Product Updates

New Feature: Project Approvals

New Punchlist feature - Project Approvals

Project Approvals are here!

Below you’ll find a quick walkthrough of our newest feature in the Punchlist app: Approvals.

We designed Approvals so that you can know EXACTLY when a project is “done”, and move onto the next thing — whether that’s launching and getting paid on time, or catching up on another client project. No more ambiguity about whether this version is actually “final,” or getting the go-ahead from the wrong person.

Before we get into how it works, we want to introduce two new terms: Project Status and Project Role.

Project Status

Each project can have one of three statuses:

  1. Open for Feedback
  2. Ready for Approval
  3. Approved

Project Role

Users on your project can have one of two roles:

  1. Contributor
  2. Approver

We’ll provide additional details on each of terms below.

Let’s get started! Say you’re the project manager and you’re ready to ask your colleague or client team for approval…

Simply go to the Settings dropdown in the top right of your project navigation, and you’ll see that we now show Project Status.

Punchlist approvals - settings dropdown

When a project is “Open for Feedback,” anybody on your team can leave comments, upload files, or make changes. Consider this to mean that active work is happening in this state. “Open for Feedback” is the default status for any new project.

Then, once you’re ready for that final sign-off with the green light, you’ll want to change project status to “Ready for Approval.” 

In order to do that, simply click the “Start Project Approval” button in the settings dropdown.  

Now say you have a large team with 10 people reviewing your project, but you only need the official sign-off from two stakeholders. This is where Project Roles come into play. No more confusion about who is owning the decision. You can set this right in Punchlist. 

Contributors and Approvers can both leave feedback in the same way. But once a project is in “Ready for Approval” mode, Approvers are the only ones who are able to give you the go-ahead and, well, approve the entire project. 

As you’re designating roles for the project, you can add a personal message that will be shared with all approvers. This could contain information about when approvals are due or what will happen after the project is approved. Approvers will get an email letting them know their approval is requested, along with a link back to the project so they can get started. 

Once they’re in the project, Approvers must approve each page individually. This is to ensure that there are no surprises once the project is approved.

Approvers can approve a page in three ways:

  1. At the top of the Item column on the right side of the page
  2. By clicking into the Approvals tab that now along side Items and Page Info
  3. By clicking Pages in the top nav of the project, where they can see (and approve) all pages from a single pop-up

Approval is easy, just one click and then they’re on to the next page.

As the project manager, you can see the page Approval Status for all of the project pages. This will help you understand who you’re still waiting on, and who has given you the green light. Like for Approvers, you can see this at the top of the Items tab, on the Approvals tab, and in the Pages pop-up.

If you need to add more people, you can do that with ease — simply click Share in the top navigation or Manage Approvers in the Approvals tab to add Contributors or Approvers.

Now while a project is in Ready for Approval mode, Contributors or Approvers can still leave feedback. If you’d like to close feedback and only focus on approving pages, we recommend turning on Read-Only mode before sending out approval invites. (You can quickly toggle on Read-Only mode from the Settings dropdown in your project.)

Once all approves have approved all project pages, the Project Status will immediately update.

Tada! Your project is approved. You’ll see this animation appear, and now the project is locked for any future feedback. Job done, and onto the next! 

What does “locked project” mean? 

Once the project has been Approved, you can no longer add additional reviewers to the project, or upload new pages, and your collaborators can no longer add feedback. 

This is because we really want to reflect that the project is DONE, and your team is now moving onto the next step — whether that’s a new version of the same project, or closing this one out and starting the next project in the pipeline.

Onward and upward! 

If you’d like a custom onboarding session to get your first project setup for feedback & approvals in 15 minutes, schedule a time with our product team and we’d be happy to walk you through the features. 

Zack Kinslow

Zack Kinslow

Zack Kinslow is the Product Marketing Director at Punchlist. Formerly the Education Production Lead at Foundr, Producer at Skillshare, and Zack-of-all-trades at the Art Directors Club, he has a passion for creativity and entrepreneurship. Zack has produced over 100 online courses serving 500,000+ students worldwide.
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