@lubomirnovak, yes, it is possible to set up a 1-step approval process for an item, and there are several options for how to make the approval process work.
The first step to create an Approval Process is to confirm that the appropriate Approval Role is available (Learning Admin > References > System Admin > Approval Roles). The Learning application comes with 5 pre-configured Approval Roles (copied from Help menu):
If you want your 1-step approval process to use one of these 5 approval roles, then you would create your Approval Process (References > System Admin > Approval Process), create one Step, and then add the desired pre-configured Approval Role to the new Step. The benefit of using one of the 5 pre-configured Approval Roles in your Approval Process is that the system dynamically determines who the approver should be based on the employee's manager reporting hierarchy. There is no additional configuration required beyond adding the Approval Process to your item or class.
It sounds as if your issue, though, is how to create an Approval Process that will work for someone who does not have a Manager. If you have captured HRBP information for your users (i.e. listed HRBPs as Alternate Managers for your users), you can try creating an Approval Process using that Approval Role. But if none of the 5 pre-configured Approval Roles solve your issue, then you might want to consider a custom Approval Process instead.
A custom Approval Process allows a specifically designated user (or someone in a designated group of users) to be the Approver, without regard to the employee's manager reporting hierarchy. The process to create a 1-step custom Approval Process is similar to what I described above, but when you create your one Step, you must either add one or more users to be the approvers for this process or create a custom Approval Role and then add the Approval Role to the step (you can technically do both). Which option should you use?
One last thing to consider if you decide to create a custom Approval Process is maintenance of approvers. The list of approvers assigned to a custom Approval Process and the list of users who have a custom Approval Role assigned must be managed manually by a Learning Administrator. There is currently no function to assign an Approval Role by an assignment profile. Therefore, you should consider how your list of approvers will be maintained over time as people come and go.
Mary Katherine Johnson