A workflow in Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an essential feature that enables the automation of processes that can be executed without human intervention. This key functionality can significantly increase a company’s productivity and save the resources required to complete tasks.
In this article, you will get more detailed information about Microsoft Dynamics 365 workflows.
The Workflow Concept
A workflow in Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be viewed as a visual representation of a sequence of steps required to complete a specific task. The workflow routes information between particular stages and is triggered by predefined conditions or events.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides users with a number of pre-built workflows that can be customized to different types of tasks. Here are some examples of workflows that are commonly used by businesses.
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Purchase Order Workflow
To automate purchase orders, the workflow routes purchase orders for review and approval and notify all relevant parties that these purchase orders have been submitted.
Such a workflow can also take care of order status updates and even trigger actions required for order processing or approval.
Workflow for Lead Qualification
Workflows can also be used to automate tasks related to workforce management. Microsoft Dynamics 365 can select appropriate sales representatives for leads based on their location, industry, or other predefined criteria. It is also possible to set automatic notifications when the assignment is completed.
Updating lead status and sending follow-up emails through the sales funnel can also be automated with workflow.
Opportunity Approval Workflow
Although not all work can be automated, especially when a task requires a decision in a non-standard case, it is still possible to speed up the process with a workflow.
For instance, there may be processes that involve specific products or services or exceed a certain value. In this case, approval is required, and a workflow can automate the routing of these opportunities to specific approvers. With workflows, you can predefine rules and hierarchies to select the appropriate people as approvers.
Such a workflow can also send notifications of requested and completed approvals to stakeholders.
Advantages of Using Workflows
Given the use cases of workflows described above, it is obvious that this feature brings many benefits to organizations. Learn more about the benefits of workflows here.
Optimized Cost-Efficiency and Scalability
The main benefit of automation is the significant time savings that would otherwise be spent on manual work. This automation effect frees up more time for more intellectually-demanding tasks and reduces costs.
The accelerated execution of processes contributes significantly to business success and helps the company to progress more quickly.
Of course, this also improves the scalability of a company, which can now solve more tasks in less time without the need to hire more specialists.
When employees are not engaged in boring, repetitive work for long periods, they make fewer mistakes, which translates into better quality. The lack of human error also reduces costly downtime and improves business operations.
At the same time, task automation with workflows is a perfect way to standardize quality within an organization. No matter what a task looks like exactly when it is executed by the software, the results will meet your requirements.
This is especially important in large organizations where standardizing quality tends to be difficult and is even more important for any company that is in the process of complying with government regulations or acquiring ISO certifications.
Better Process Monitoring
When a sequence of actions is performed based on a workflow, it is easier to monitor them and analyze their efficiency, improve final quality, and reduce bottlenecks. Easier measurement of activity flow and performance analysis is essential for continuous improvement. It also opens up great opportunities to make data-driven decisions.
Effective Practices for Using Workflows in Microsoft Dynamics 365
Similar to security roles, workflows in Microsoft Dynamics 365 require careful planning and regular revision to ensure proper performance. While this feature itself offers immense possibilities, it should be used properly to achieve the desired effects.
First, it is necessary to define a clear workflow goal for the process you want to automate. Next, it is necessary to map the process and document each step. This not only helps to understand the structure to be emulated within a workflow but also shows which phases are more suitable for automation and where bottlenecks may occur.
While building a workflow, avoid making it too complex, as tempting as that may be. The fewer stages the workflow includes, the fewer vulnerabilities it usually has, whereas numerous conditions and branches often make it challenging to maintain and troubleshoot. Do not forget to take care of security roles and privileges.
Note that it is highly recommended to first review the workflows you already have before deciding to create a completely new one. Even if integrated solutions do not seem suitable for your case, try to use them as a foundation for your unique workflow. In most cases, this can greatly simplify the task of developing a workflow and minimize potential problems.
Once your workflow is ready, do not rush to deploy it in real-world scenarios without testing it first. You need to ensure that it works as intended; otherwise, important business processes could be compromised.
Furthermore, even if you have successfully created and implemented workflows, you should periodically review them, as they may need to be optimized or modified to remain relevant and effective in the future. They may need to be updated and improved or even prove to be redundant. To make it easier to review your workflows, you should set up processes that allow you to track and monitor their performance.