Cannot (re)start approval when a later stage does not have approvers or has role approvers with the role not yet assigned.
WebCenter does not allow/ fails starting or restarting an approval cycle when not all stages have at least one approver. A variation exists when a stage has unassigned roles. Customers sometimes hope WebCenter will allow starting the first stages if they are already assigned, but it does not. This is not a bug, but a current intended limitation.
A message saying (as part of the message which for the rest can be cryptic):
"There is at least one stage without approvers. Make sure that all stages have at least one approver".
Variations on this message exist depending on the precise actual situation.
The problem can occur because of an operator mistake or intentionally.
Operator mistake: The person starting the approval has not assigned an approver but should have assigned one. Or an approval stage is assigned to a role which should have been assigned by now. In this case, the problem can be solved by assigning the stage or the role.
Intentionally: When approvals take long, people may want to start the approval cycle without knowing the approvers of later stages. WebCenter has no obvious way to handle this situation. We prevent starting the entire approval cycle for the following reason:
When a later stage is not assigned, there is no way to prevent the approval cycle to move to this stage. It just moves with people approving and these people don't know that there are no approvers assigned for a later stage. So when the approval arrives at the unassigned stage, it falls dead. WebCenter has no good treatment of this situation (it would prevent the previous stage to be approved, which is very irritating for the approver of that stage). In order to prevent this situation to happen, we prevent such approval cycles to be started.
Given that somebody still has to assign people for a role or a stage, it is best to assign this person to the empty stage. When this person is then late assigning the stage, he/she will get the approval request himself/herself. This will allow starting the approval cycle.
In the situation of an unassigned role, assign the role temporarily to a person who needs to assign the role (often the project manager).