How to delegate or reassign a workflow task in SharePoint

(this post was written using a SharePoint 2010 environment)

This post details the steps involved in delegating or reassigning a workflow task to another person as part of a workflow process.

My organisation has several approval workflows in action within our SharePoint 2010 environment, but one request I get all the time is to change who the approval has been sent to.

Approval tasks can be assigned as part of a workflow process, built via SharePoint designer or Nintex workflows. Once assigned, notification message(s) are sent to the approver and can either be approved via the Workflow Tasks section of a current item or via lazy approval if you have Nintex.

As this can be done with both regular SharePoint designer workflows and Nintex workflows, I’ll detail the steps below on how to switch the approver for both types of workflows.


Reassign a workflow task in SharePoint Designer workflows

In this example I have the following components configured:

  • A custom list with two columns: Title, Assigned To
  • A SharePoint Designer workflow that starts an approval process action on the current item and sets the approver as the person listed in Assigned To
  • Approval tasks are created within the workflows associated task list
An example SharePoint Designer workflow that uses the “Start Approval Process” task action on the current item and sets the approver as the person selected in the current item’s Assigned To field.

The steps below will demonstrate how to reassign an approver inside a workflow task:

  • Open your main list (in my example the custom list)
  • Either click on the status of your workflow for the current item (if column is displayed), or highlight the current item > under List Tools > Items > Press Workflows

NOTE: In some cases, the site owners or SharePoint admins may have hidden the workflow status column that gets created when you publish your workflow. If you can’t see this column, don’t worry just follow the other method described above.

  • If you press the Workflows button > left-click on the name of your running workflow (If you pressed the workflow status from the previous step, ignore this step)
Press the name of your running workflow to access the workflow tasks.
  • Under Tasks > click on the drop-down icon next to the title or your task > Press Edit Item
Press Edit Item by opening the drop-down menu next to the title of the workflow task.
  • A new pop-up window will open, at this point you will see the properties of the workflow task which includes:
    • Status – the status of the current workflow task (not started, approved, rejected)
    • Consolidated comments – Comments of the requester and all previous participants
    • Due date – the date set for workflow tasks to be completed by
    • Comments – allows the approver to enter any comments about why the item was approved or rejected
The workflow tasks pop-up window.
  • There will be four grey buttons at the bottom of the window > Press Reassign Task
Press the reassign task button.
  • In Reassign Task To > select the person you wish to reassign the task to and press Send

Delegate workflow tasks in Nintex workflows

In this example I have the following components configured:

  • A custom list with several columns, but namely: Title, Approver
  • Nintex Workflow 2010 version (2.3.10.0)
  • A Nintex workflow that uses a flexi task action to send an approval request task to the approver as the person listed in Approver column from the custom list
  • Approval tasks are created within the workflows associated task list
Flexi task to send approval to the person set in the current items Approver field.

The steps below will demonstrate how to delegate an approver inside a workflow task:

  • Open your main list (in my example the custom list)
  • Highlight the current item > under List Tools > Items > Press Workflows
  • Left-click on the name of your running workflow
  • Under Tasks > click on the drop-down icon next to the title or your task > Press Edit Item
Press Edit Item by opening the drop-down menu next to the title of the workflow task.
  • A new pop-up window will open, at this point you will see the properties of the workflow task which includes:
    • Outcome – the status of the approval task (approved or rejected) or delegate the task to another person
    • Comment – allows the approver to enter any comments about why the item was approved or rejected
    • Item Properties – a view of some of the list item properties for the current item associated with the workflow task
Within the workflow task, press delegate this task to change the approver.
  • Press delegate this task. At this point the pop-up window will change to display the following fields:
    • Delegate – this is used to specify the user to assign the selected task to
    • Comments – this is used to provide instructions or additional information to the user the task is being delegated to
  • To delegate to a new approver, click on the address book icon on the right to select a user from the Select People or Group dialog box
  • Add any additional comments in the Comments field. This text is appended to the ‘Approval Required’ notification that is sent to the delegated user.
Use the address book within the delegate field to assign the task to another approver.

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