As soon as there are multiple stakeholders in a project, it becomes infinitely harder to get approval and move forward. If your colleagues or clients are anything like mine, you could be waiting days on small decisions—delays that hold up big projects sometimes indefinitely. And worse, it’s often impossible to track down the thoughts that went into the decision-making process and answer that most important question: “Who signed off on this?”
Biztera simplifies the entire process of getting and documenting approval. With their easy-to-use interface, you can upload a document or link to a webpage, ask for approval, and watch as your peers or higher-ups let you know their thoughts.
After you sign up for Biztera, the first thing you’ll do is create an organization. Organizations are flexible, and can be businesses, clients, vendors, partners, or even departments within your organization. Biztera’s organizations do have one unique wrinkle, though. Instead of selecting which pricing tier you want for your whole account, each organization can be on a different paid tier. When you create an organization, you select the tier with the features you want for that specific organization.
Depending on which paid tier you choose, some organizations will have access to different features than others. If you’re using the Enterprise plan, you can add custom fields to requests, pick your currency, and set up rules that automatically assign requests to the right people within your organization. (Other plans do not include these features.)
Once you create an organization, you can invite your colleagues to that organization in Biztera. You have to invite them to Biztera before they can begin approving or denying proposals. That being said, you don’t have to wait for them to log in to their account before you can start sending them requests. All you need to do is invite them, and they can start acting on whatever you send without creating a full account. That means you don’t have to wait on David in HR to signup before you can start sending him requests.
Once everybody’s invited to Biztera, you can start sending approval requests with a title, description, and the option to upload files. You can assign each request to the right people in the organization to approve, so if David isn’t necessary for every approval request, you can skip him and save yourself some time.
Again, if you’re on an Enterprise plan, you’ll get some additional features here. You can add budget details in custom fields, which is handy if you’re trying to work around the constraints of a tight marketing budget (for example). These custom fields are added at the organization level, and you take care of them when you create the organization.
Once the approval request has been sent, it arrives in the necessary parties’ inboxes. They don’t have to actually leave their inbox in order to approve requests. They can simply click on the “Approve” or “Deny” button right from their email, and take care of it from there, simplifying the process and making it easy to get all required parties on board without any extra work. If they need to leave a comment, they can do that too just by replying to the message.
Enterprise organizations get another couple neat features for this part of the process. Enterprise organizations can set mandatory approvers, and also create sequential approvers. In other words, instead of asking John, Paul, and Stacey to review your request at the same time, you can order it in terms of hierarchy. John can review it before Paul, and Paul will only see it if John approves—and the same thing could apply to Stacey. Features like that are great if you have several layers of management to get approval from for all your major decisions.
Approvers can also change your decision at any time. If you send somebody an approval request, and they deny it, they can still change their decision later. There’s no need to re-create requests any time you want to get an updated opinion.
If there is a complication with your request, people in the approval chain can send you a private message, or they can @ your user name in a comment. The comments are threaded, and don’t look too dissimilar from a comment thread in Slack.
Finally, you can track your approvals from the dashboard. You can filter them by their budget, approval status, or whether or not they’re waiting on anybody. The filters are surprisingly deep in scope, once you add a few of them, and are easy enough to use that they never feel like a “power user” feature.
All of this integrates into tools you already use every day, like Slack, Office 365, Zapier, or GitHub. These integrations are handled on a team level, which is handy for agencies: if some clients use Office 365, but others use Slack, you can manage that separately without any issue. These integrations let you interact with Biztera without ever leaving the tool you’re using.
Biztera is effective and almost makes approvals fun. You’ll want to spend more time submitting requests for approval, and interacting with your team. Biztera is an app I’m looking forward to using more in my own work.