Removing the secondary series in a chart

So you want to create a chart that has both the estimated and actual revenue of opportunities, simple right, yes in principle.

When you configure this simple chart, by default you are left with 2 series right and left showing different scales for the $ amounts, based on the data like below:

Secondary Series post 1

What I really want is one series, one scale and easy comparison, so how do I remove the secondary column?

It’s simple of course, just need follow these simple steps:

  1. From the chart options menu, select export chart
  2. Open the chart in a text editor
  3. Search for the following string – YAxisType=”Secondary“
  4. Now delete this string but don’t remove the />
  5. Save the file
  6. Now back in Dynamics, select import chart and select the new file
  7. Follow the wizard for importing and you are done
  8. Your chart should now look like this.

Secondary Series post 2

Simple, you can now apply this to any chart with a secondary axis. Happy Charting.

How can I work out the time spent in each stage of a business process?

Business Problem: I want to know how long is spent in my business process by stage and by user how can I achieve this with no code?

The solution is actually quite simple if you are the latest release of Dynamics 365. The key to the solution is the fact that Dynamics now maintains the active stage and active start time for instance of a business process flow.

When you create a business process flow, a new entity is created to maintain the instances of the business process flow. So each time you start an opportunity, a business process record is created for the business process that is running that maintains the start time, active stage and status of that process. Thus when you switch process the previous process flow state is maintained.

So with this knowledge you now have a record that records the relationship to the business process and to the record it was initiated from.

Back to the problem. What I need is an entity to store the start and end time for each stage and a workflow that creates the record each time the stage changes. Simple as follows:

  1. Create a new entity, in my case I used an activity entity called Stage Duration. I used an activity entity, as it already has all of the fields that I need to record the stage duration i.e. Regarding, actual start, actual end, and subject. The one field that I did create is Stage duration, which is a decimal and is a calculated field. The calculation works out the difference between Actual End and Actual Start.
  2. Stage Duration
  3. Once I have published the entity I now need to create a workflow to fire each time the active stage changes for the business process that I want to monitor.
  4. Create a new process – workflow, select the newly created entity that corresponds to the business process that you want to monitor.
  5. Set the workflow to run on creation and when the active stage field changes.
  6. Now add action to create the stage duration activity, populate the subject with something like Stage: <<Active Stage>>, populate the actual start with the “Active Stage start time”, update the owner to the owner of the related record and set the regarding to the related record.
  7. Stage duration workflow 2
  8. Now add a wait step to wait until the active stage start time is not equal to the new activity creates actual start time.
  9. Then add the step to update the actual end time to that of the Active stage started on. (this is now the next stage started on time thus the end of the previous stage)
  10. That is it you now have a workflow that triggers at the start of the process and again each time the active stage is changed. That will record the start, end and duration of stage per process stage and user.
  11. Here is the workflow example below:
  12. Stage duration workflow 1
  13. Now each time I change the process a new activity is created as below:
  14. Opportunity stage
  15. Stage duration record
  16. This allows me to create charts as follows, i.e. by stage average time, and by user by stage average time.
  17. Stage reporting

 

The possibilities are now endless to the types of things I can do i.e. alert if a stage has not changed after a given time period, alert if average time is over norm, create a nice dashboard to show exceptions or enable me to identify focus stages to work on.

My New App Site Map is not saving my changes

If you do not use one of the supported 45 languages found here as your default user format (set in options) then you may encounter this problem.

Problem: When I click on the site map editor from the App Designer, I can not save my changes to the site map.

The simple fix is to change your format of your user to one of the supported 45 languages, then make your site map edits, save and publish, and then revert your format back to your preferred format. You can then open the new App and see your changes.

This simple video walks you through the issue and the fix that will enable you to create amazing new Apps.

Perform Action – Changing the business process via a workflow

So just taking a look at all of the available perform actions in workflows that are provided out of the box and found SetProcess.

SetProcess enables via a workflow to change the current business process of a record. For example, you are working on an opportunity and the decision timeframe is a year, this would most likely have a different sales approach to an opportunity closing in a month. Via a workflow we change the business process automatically.

So how do we do it? It’s easy follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings->Processes
  2. Create a new process of type workflow, give it a name “Change process -long running opportunity” etc
  3. So for my example I create a condition on the Purchase Timeframe, if equal to This year then do action.
  4. I select perform action
  5. pefrom actiom
  6. I select SetProcess and click on properties. All I need to select is the business process and the record to apply it to.
  7. setprocess
  8. Save and close
  9. Finally Activate the process, all done.

When I navigate to my opportunity and update the purchase timeframe to This Year, once I refresh the record the business process will change.

setprocessoppty

 

How cool – creating word documents using a workflow

I just came across this feature the other day, using a pre-built action to generate a word document via a workflow. There are actually 100s of actions that you can explore in workflows that might actually remove some development.

So how do you generate a word document from a workflow, it’s really simple, just follow these simple steps. In my example I will use the OOB account summary template as an example.

  1. Navigate to Settings->Processes
  2. Create a new process of type workflow, give it a name “Generate Document” etc
  3. For my example I am going to make the workflow On Demand, jus to demonstrate the functionality, but think of these examples:
    1. Creating an opportunity summary at the develop stage of an opportunity
    2. Creating a campaign summary at the end of the campaign
    3. Creating a Case report
  4. At the end of the day this is a workflow so all workflow logic applies
  5. So for my example all I need to do is select Perform Action
  6. pefrom actiom
  7. Scroll down the many actions and select SetWordTemplate
  8. setwordtemplate
  9. Leave the Entity as None
  10. Click on Set Properties
  11. Select the template from the dropdown list
  12. Select Account
    1. NOTE: if you are using a custom entity, the entity is required to be enabled for Business Process Flows to be able to be added
  13. stewordproperties
  14. Save and Close
  15. Activate

That’s it, simple. Now when you go to an account record and select to run an on demand workflow, the Generate document will display.

Runworkflow

The document is stored as a note attachment against the record.

docgenerated

At the moment this solution does not attach to SharePoint, but I am sure clever people could expand this capability!

 

How to enable editable grids in D365

A great new feature in Dynamics 365 is the ability to make a view editable without the need for code, 3rd party solutions with security that is applied out of the box.

Editable grids work in the web and mobile clients, and work across main entity views, sub grids and associated views. When you configure editable grids on the main entity, you enable editable grids for the main entity forms. To enable on sub grids you need to open up the specific form and edit the properties of the sub grid to add the editable grid control.

Editable grids support:

  • In-grid editing of records at the entity or sub-grid level
  • Web and mobile clients
  • Navigation using a keyboard or mouse
  • Grouping and Sorting (Able to group by/sort by any column on current view)
  • Filtering
  • Moving and resizing columns
  • Pagination
  • Lookup configuration
  • Calculated fields and Rollup fields
  • Business rules
  • Hierarchical view
  • Enabling or disabling of cells based on security role

The Editable Grids control is available for Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics CRM On-Premises.

Read the complete guide to setting up editable grids at https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/lystavlen/2016/10/30/editable-grids-is-here/ by

 

 

Creating Apps in Dynamics 365

I want to create a new App that only shows my Stakeholder Managers what they need to see, how do I do this with no code? It is easy with the App Designer.

For an overview of how you do this there are some great articles that can be found on the Dynamics Help and Training guide.

The following table shows the steps you’ll take to create an app, taken from the training guide found here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/design-custom-business-apps-by-using-the-app-designer.aspx.

Step Description Related topics
Define app properties. Create or edit an app
Define navigation for an app using the site map designer. Create a site map for an app
Apps are composed of components like dashboards, entities, business process flows, forms, views, and charts. Include the required ones in your app by using the app designer. Add or edit app components
Check your app for any required components you haven’t added. Validate an app
Make the app available for use. Publish an app
Give users access to the apps you created by using security roles. Manage access to apps with security roles

The Dynamics 365 App Paradigm

A new feature of Dynamics 365 is the ability to create “Apps”. An app is a set of related features and functions that are used to deliver an outcome for a user. team or function I.e. Field Service App for field resources, Sales App for sales managers and sales reps to engage with customers.

The app paradigm enables customers to define quickly and cleanly a new interface for different users in the organisation to utilise. Its the ability to limit what a user sees in a controlled configurable manner. It will enable ISVs to deliver a controlled experience for the intended user.

In previous versions of Dynamics, you worked with a single app view I.e. sales, service and marketing. To control what a user could see you needed to manipulate the site map and it could get quite messy! The new App designer makes it very easy to personalise the experience for business users.

So what can I do with the App designer in the first release of Dynamics 365?

  • Define the sitemap elements
  • Define which Dashboards are displayed
  • Define the business process flows that can be utilised
  • Define the Entities to be included
  • Define which forms are to be consumed
  • Define the Views that will be available
  • Define which charts should be displayed

All in all pretty comprehensive ability to control what a user can see.

Enabling resource scheduling for any entity

With Dynamics 365 Field Service, comes an amazing feature, the ability to schedule any entity, not just project tasks or work orders.

Why is this so good? Think of these scenarios:

  • I manage leads and I want to schedule those leads for calls base don the right skill match for the lead request
  • I need to schedule a team to deliver a presentation or process
  • I want real time updates on the progress of scheduled items
  • As a business we have cars that the staff can book, so need the ability to schedule the cars and see real time what is in use and when they will be back in

The list just keeps on going, the number of scenarios I can think about where there is a scheduling need is endless.

So how do I set this up, follow these simple steps to get you up and running:

  1. You will need either the Field Service or Project service App or a Plan license to utilise these features.
  2. Once you have installed the App, you will get a new site map node “Resource Scheduling”, select this node
  3. Now click on Administration and then “Enable Resource Scheduling for Entities”
  4. You will be presented with the screen below, showing enabled entities and ability o enable a new entity.
  5. resource-scheduling-1
  6. In the Add entity, select the entity that you want to schedule, I am going to use Accounts, for scheduling an Account Update meeting.
  7. For the booking relationship, select create new relationship and if skill requirements are required select create new relationship for skills.
  8. Then select publish, this will enable the booking relationship and skill relationship for Accounts. This may take a few minutes to publish, be patient 🙂
  9. Once completed you will be presented with a final metadata setting screen for the new scheduling entity. Here you can select the appropriate statuses for the booking process, default booking duration, and the Longitude and latitude fields to be used in mapping. See below for my Account:
  10. resource-scheduling-2
  11. Update as required and save and close the metadata. Your entity is now set-up.
  12. To  schedule, navigate to your entity and you will notice a new command “Book” as below.
  13. resource-scheduling-3
  14. Select Book, and you will be prompted with the schedule experience
  15. Select your resource and book and close
  16. resource-scheduling-4
  17. You can see the booking by navigating to the new Booking resource booking associated view and the booked resource can engage with the booking.
  18. resource-scheduling-5resource-scheduling-6

That is it, easy as! Great work from the Dynamics Team!

Customers expect great service, deliver it with Field services for Dynamics

What do your customers remember you by? Your last delivery.

Building long lasting trusting relationships around a solid reputation of delivery is paramount into today’s services economy. With many providers delivering similar services your customer experience needs to be distinct and consistent across every client interaction. As an organisation the level of transparency and collaboration both internally and externally has escalated to the point people expect it, they expect to be involved, they expect to collaborate, they expect to be online, they expect to be able to do it anywhere, and they expect it to be simple. Delivering great field services is all about delivering to time, to expectations while managing a great relationship, so why should it not be embedded into a Customer Relationship Management solution?

The focus of Field Services

Field Services powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, focusses on the after care service of delivering products and services. How do I maintain the relationships and grow the experience post the sale? Delivering exceptional after care service is not an easy task, but if you focus on the following then you will be on the right path:

  • Exceed Customer Expectations – focus on developing a robust process around resource skills, scheduling and prioritizing of effort. Delivering great experiences is about turning up on time, with the right resource, tools to complete the job the first time.
  • Empower the Service Delivery team – enable you service delivery team with the right tools to deliver great service. Provide them the tools to enable them to keep you updated on the progress of the job and expected completion time. The more information that you have regarding the progress of service delivery will enable you to ensure your meeting the first point delivering exceptional experiences.
  • Template the approach – drive consistency within the delivery approach, create templates that can be followed and repeated. Templates enables service to be delivered consistently every time with the assurance to customers that whoever turns up will deliver the same experience and service.
  • Uncover Insights – through capturing the delivery in a consistent manner, drives up the quality of data that you can run analytics on, uncovering key insights. Insights enable you to focus your delivery team on the right KPIs to drive up customer satisfaction and experience.
  • Visibility of schedules – the ability to schedule efficiently and have wide visibility of resources, their schedules and location enables you to deliver to your customer’s expectation. A schedule boards importance is being able to present the relevant information in the most efficient manner to meet the end users need. Thus it is important to be able to define different views of the data to support the scheduling delivery team. You may need to look by product, by region, by fault, by location, the more flexible the board can be the more customer focused experiences you can deliver.
  • Billing – Effective billing is essential for great service delivery. Being consistent with the way you bill and how you bill drives great customer experiences and provides the customer with confidence in the service that you are delivering. Thus having the ability to automate the billing process and charge appropriately by the customer is critical in the success of any service delivery operation. 

 

Introducing Field Services for Dynamics CRM

Field Service is an end-to-end solution that extends Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide a single system of customer engagement for after care and service delivery teams. Through the common user interface of Dynamics CRM and Office 365, you service delivery team can excel at what they do best, delivering exceptional customer service.

Field services for Dynamics CRM delivers: 

  • Service Agreement. Field Service agreements enable you as a business to sell and manage consistent offerings. Service agreements enable you to bundle recurring jobs, the preferred resources, at the agreed rate and billed on agreed schedule. Service agreements form the foundation of great service delivery.
  • Case Management. Case management enables you to log a call, manage the activity related to the call, within the right Service Level Agreement and generate work orders as and when required. Case management is the backbone to managing after care service excellence. It provides the mechanisms to drive insights that drive performance and efficiencies. Coupled with Knowledge management, self-serve and team management, makes Case management a very comprehensive solution.
  • Resource management. Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right jobs.
  • Time and expenses. The job costs can be recorded within the system by the service delivery user and presented to the customer at the end of the job. Sophisticated product and service pricing can be managed within the familiar product management of Dynamics CRM.
  • Work Order Management. Work orders can be created and scheduled according to the request be via an agreement or ad-hoc call. Work orders can be associated existing customer assets and service plans to drive the correct resolution of the incident type. The scheduling board provides clear visibility of the jobs that are scheduled, the unscheduled jobs and the availability of the resources to deliver