Avoid approval delays by utilising the majority approvals advanced feature on Power Automate

Power Automat approvals

When automating approvals in Power Automate, the standard options are:

  1. Everyone must approve
  2. First to respond

standard approvals

Sometimes neither of those scenarios are appropriate for the organisation’s needs. Perhaps you are a user or admin seeking an approval for an agreed SLA (Service Level Agreement) and you need to know if most approvers agree, or you know some of the approvers are on holiday or focused elsewhere and a majority consensus would be appropriate.

Standard approval processes often run in to problems when people are busy, on holiday, focused on key work or working part time. When a team of users are responsible for approving content for a new document or a holiday or expenses request, waiting for everyone to respond can often delay business decisions or even timeout if it reaches the 30-day limit.

time out message

Creating a majority approval

An effective option, beyond the “out of the box” approval actions, is to build a solution for a majority approval. Rather than rely on the out of the box actions for “first to respond” or “all to respond” it is possible to build out a bespoke process that will implement a majority approval (for example three of five approve) and within a particular timescale (e.g., 48 hours or 2 working days) before the process is returned to the user or further action is taken. Not only that, if a member rejects the approval as part of the majority, the Power Automate Flow can action a return request or simply highlight the rejection to the requesting user.

Starting with the standard approval processes built into Power Automate, the solution collects individual responses from users, over a period of time (within the default 30-day period), before calculating and checking that the conditions of the majority process have been met.

The source of the approval group can be dynamic, for example from a SharePoint List, Security Group or Office 365 Group. Using the list, Power Automate can dynamically calculate the number of users required to fulfil the expected outcome of the process. The criteria for the majority can be set depending on your requirements (for example 50%, 75%, 90%) and prescribed timescales or SLA’s can be incorporated as part of the process to ensure that the original requester gets their response in a timely manner.

Once the calculated period has elapsed, further actions can be automated if an important document or request is not approved in the necessary timescales. Failure by the approval team to meet the SLA could be further escalated as needed.


majority approval flow

Power Automate is a powerful solution with built-in functionality and the flexibility to fulfil more bespoke scenarios. Creating a majority approval solution provides additional benefits over the standard Power Automate approval process:

  • Ability to meet SLA timescales
  • Requester knows that they will get an outcome sooner rather than later
  • All approvers can respond with their comment and outcome during the timescale but only a majority are required to complete the process
  • Conveniently handle annual leave/busy workloads by enabling the majority to make the decision.

If you would like to discuss a majority approval process for your organisation or learn more about other advanced solutions in the Power Platform please get in touch, or request a Power Platform Showcase session with our expert consultants.