Since some months ago we have this feature Task Escalation comes to Office 365 and is the way you can configure it for delegations. This is an extract of that post.
There's a new section called "Escalate and auto-complete options".
The default behavior, as you can see above, is "Do nothing". Which really means, if someone is slacking off and not responding to a task, your business process is on hold.
The other options are :
- Escalate to person or group
- Auto-complete the task
Escalate to person or group
You can specify when a task is going to be escalated. But you don't have to have a static value. Most likely, you'll be using an item field or a variable. Probably a DateTime variable. That opens up the usage here dramatically. Not only can you specify when to escalate, but you can also add business or calendar days. That's impressive and again, make this functionality so much more powerful.
Don't forget about the option to information the original participants. You'll have the option to customize the email too. This may actually help them in future tasks, knowing that if they don't respond to a task in a reasonable amount of time, it will get escalated/delegated.
As part of this process, if you're going to set an expectation that the task will be responded to within a set amount of time, make sure you update the email those goes to the original participant, to they are aware. Also, don't forget to use Reminders!!.
Auto-complete the task
This is a piece of functionality where there is a person or group that is expected to respond. If they don't, there's no one else to go to. So we want to automatically complete the task, and that could be Approve, Reject or one of the other outcomes. The rest of the configuration is the same as the previous option.
There is help available for all new functionality.
Help for Assign a Task
Help for Start a Task Process