In this article, I will explore the new Business Process Flow (BPF) feature and provide some examples of how you can customize it to fit an organization’s need.
Dynamics CRM 2013, BPFs have many beneficial qualities. They are available for out-of-the-box (OOB) and custom entities, can span across multiple entities, you can create multiple BPFs for a particular business process, can be role based, can be included in solutions for export and import, and work in the browser, Outlook Client and Tablets.
A key purpose of a BPF is to guide users through a specific business process to completion. A BPF is useful in several ways to include but not limited to:
- Highly configurable to meet the needs of any Organization
- Ensure that a set of steps are completed for a specified business process
- Jump stages if needed
- Track and report on progress
- Support the establishment of efficient, effective and repeatable processes
- Guide existing and new employees through the process
- Support quick, on-boarding of new hires
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 comes with three OOB BPF’s; two are related to sales and one to service. Let’s begin by briefly exploring the out-of-the-box Phone to Case BPF.
To view the OOB BPF’s, select Settings and Processes from the top navigation menu.
Select All Processes and open the Phone to Case BPF
Before proceeding, let’s make a copy of the BPF by selecting the Save As button from the top navigation menu.
After making the selection, a new BPF window will open with a newly created BPF named Phone to Case Process (Copy). The new process will be in draft or inactive status. We can change the name of the process by selecting the Expand / Collapse chevron from the right side of the process window.
Let’s change the Process Name to “Case Resolution” by replacing “Phone to Case Process (Copy)” with the new name. Select Save from the top navigation menu and then select the Collapse chevron.
When viewing the Case Resolution Process BPF, you will notice that there are three stages; Identify, Research, Resolve. Each one of the stages contains multiple steps. For example, the Identify Stage includes two Steps; Find a Customer, Find a Case.
Let’s take a look at what the Identify Stage looks like on a new Case record. To create a new case record, select Service and Cases from the top navigation menu. Select the Identify process stage from the newly created Case to view the steps:
From here you can complete a lookup for the Customer and Find any similar cases. Completing those two steps, completes the Identify stage.
Next, let’s make some changes to the new BPF we created.
The first change we’ll complete is to make all of the steps in the Identify, Research and Resolve stages required with the exception of Assign to Others in the Research stage. To do this, select the Required option on each of the Steps.
Next we are going to add a new Stage and name it Propose Solution. You can add a new Stage by selecting the plus button next to the word Stages.
Once selected, a new Stage will be added to the bottom of the Stage list. Let’s update the name to Propose Solution, select Propose for the Stage Category, update Steps to display “Suggest a Solution”, select “Activities Complete” for the Field Value, and mark the Step as required.
The next change I want to make is to move the Propose Solution above the Resolve stage. I can easily make that change by selecting the Move Up option from the bottom of the process form.
Once that is complete, our new BPF displays the Stages in the required order with resolve being the final stage in the process.
After completing the changes desired to the BPF, there are a few additional steps required to make the new process available for use.
The first step step we’ll take is to enable security roles. Select the Enable Security Roles button from the top menu.
Select the Enable for Everyone option and select OK.
Now let’s change the order of the BPFs so our new BPF displays by default. Select the Order Process Flow button.
Select the Case Resolution BPF from the list, select the green, Move Up arrow and select OK.
The final step is to Activate the process by selecting the Active button from the top menu.
The new BPF will apply to all newly created Cases, by default, since we moved it to the top of the list.
If you choose, you can apply the new Case Resolution BPF to existing Case records by opening a Case record, select the More button from the command bar, select the Switch Process from the drop down list and select the Case Resolution BPF from the list.
Be sure to test your new BPF by creating a new Case to ensure everything is working as expected. You can make any additional changes needed by simply opening the BPF record.
I hope you enjoy the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Process Flow feature. Be sure to share your favorite BPF features, tips and tricks with us.
Good one Donna !
Hey Donna! Any idea why business process flows is not enabled for Contracts?
I think what we’ve seen with BPF functionality was the initial release and there will be much more to come. With regard to the release of new features, what is included and what is not is often related to some combination of budget, resources, priority, demand, and delivery date. I hope that helps.