Process Flows

In this section of The CRM Book, we’ll cover the creation and management of Business Process Flows.

Tip! You can get an overview of business process flows and learn about working with flows that are already created in Working with Business Process Flows.

Business process flows offer powerful functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In this chapter, we’ll dive into more advanced topics on working with business process flows:

Creating Business Process Flows

The great thing about business process flows is that you do not have to be a developer or a CRM administrator to understand how to build a business process flow in CRM.

In order to create a new business process flow, a user must have adequate security permissions. This could mean the user has the security role of the Manager, Vice President, CEO-Business Manager, System Administrator, or System Customizer, or a security role with equivalent permissions.

The first step to creating your own business process flow is to navigate to the Settings area, and click on Processes.

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You will be shown a list of processes. To create a new one, on the Actions toolbar, click New.

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A window will pop up, prompting you to add in details of the process you are creating.

  1. Give the process a name
  2. Select the Category. There are four options to choose from–select Business Process Flow.
  3. Select the entity you want the business process flow to begin on.
  4. Select New blank process

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The next screen that pops up is where you design your business process flow. As you can see, it displays the name of the process, who the owner is (the user who created it), the primary entity, and the category which you chose upon creating the business process flow. You may also designate a description for the process at this point, with up to 2,000 characters.

The bottom half of the screen is where you will design your process by adding Stages and Steps, and choosing multiple entities if applicable.

You will also notice in the bottom left corner, that the status is Inactive.

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Now, you can begin adding stages and steps. Click the + symbol next to Stages and Steps to add a new one.

  • Name the stage
  • Select a stage category
  • Name the step
  • Select the field
  • Check the box to indicate if it is required before a user can move on to the next stage

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If your business process flow will span across multiple entities, select the additional entity. You can have up to five different entities in one process.

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At any time you may save the process as a draft at the top of the screen. Users will not be able to use or see the business process flow while it is a draft. They may use it once it is activated. Once you have added all of your desired stages and steps and have saved it, click on Activate at the top of the page in the actions toolbar.

Activating/Deactivating Business Process Flows

You may activate or deactivate business process flows at any time. To do this, you must have the required permissions. Then, you may navigate to Processes from the Settings area in the navigation menu.

You can display a list of  business process flows and see which ones are activated or deactivated in the Status column.

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Select a business process flow from the list. A new window with that process will pop up. Simply click on Deactivate to deactivate, or if it needs to be activated, you would see the Activate button.

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Switching Processes

As mentioned, there can be multiple business process flows associated with an entity. A user can choose to switch processes if they do not wish to use the default business process flow. You can do this by expanding your options with the ellipses in the Actions toolbar on the record. You will see an option to Switch Process.

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A new window will pop up displaying the currently activated and available  business process flows for that entity.

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Security Roles

Business process flows can be used by users with specific security roles. Here is where you can assign the different security roles who will have access:

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Things to remember

Business process flows are not automated processes in the sense that moving on to another stage does not necessarily eliminate some manual work. For example, in the out-of-the-box Lead to Opportunity flow, you still have to manually click on Qualify to qualify the lead. Simply clicking Next on the business process flow does not automatically qualify the lead for you. They truly are a meant to be a guide to a user, which may especially be helpful for new employees learning your business processes.