Knowledge Market: Delegated User Administration

As a DocuSign Product Manager focused on the administrator experience, customers frequently ask me how they should build their administrative team to manage DocuSign. The one golden rule I have is - limit the number of individuals with full access to your account by granting individuals only the permissions and capabilities they really need. It is easier to add more responsibilities than to take them away later.  To build your administrative team effectively, you should consider using our delegated administration capability.

What is delegated administration?

Do the following comments resonate with you?

  • Why did our integration suddenly break?
  • I spend too much of my week adding, updating, and removing users from accounts.
  • Why was this setting changed?
  • I am not a user admin. I build digital transaction management solutions. I want to focus my efforts on building workflows and solutions.
  • The business analytics team needs access to the reports and only the reports - why do they need admin rights?
  • There is too much to manage for just one person.
  • The HR Department doesn't want the whole administrative team to have visibility into the envelopes in their account.
  • We have governance requirements that limit the number of users who can perform certain operations on our applications.


If you have asked any of these questions or had any of these thoughts, delegated administration is for you! Delegated administration, sometimes known as “granular administration” or “role based access” is a capability that allows you to define administrative roles with limited permissions - to segregate and separate responsibilities. A delegated admin has admin rights, but only to perform a certain set of actions, such as user management.

The importance of delegated administration

Being able to delegate management to others has many benefits:

  • Reduces unexpected changes to your DocuSign workflows from happening by limiting who has the ability to make those changes
  • Allows you to focus on administering DocuSign specific functionality, building and maintaining workflows and content, troubleshooting, building integrations, etc.
  • Alleviates you from having to know who should have access on the accounts, what type of access they should have, and who is joining or leaving the company.  
  • Separates user management from the rest of the admin responsibilities, allowing for better control over who can make changes to the account
  • Segregates and separates account setting management, user management, and reporting, allowing you to grant the right level of access to your admin team.

In addition, delegated administration also helps you meet governance and compliance requirements by only allowing users to perform assigned  tasks in your application.

DocuSign recognizes the value in being able to control your DocuSign deployment, which is why we invested in delegated administration.

How to take advantage of delegated management

There are 5 levels of delegated management to be considered when determining what level of access to give your management team:


  • Users and Groups
    • Manage non-admin users and groups for the account.
    • The most basic permission.
  • Administrators
    • Manage all users, including admins and groups for the account.
    • Includes Users and Groups role.
  • Envelope Sharing
    • In addition to managing all users and groups, these delegated admins can also set up envelope sharing rules for all users of the account.
    • Includes Administrators, Users and Groups roles
  • Account Settings
    • This admin can manage anything related to the account except user management tasks.
    • With this role and the Envelope Sharing role, you can create an admin who manages all the user related tasks and an admin who can basically do everything else.
  • Reporting
    • This admin has access to account-wide reports, but does not have any other administrative rights.
    • This role does not have access to the Admin experience.

Given these 5 different types of delegated administration roles, you can build a dynamic team of admins who can manage users, account settings and configurations, and reporting separately. This provides clear segregation of responsibilities, which grants you better control of your DocuSign deployment and reduces overhead.

You can find full details on these roles, how to build a team using these roles, a checklist for rolling out this solution, and much more information in our Knowledge Market article, “Best Practices for Delegated Administration”.

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