Kanban Views in Dynamics 365

Business Value

Microsoft is actively listening to the customers to learn how we can make Dynamics 365 Sales better, easier, and more efficient. Dynamics 365 Sales aims to help sellers develop deeper relationships and improve their productivity. As part of their commitment to make Dynamics 365 Sales better, they are continually introducing enhancements that remove unnecessary friction and make features easier to use. Kanban views for Opportunities and Activities is one such enhancement. Let us look into the details of Why, What & How about the Kanban Views in Dynamics 365…..!

What is Kanban?

  • Kanban” is the Japanese word for “visual signal
  • Origins in Lean manufacturing
  • If you work in services or technology, your work is often times invisible and intangible
  • A Kanban board helps make your work visible so you can show it to others and keep everyone on the same page.

Kanban Board

A Kanban board is a tool for workflow visualization and one of the key components of the Kanban method.

Elements of a Kanban Board

  • Visual cards (stickies, tickets, or otherwise)
  • Each column represents a specific activity that together compose a “workflow” –
    • “To Do”
    • “In Progress”
    • “Complete” or much more complex.
  • The commitment point is the moment when an idea is picked up by the team and work starts on the project.
  • Delivery point is when the product or service is in the hands of the customer. The team’s goal is to take cards from the commitment point to the delivery point as fast as possible.

Examples of Kanban Boards

Physical Kanban Board

Physical Kanban Board
Digital Kanban Board

Kanban View in Dynamics 365 – Feature Details

  • Available in 2020 Release Wave 1
  • Easily toggle between the existing grid view and the new Kanban view.
  • Sellers can view their opportunity pipeline by sales path on the Kanban board.
  • Simplified and intuitive experience to move opportunities into a different stage.
  • The Kanban view allows your sales team to move opportunities from one stage to another by simply dragging them.
Kanban views of opportunities

How to activate the Kanban Views in Dynamics 365?

  1. As a prerequisite, make sure the Dynamics 365 organisation instance on which you are working already has the 2020 Release Wave 1 activated on it. Refer to the following video blog by Business Applications MVP, Prashant Shukla, to activate the same – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfkSz2WCrqk&t=435s
  2. Once the 2020 Release Wave1 is activated on your instance, it is time to add the Kanban control to the Opportunity and Activity entity. To add the control:
  1. In your app, select the Settings icon, and then select Advanced Settings.Advanced Settings link in the site map
  2. The Business Management settings page opens in a new browser tab.
  3. On the navigation bar, select Settings and then under Customization, select Customizations.
  4. Select Customize the System.
  5. Under Components in the solution explorer, expand Entities and then select Opportunity or Activity.
  6. Go to the Controls tab and select Add Control.Read-only Grid control selected as default
  7. In the Add Control dialog box, select Kanban and then select Add.Add Control dialog box
  8. The Kanban control is added to the list of controls.
  9. The Read-only grid is the default option, so when users select Opportunities from the site map, they see a read-only grid of opportunities. To make the Kanban view the default view instead, select the radio button for the Kanban control for the corresponding options.Make the Kanban view the default view
  10. Select Save to save your changes.
  11. To publish the changes you’ve made, select Publish.

Limitations

There are a few customization limitations to keep in mind:

  • You can’t add or remove fields from the cards in the Kanban view columns (swim lanes).
  • It isn’t possible to have a role-based Kanban view.
  • The Activity Kanban view is only available for the Status field. You can’t configure the Activity Kanban view for an option set field other than ‘Status’.
  • For Opportunity Kanban view:
    • While you can customize the out-of-the-box ‘Opportunity Sales Process’ business process flow, you can’t customize the Kanban view to use a business process flow other than the Opportunity Sales Process.
    • The Status-based Opportunity Kanban view is only available for the Status field. You can’t configure this Kanban view for an option set field other than ‘Status’.
    • In the Opportunity Kanban view, aggregation is supported only for the Estimated Revenue field of the Opportunity entity. You can’t configure the Kanban view to have aggregation done on other fields.
  • Presently, the Kanban view is only supported in Opportunities & Activity entity and if you attempt to activate the Kanban control for any other entity like – Accounts, Quotes, Sales Orders….. or any other custom entity, you will get the following error when trying to view the list of records.

Finish setting up Dynamics 365 Trial

In my last post, Getting started with Dynamics 365 trial, I had covered some of the best practices to follow when starting with the new trial instance. Continuing further let’s look into finishing the setup, and starting the Digital Transformation journey at the “front of the house” i.e. the Sales module.

Just to pick up from where we left in the last part of this series, once the trial subscription form is submitted, the below screen will appear with a setup progress ring for a while, and once things have been setup, one should be good to click on the “Setup” button.

It is important to save the info displayed related to “Sign-in page” and “Your user ID”, and every time one needs to browse to the trial instance, they can either go to home.dynamics.com or portal.office.com to access the trial instance. Once browsed through any of the above, the Microsoft logon information may be asked, and that is where the “Your User ID” will be of use.

Next, click on the “Set up” button, pick the Microsoft account, if asked, and let the environment finish its job of finishing the setup for you. Once the setup is finished, I would suggest to hit the same URL from where we started – https://trials.dynamics.com – and this time, follow the obvious steps.

  1. Keep Dynamics 365 Sales module selected, as above.
  2. Provide the “Work email” with your new Microsoft User ID (e.g. akhil@akhildynamicsdemo.onmicrosoft.com)
  3. Provide the phone number that was provided at the time of trial subscription
  4. Click “GET STARTED >”

Following screen message may appear –

Click “OK, got it”.

The system will start setting up the Dynamics 365 Sales module. Once the setup is completed, the user may be redirected to the trial instance URL, which in this example case would be – https://akhildynamicsdemo.crm5.dynamics.com/main.aspx?forceUCI=1&pagetype=apps . The landing page for the trial instance may look like below-

As you would have already related to the fact that we have chosen to start our Dynamics 365 journey with the front of the house, i.e., Sales department, it would make sense to click the “Sales Hub” tile from the tile collection.

Sales Hub is the model-driven Power Apps which is built on the Unified Client Interface (UCI). For now, just remember that UCI is the way to go with Microsoft; we can get into the details of it in another post. And for a deeper understanding about Sales Hub, visit this link.

Voila! Welcome to the Sales Hub 🙂

Let us stop here for the sake of newbies trying to start their Dynamics 365 journey for the first time. In the next post, we will go deeper into subscribing and configuring the surround productivity tools like Office 365 components – Mail, Outlook, One Note, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, etc. Cheers!

Global Power Platform Bootcamp, Singapore – 2020 : Session on Dynamics Marketing

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Get started with Dynamics 365 Trial

Your Digital Transformation journey starts here!

Dynamics 365 Business Applications are a set of enterprise applications that can help an organisation of any size digitally transform itself. There are several different functional areas where an organisation can invest itself and adopt the latest and the greatest of the technologies. However, to start with the evaluation, incubation, laying hands and deciding to adopt, one needs to start with the trial of the application suite.

In this post I will start with hand holding the business users and technocrats to start with this trial and evaluation journey.

To start with the trial of Dynamics 365 Business Applications, you can look to start the journey at https://trials.dynamics.com

While it may seem pretty obvious to select one of the tiles which closely relates to the functional area or module you may be interested in, viz, – Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Automation, F&O, Business Central, HR or Retail….. and selecting your Work email & Phone number, more often than not, it would not help you if you are setting up the trial as a freelancer, demonstrator or the person trying to build a test demo trial.

So, what is the other way?

You see the tiny statement between the tiles and Work email, that says –

Click on “Sign up here” and it will give you a pop-up like this,

As it is obvious, we may not be interested to sign up as a partner or Microsoft Employee (because the former has some amount of checks & rules to abide to, latter may not be the case mostly), so click on “No, continue signing up”. This would bring us to the following page, and this is where we can start creating a new trial.

In the form, select the region you want your trial to be churned in, provide the First & Last Names, and when it comes to “Business Email address”, you may provide your personal Hotmail, Gmail or other mail provider email address. I would suggest you to still provide your real “Company Name” to be gentle to Microsoft Sales who apply a lot of intelligence tools to understand the pattern of trial subscriptions and potential sales opportunity (we owe this much to them in return of a lot of good stuff in the trial). Also, provide a realistic organization size & click “Next”. This will take us to the next step as below –

Select the Username of your choice and needs, e.g., Admin or Albert or Brian or Rachel, select the “Yourcompany” part of the account as something may be “abccompanydemo” or “akhilsalestrial” or anything that may make sense to the purpose your are building the trial instance for. My strong suggestion is to use the words “demo” or “trial” in the company name, to make it easier for everyone to relate to the purpose of this being “non-business” or “non-production”.

Pick a password of your choice, everyone understands the discipline to pick a strong password….. 🙂

At this point, you may want to decide if your trial journey would eventually get converted to a production subscription or you may want Microsoft to line up its partners to reach out to you for your implementation needs. If the answer is ‘Yes’, do not forget to check the checkbox before clicking on “Create my account”.

I would stop here for this part of the blog post, keeping in view that someone looking to quickly start with a Dynamics trial may find the long post overwhelming. I will cover the steps to pick up the right functional area as part of the trial setup, in my next post. Cheers! 🙂