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Cascading approvals with an authority matrix

Cascading approval

There are two cascading approval models: reporting structure and authority matrix

A cascading approval based on an authority matrix is more flexible than a reporting structure. You use the authority matrix model when configuring a process that requires approvals from multiple entities, with at least one  entity outside of the reporting structure. A set of rules directs the approval chain to entities outside of the reporting structure, within and external to the user's organization. 

An expense report that requires approvals outside of the reporting hierarchy (for example, to accounts payable) uses an authority matrix model.

In center of the following image, slide the vertical line to see the comparison of an authority matrix and reporting structure.

Authority matrix data structure population

A cascading approval with an authority matrix requires the configuration of a data structure that identifies the approvers. The application queries the structure for each approval until the listed approvals are exhausted.

Pega Platform™ provides several ways to populate the data structure. One common approach is to configure a decision table to identify the approval levels and corresponding parties. Pega Platform parses the list to populate the data structure.

Matrix Decision Table
Note: A data page, activity, or data transform can also be used to populate the reporting structure.

Following the previous example, an application uses an authority matrix to manage expense report approvals. The decision table identifies each party in the approval process as well as the conditions that determine when each party must provide approval. The matrix contains three conditions based on the expense amount. The fourth condition states that Accounts Payable must approve any billable expense.

The application evaluates the decision table. Each satisfied row or condition adds the results to a list of approvers. Approval assignments are routed to approvers in the order of list appearance.

cascading-approval-authority-matrix-smaller
Tip: When using a decision table with an authority matrix, set the decision table to Evaluate all rows to return a list of results. Otherwise, the decision table returns only one result.

If a consultant submits an expense report for USD700 that includes billable time, the application creates an authority matrix with three approvals: Accounts Payable, the manager of the consultant, and the director who oversees the consulting department.

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