Escalation with "should do" and "can do" tasks


we have a system that makes the distinction between

  • “should do” task: user receives an email notification and task is very visible on the UI
  • “can do” task: no notification, but user can still do it, looking for the less prominent task on the UI

the reason is that we need to have a compromise between

  • not blocking the task completion when people who can approve are available
  • not spamming lots of people with unnecessary notifications

users also want escalation: if a user doesn’t complete the task, then after 3 days it’s escalated to the next level. In our design this would turn the next level from a “can do” task to a “should do” task, with the related notifications and changes in the UI. The original level is not de-escalated, it remains a “should do” task.

so far we have the following design, which seems OK

Users have now asked a further enhancement: if a user is absent (which we know from our DB, no problem) we should immediately escalate to the next level, no need to wait 3 days.

We are not sure if above model can handle such a requirement without a complete redesign.

Any ideas?