Spotlight on Spira 7.5 - Multiple Requirement Approvers

February 27th, 2023 by inflectra

We are excited about the upcoming release of Spira v7.5!

The new version includes, amongst many other features, a brand new SpiraApp called Requirement Multiple Approvals. This new plugin for SpiraTeam and SpiraPlan (not SpiraTest, sorry) will allow you to conduct multiple parallel approvals of a requirement in the system. This much-awaiting feature has been asked for by many of our life sciences customers who need to be able to conduct parallel approvals of requirements.


What Does the New SpiraApp Do?

This new SpiraApp will let you create multiple approvals or review tasks for requirements. This enables you to create review tasks with a single click, and assign them to stakeholders to review requirements. Then, when all the reviews are done, the requirement itself will automatically change status. In addition, to streamline the review and approval process, the plugin also introduces a new My Page dashboard widget.

At the present time, you can have multiple approvals for a requirement, but they need to be in a sequence / series, not in parallel:

Requirement status workflow steps

With the new SpiraApp, you can now use Requirements and Tasks together to have multiple, parallel approvals. Since both Tasks and Requirements support electronic-signatures, you can have all the approvals comply with the validation requirements of 21 CFR Part 11 (and equivalent regulations).

How Do I Activate the Plugin?

To activate the plugin, go to the System Administration home page, and click on SpiraApps:

SpiraApps list with new widget highlighted

Then click on the Activate button to activate the plugin.

Next, go to the project you want to use the plugin for and click on SpiraApps there:

Where you can enable for the project

Click on the Enable button to enable the plugin for your project. You should then click on the Settings button to configure the plugin for use:

The SpiraApp settings

Open up a new browser tab and go to the Tasks > Custom Properties administration page as we need to now add a new boolean custom property on Tasks that denotes that this task is a special one used for multi-approvals:

Adding the task custom property
Click the Save button. Now go back to the SpiraApp settings page and refresh the browser. The new custom property should be available in the dropdown list:

Specifying the task custom field to use

Now you need to choose that custom property and create the list of task approval groups.

To create groups of multi-approvers add a new line to the “Approval Lists” setting text-box. For each group, write out the settings like this:

List Name | Task name prefix | Task type | username1, username2, username3, ... username20.

(each group can have a max of 20 users).

For example, we have configured two approval groups below:

Business Team | Pending Approval | Management | fredbloggs, joesmith, amycribbins, administrator
Technical Team | Pending Approval | Management | amycribbins, rickypond, administrator

Now you are ready to start using the functionality...

Using the Requirements Multi-Approval App

To use the application, simply locate a requirement that needs to be approved:

Requirement page

Choose the option to Create Multi Approval Tasks:

Multi approval dropdown selector

Once you click the Create button, the new approval tasks will be automatically created:

The list of approval tasks

Each user in the list can now go to their My Page dashboard and add a new special widget for viewing their approval tasks:

Adding the widget to your dashboard

Once the widget is added, the user will be able to see their approval tasks in a dedicated widget:

The my approvals widget

Unlike the normal My Assigned Tasks widget, this one only shows the approval tasks and will also display the associated requirement.

To perform the approval, the user will simply click on the hyperlink for the task and use the normal task workflow to make the approval:

Completing the task

If you have configured the workflow to require an electronic signature, that will also happen as normal:

The task electronic signature page

Once all the approvals have been done, the parent requirement will automatically change status as driven by the current workflow rules.

Project Manager's View

In addition to the My Page widget used by the individual approvers, there is also a new Product Home widget that allows project managers to see all of the pending approval tasks for a specific product. To add this widget, go to the Product Home dashboard and choose the option to add a new item:

Adding multi-approval SpiraApp to product home page

Now select the Open Approval Tasks item and add it to the Left side of the dashboard:

Product Home with Multi Approver widget displayed

You can now see all of the open, approval tasks for this product in one place.

spotlight roadmap approvals requirements workflow

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