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What is the difference between Jira Approval Workflow and Approver Step in BPM?

How often do you need to approve some work process before it moves to the next stage? Approvals do not only take a lot of time but can be quite stressful and emotionally tense. If you have ever run from one door to another to get some action approved, you know how it is. Luckily, we live the times when everything is getting simpler. You can automate any process with the right tools in your hands. Jira provides you with the ability to automate your Jira Approval Workflow.

Read on to find out how to set approvals with Jira built-in option and Approver Step in BPM and what the difference is between the two solutions.

What is approval in Jira?

Approvals are essential in any company’s life. Every time you need to confirm some process, you may need a single person or group of people’s approval. It can be anything from hiring new talent to buying a new laptop or asking for assignments.

Jira approvals are based on workflows. Workflows represent specific projects or business processes in your organization. Each Jira workflow is a set of statuses and transitions required for some task/issue/ticket to go through. 

Approval in Jira means you need to get the “green light” from a specific person/people before the issue moves to the next status. These people are Jira approvers. They can be managers from your or other departments, so it’s convenient to organize everything in one place.

How does the approvals step work in JSM?

IT Jira service management (ITSM) project already includes fields for adding individual approvers and groups of approvers, respectively, called Approvers and Approver Groups. But you can always design your own unique custom fields for approvals if you so choose.

*To set the approval step, you must be a Jira administrator.

If you want to request approval for an issue, ensure the appropriate fields are available and add an approval step to the applicable workflow state.

How to set Jira approval workflow?

You will need to complete two main settings:

  1. Add an approval step to the workflow: open Project settings > Workflows and follow the 13-step guide
  2. Specify the approvers for a request type: open Project settings  > Request types and follow the 7-step instruction.



How does the approvals step work in BPM?

The Business Process Manager (BPM) app is your multi-functional assistant to automate your workflow and standard operating procedures. There are a lot of options you can use to streamline your business processes. Here we will concentrate on the Approver step.

BPM’s pros:

✔️ Any Jira user can add the approval step for some process, not only Jira admin.

✔️Add-on works for all types of projects with Jira Software, Jira Core and Jira Service Management. 

✔️ The main advantage of the add-on is that the entire process (such as onboarding or request for vacation), including forms, approvals and tasks, is in one place and can be tracked and refined if needed.


Here you don’t need to complete a complex of different settings, everything can be done in a few steps from one place.

  1. Create a new template or use the existing one.
  2. Click the +Approver button.
  3. Name your Approval step and the Step (Jira issue) that should be approved.
  4. Select individuals or groups of users to approve the process.


Each stage generates an issue that is then assigned to the necessary approvers. All selected users will get a form with Approve & Reject buttons.

After the process is activated, you can monitor its progress in the Process tab.

In Summary

Setting approvals in Jira help you to avoid unnecessary routine and free your time for more important assignments. There are two ways you can add an approval step: with Jira Approval Workflow for Jira Service Management projects and with BPM for all projects.

If you want to have one-stop access to organize and track your company’s processes, try Business Process Manager.



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