasionally veer off in other direction before snapping back to the original path.

I agree the doc approvals are GREAT for this, and are probably the easiest way to go if no path can truly be determined. In this scenario, you roll up the possibilities and timelines as best you can and let the task @ mentions determine what occurs.

I'm curious if you or others use Proof for things like "raw copy approval": from what I can tell, Proof is excellent at late-stage approvals (when the piece is close to prime time) versus the early back and forths of ideation.

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Level 3

Sure, proof review/approval feature can certainly be used for early stage or late stage reviews. We mostly also use it for late stage ourselves, rather than getting proof comments to the actual content creators (the designers). But I could certainly see reviewers making mark-up comments, etc., directly on early stage development.

All of this (document approval vs proof approval) really does come down to how official you would want to make that review process , vs. ease of just comments through doc approvals or other medium.

  • Is there a compliance need to have comments display ON TOP of the image of the content?
  • Do you need to compare multiple versions of content (which proof does very well)?
  • Do you want all reviewers to be able to see all comments within the same proof view?

Just keep exploring the pros and cons of the features. Doc approval is very straight forward and intentionally flexible. Proof and basic or automated workflows allow for more control of WHO should be reviewing each content, enhanced features such as markups and different decisions. 🙂

With the Proof automated workflows, we set each workflow specific to the DOCUMENT TYPE being reviewed, so we could pre-configure the approvers based on doc type. That is, an email marketing content would require ABC people to review/approver, but a digital ad banner needs XYZ people. It was important for us (a financial institution) to show that we had CONTROL of who was meant to see each content type for legal reviews. Otherwise, you cede that control back to the person who is submitting and HOPE they remember these XYZ people are meant to be on the approval. All they have to remember now is that they are doing an "email marketing" and the approval workflow will populate those approvers for the submitter.