Teams Real Simple with Pictures: An Approval process for List Items using Lists, Teams, Power Automate, Outlook and the new Approvals App

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often

Written: 16/01/2021 | Updated: N/A

It’s been a bit of a frustrating day. I wanted to write a blog on something else – something new and ultimately it didn’t pan out. Kind of like a gold rush except there was no gold, a lot of time was squandered and the opportunity cost of doing that was getting into the new approvals app – something that interests me quite a bit. Nevertheless after a borderline rage quit I decided to eat, go chill with the family then get back in the game – and so I am going to write about the approvals app – except I thought it would be good to do so in the context of Lists, since as mentioned in the last post I am using them a lot these days. Think of this scenario: I have an event, or an itinerary, and for every item on that List, I need approval to be able to do it, or to use it, or to even have it on the List since it’s needs to be sanctioned. In my job when I roll in technical courses, these need ultimate approval from up on high to be run, a number of criteria need to be met. So bringing some of my favourite apps together – Lists, Teams and Power Automate, the approvals app and getting retro with Outlook, mmm a bit of late night cooking with apps

This blog will cover

  • How to set up an approval process for List Items

Due to the potential length of this blog, it will not go through every step and will assume that you are familiar with the applications and the List and Team have already been set up


  • Teams, SharePoint, Power Automate, Exchange Online Licence (In an Office/Microsoft 365 Subscription)
  • Approvals app installed in Teams (subject to app permission policy)


1.) My List is set up and ready to go in Teams. As you can see it is a very simple list concerning devices which have been distributed to staff in my business. I am going to set up a flow so that every time I assign a device to an individual, it will need to be approved. You will see that I have set up a new single line of text columns called ‘approved’. I’ll refer back to it later

2.) In Teams, select Power Automate from the app rail, and on the home tab select New Flow at the top right

3.) Select Create from Blank again at the top right

4.) Search for and select the SharePoint Trigger When an Item is created

5.) Add your List to the SharePoint trigger and select New Step

6.) Search for and select the start and wait for an approval action

7.) Select an approval type. For this example I’ll choose a simple approve/reject and everyone must approve

8.) Enter the details for the approval including Title (What the approval will ultimately ask), who the approval should go to, the details which should be the details of the List Item which needs approval. The link to the item can also be added if the approver wants to scrutinise the List Item further. Once done, select new step

9.) Search for and select the SharePoint Action Update Item. This step is going to be used to update the List Item once it has been approved or rejected

10.) Add the List details and the List Item ID. In the Approved field add the approval outcome. Select new step

11.) Since we need to be notified of the approval there is a few ways to do that. It could, for example be posted to a Team, however in this case, just because I feel like changing it up I am going to email a confirmation. Select Sent an Email (v2)

12.) The to field needs to be sent to the individual who created the List Item so use the created by email action. Add a subject and the outcome of the approval in the body of the message. It is probably advantageous to add the List Item details for reference

13. Once done, save and check your flow with flow checker

14. Now to test. I add the new item to the list in Teams

15. I receive an approval in the approvals app in Teams along with a notification. I approve

16.) Final status of the List Item shows approved. The List in Teams is updated to show approve

17.) I get email confirmation in Outlook


These 4 apps worked flawlessly. Sure, it could use a bit of cleaning up on the formatting to make it look nicer. However – we now have one awesome approvals process for our List