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Understand Business Process Flow Timers

Understand Business Process Flow Timers

How long is your sales cycle? Is this a question you are commonly asked and need to answer? If you said yes, Dynamics 365 has made it a little easier for you to answer that question now using Business Process Flows.

Business Process Flows have had some significant improvements in Dynamics 365. One feature which has often been requested is the ability to see how long a process has been in a stage as well as how long it took to complete. Dynamics 365 has taken this into consideration and not only displays the timers on the Business Process Flow for the current stage but also the total time spent in the business process flow. In addition, Dynamics 365 also stores the historical data for the total time to complete the business process flow in an entity. This stored data can be used for business intelligence and potential process improvement. Let's take a look:

In the example below, the Opportunity is currently in the Develop stage of the Opportunity Sales Process for 6 days.

In addition, we can see that this opportunity has been in the Opportunity Sales Process for a total of 13 days and 21 hours.

business process flow

Dynamics 365 now creates an entity for the Opportunity Sales Business Process Flow and creates a record for each instance of the business process. In this entity, Dynamics 365 keeps track of data relevant to the business process flow which can be used for business intelligence, among other purposes.

While the time in the Current Stage is not stored, the total time spent for the Sales Process will be stored in the entity with the Business Process Flow name (Opportunity Sales Process, in our example) when the Opportunity Sales Process is completed by the user. We can use an Advanced Find to query this data:

business process flow

Note that Duration is only populated once the Business Process Flow is Completed or Aborted.

business process flow







With this data readily available to us we can now begin to understand more about how long it takes to move through a business process from start to finish.

Comma Delimited String of Process Stage IDs That Represent Visited Stages of the Business Process Flow Instance:

Although, not a timer, another potentially beneficial data point captured in the business process flow instance entity is the path that was taken to get to the closure of the process. This field captures the stages which were visited while the completing the business process. This helps understand if stages were skipped when analyzing the process.

Note: If a user moves back a stage and then moves forward once again, the system does not capture the movement back and forward in this field.







Search our blog for more helpful posts about Business Process Flows here!

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

One comment on “Understand Business Process Flow Timers”

  1. "While the time in the Current Stage is not stored" - This is correct, but it does displays the time spent in current stage. Do you know what is the field name which holds that value ? We can use a script to capture that value and store it in our custom field for time reporting stage wise. Thanks

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