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Real World Tips for Deploying Successful Workflows in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

Making certain that business processes are executed consistently and rapidly is an ongoing challenge for any organization.  But as some Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 customers have learned, the real art to process automation with Dynamics CRM workflows is understanding both when to use them and when not to.  The right automation can improve efficiency and deliver real benefits, whereas the wrong automation can cause business processes to fail even faster than they would have before.

At a recent online meeting of the CRM User Group, Donna Edwards, CRM MVP, with VisionAIR, and Hansel Gillis with GreenStone Farm Credit Services, a Dynamics CRM customer, offered some tips and best practices around workflows based on their experiences.

"Before we started implementing even the functionality of workflows, deciding who would write the workflows and whether users could write their own was worked out in the business before hand to make sure we were taking the right strategic approach to workflows within CRM," said Gillis. "We recommend that. If you just jump in and start going and you don't have a strategic direction, it can cause some heartburn in your organization."

One of the key caveats regarding implementing workflow is to only automate processes that existed manually. If you can't manually do something in CRM then you shouldn't put a workflow around it, according to Gillis.

"And we also didn't want to use workflows to push out new procedure or policies," he said. "Make sure you know the outcome of what you're trying to do with a workflow. A workflow is only going to create things in a faster and more efficient way. But if what you're trying to create is garbage, ...

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.