Your request has been approved! This is what all of the creators of requests for approval would like to hear after submitting an approval request. A request to approve is submitted for various reasons, they could be – requests for leave, requests for expense reimbursement, requests for project approval, requests for budget approval, requests for feedback, etc.
Whatever the reason for requesting approval, it is important to follow a standard process for submitting the request. Read on to learn more about approval requests, the process for approval requests, and ways to streamline the request submission and approval process.
What is a Request for Approval?
You come up with an innovative project idea that targets a certain service or prospect for the business. However, you are not sure about how to convey your idea, or you want to ask for a deadline extension for the project or request additional finance for implementing the new idea. This is where a request for approval comes into the picture.
A request for business approval is a formal way of asking for confirmation/approval from an external entity, such as a client, department head, senior team member, or project manager. The request for approval is as per standard formats for each type of approval request.
Whenever you seek approval from the manager or client, you will have to craft a request for approval to be sent to the department head or manager. The request for approval needs to be sent before an agreement or project begins. From asking for more resources to finalizing a task to requesting more resources, a request for approval is required.
It may be sent in the form of an approval email or a written request for approval. Once the request is approved the requestor proceeds with the project execution. An email request for approval is usually approved by the designated approver via email.
Why is a Process for Approval Needed?
Why is it necessary to have a process for approval? Internal procedures need to be streamlined for efficient and timely task completion. The request approval process too needs to be clearly defined in order to have requests reviewed and approved on time. These are the reasons why it is important to have a clear and streamlined approval process
Fosters mutual understanding between stakeholders
When a request for approval is submitted, the reviewer is furnished with insights required for commencing, continuing, or concluding a project. An approval request ensures that everyone is on the same page and clear objectives are maintained.
Ensures quality of deliverables and compliance with regulations
A standardized and structured review of the project specifications sales request or purchase order is required before approval. The approval request furnishes all the information required to understand the nature of the request. Providing such detailed information to the reviewer/approver ensures that all the quality and compliance requirements are met by the project.
When you send a formal request for approval, it shows your professionalism and ability to support the proposal confidently. When a request is written in a persuasive and clear manner, it also shows respect toward the receiver’s contribution and authority.
Accelerates project completion
A standardized procedure is convenient to follow and keeps tabs on progress. When everyone is focusing on tasks at their end, a streamlined approval process makes it easier to sort tasks and later combine them according to a schedule.
Creates verifiable proof
When a manager or client approves your request, you have verifiable proof that allows you to confidently continue with the project work you are authorized to do. Approvals serve as official documentation of any changes or updates to previously agreed-upon contract terms.
Must-have Components of Approval Requests
An effective approval process significantly reduces the hassle requests creators go through in every project. When the request approval is clear and concise, the content of the proposal can be clearly understood. The must-have components of the request for approval are –
Stakeholders and reviewers must be appropriately addressed
The requests for approval must be sent to the appropriate stakeholder. For example, a request for resources for the project must not be addressed to the finance manager. Additionally, all the important stakeholders of the business must be clearly addressed in the request letter/email because they are invariably involved in all the projects/operations of the business. It is important to ensure that the right people are addressed in the approval request.
Clearly defined objective
The use of vague or flowery language in the request for approval is not accepted. The request must be drafted in a clear, formal, and authoritative tone. The purpose of the request must be defined clearly at the beginning of the request and a detailed description must be given on the why and how part of the project/request. It is better to describe the proposal using steps and attach relevant information/documents that would aid the approval decision.
Clearly assigned responsibilities
It is always a good idea to add a brief explanation of who contributed where and how the defined goal was or would be achieved. Clear assignment of responsibilities accelerates the approval process and gives managers a clear understanding of the context.
Clearly conveyed enthusiasm
Even though the request for approval is a formal note, the creator must not hold back from expressing enthusiasm and anticipation of the approval. Strategic emotive language can be used to convey enthusiasm in a subtle manner to the approver. This makes the request sound sincere and helps gain the trust and interest of the stakeholders. The use of such language also makes the request more persuasive as emotions have a great appeal in human nature.
How to Write a Request for Approval
What is the best way to write a request for approval? We have put together a list of steps that will guide you through developing a professional approval request.
Choose the communication method – each organization follows its own method for sending approval requests. Some may use an email request for approval, while others may follow paper-based approval systems that require a wet signature on every approval. Using software that digitally verifies approvals is the most effective communication or contact method for logging approval requests. It is important to align with the procedure followed by the company.
1. Address recipients professionally
Approval requests are usually addressed to people in the organization that make final decisions. Managers, department heads or function heads are the ones that are assigned authority to approve requests internally. External request approvals are usually addressed to the client. The best way to address approvers is “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” followed by their last name. Using the client’s first and last name is also an acceptable way of addressing, especially when you need to accurately verify who approved the request.
2. Get to the point straight away
It is important to value the professional time that approvers spend on reviewing and approval of your request. Starting the message with what exactly you are seeking approval for is the best way to draft a request for approval. The client or the manager is sure to appreciate the conciseness of your request.
3. Give a clear explanation
Once you begin the request with clear intent, the following content must clearly explain why you want or require what you are asking for. For example – if you are requesting additional office supplies, then you must explain the reason why you need the additional supplies. A clear explanation of the request helps them understand why it is important for you.
4. Explain how they will benefit
Once you have clearly explained why the approval is important for you, the next step is to explain how the stakeholder will benefit from approving the request. A clear explanation helps them understand why they should care about approving the request. Once they understand the benefits of approving the request, they will approve it speedily.
5. Convey your enthusiasm
Once the benefits that approvers derive upon approving the request have been explained, you should show your enthusiasm for their response. The enthusiasm and excitement about submission of the request and receiving approval must be clearly conveyed in the request. This makes it clear how the approval can help you and also shows your confidence in what you have presented in the request.
6. Conclude concisely
anything that you would like to reiterate – like the approval deadline or support documents for approval must be mentioned while concluding the request. If you are working on a deadline, then providing a date to the approver by which you need a response will be helpful for them to make a decision.
Here is a sample request that has been developed based on the guidelines mentioned above.
Approval request for budget adjustment from the operations director
Dear Mr. Grey,
I am sending this request for a budget change for the Providence Project. The current allocated budget does not cover the expenses for the feature enhancement requested by the client. I am requesting an additional $5000 to be added to the project budget, which makes the overall budget $40,000.
This additional budget will enable the team to deliver the feature enhancements requested by the client along with the working product before the release. This is a promising client for our business, and delivering these enhancements would strengthen client relationships and pave the way for future business opportunities.
I would truly appreciate a positive response to my request by the end of this week so that we can get started with the additional work.
Types of Requests for Approval
As mentioned in the introduction, the request for approval can be sent for a variety of reasons. There are different situations that you might encounter where you need to request approval. Some of the common types of approval requests include –
- Approval for project proposal
- Approval for Changes in Scope of Project
- Increase in budget or resources for project approval
- Approval for extending or adjusting a project deadline
- Approval for hiring a subject matter expert
- Request for performance feedback
- Approval for a creative project
- Approval for the redefining project goal
- Approval for the next steps after completing a project milestone
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Best Practices in Approval Requests
Many a time, making face-to-face requests is not possible. You can send an email request for approval or a handwritten request for approval. And when you get to know that your request has been approved, it is like music to one’s ears. But how do you make sure that the approval request has the desired impact on the approver and convinces them to approve the request immediately? The best way to draft a request for approval is to use persuasive content with valid justifications and arguments to support the request. Here are some best practices that guide you in creating convincing approval requests.
Maintain a clear and concise tone
The use of flowery and overstating terms in the approval request is not appreciated by most approvers. Instead, maintaining a clear and concise tone throughout the request is what will win them over.
Focus on the subject line
The subject line should clearly communicate the intent of the request. The decision to approve or reject the request is usually taken by reading the subject line. Moreover, a clear subject line sets the tone for the rest of the request in the mind of the approver.
Know your audience
It must be drafted keeping in mind the target audience. The content of the approval request must be appealing to the person to whom it is addressed. It is important to understand the pulse of the target audience while creating a request for approval.
Focus on readability
Smaller sections or paragraphs in the request for approval as opposed to long and winding texts are preferred by approvers. No one would like to read through large chunks of text while reviewing the request. A well-written approval request is characterized by small subsections with titles wherever applicable. Long content broken down into smaller sections enhances readability and impacts the reader in a positive way.
Display enthusiasm and confidence
It must clearly show how confident and enthusiastic you are about the proposal. The requested content must reflect the enthusiasm associated with new changes or budget revisions. How confident you are about the success of the proposal must reflect in the approval request.
Mention the impact on the organization
How will the approver or the organization benefit from the proposed project or changes? The content of the request must clearly specify the impact on the organization and the benefits derived from the proposal. This is an effective way to impress and convince the approver.
Put your best argument forward
Approval requests are submitted by multiple departments in an organization. Your proposal is often competing with similar proposals from other departments. Several departments competing for the limited resources available is a very common situation in any organization. So, it is important that you include convincing reasons that will win over the approver. The arguments you put forward must be convincing enough to grant approval over other proposals.
Automating Approval Workflows
The type and the number of approval requests are limitless based on the nature of the business. A clear request approval process makes a lot of difference to the approval or delay in the project. Whether it is a large company working on large-scale projects involving many stakeholders, or a small company with an un-coordinated team – a request for approval sets the ball rolling on project execution.
Using approval request templates streamlines the approval process greatly and minimizes red tape in the process. One of the most effective ways to streamline the approval request process is to move away from manual methods and adopt tech-driven process automation methods. Automating the approval process brings standardization into review and approval processes.
A workflow automation software like Cflow provides several templates for creating a request for approval. The visual form builder in Cflow provides users with an easy drag-and-drop option that helps them create forms for various business functions. From procurement to HR and Admin to Sales and Marketing – all the approval-based tasks can be automated with Cflow.
Automating the approval request process not only speeds up approvals but also eliminates human bias from approvals. Using standard templates for creating requests for approval ensures that the same format is followed across departments. Features like e-signatures provided by workflow automation software make life easy for approvers by relieving them from having to sign off documents with wet signatures.
Whenever managers receive approval requests from employees, they spend a substantial amount of time reviewing and validating data. Having a streamlined request for the approval process is important for meeting project deadlines. A workflow automation software like Cflow with features like auto-approval makes life easy for managers and reviewers. When approvals are automated, managers get more time to focus on strategic initiatives. To explore features offered by Cflow, sign up for the free trial today.
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