What are Task Flows?
Task flows is a ‘mobile-only’ feature and is currently a preview feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update. The task flows is a category of the business process flow that lets the users focus on the tasks they need to perform, not the records they need to interact. They guide the users through a set of screens that provides them with a streamlined structure that leads to a conclusion of some kind. You can think of task flows as a business process flow for mobile apps.
Where does Task Flows fit in?
Some of the most common activities performed by customer facing professionals on a mobile phone include making and receiving calls (of course!), getting more insights about the customer on apps such as LinkedIn, capturing notes and tasks for future actions, and yes, tweeting and “facebooking”. Using the Dynamics CRM Phone app would be the last thing in their mind. There could be two reasons to this:
- Disconnected experience – The kind of insights that a social media platform provides to the users is not available on a CRM mobile app. What if all this information is immersed in a single app? This doesn’t exist today.
- Interaction with records – If instead of having to navigate to multiple records to capture information, they were given a ‘wizard’ which helps them to verify and capture additional information in a very quick and easy way, would they be willing to use the CRM Phone app? I think so. This is where the task flows come into picture.
Configuration of a Task Flow
Like any other preview feature, this feature is not supported by Microsoft and is available on an opt-in basis. Customers can opt-in by navigating to Settings > Administration > System Settings > Preview Tab and read and agree to the licence terms and enable the ‘Enable Task Flows for Mobile Preview’ option.
Once this is done, you can navigate to Settings > Processes to configure a task flow. When the preview is enabled, there are three out-of-the-box task flows available under the Processes view.
To create a Task Flow, you need to select the category as ‘Business Process Flow’. You are presented with a new option named ‘Business Process Type’ wherein you choose to run the process as a classic business process flow or as a task flow.
Let me open an existing task flow and walk you through the various components of the task flow designer. The designer is similar to the designer used for business process flows. Unlike the business process flow, task flows let you add set a photo icons that can be viewed from a CRM Phone app.
Setting an Image
You can set an image or a photo icon for the task. These photo icons or images need not be a web resource meaning which a user who has permissions to configure a workflow can set.
Here’s how the photo icon looks like when viewed from the CRM Phone app.
The task flow designer has additional controls such as providing a page label and a section label. These are provided to guide the user through a set of screens rather than displaying them as a set of records.
Here’s how the pages and the sections look like on the CRM Phone App:
Tasks Flows, just like Business Process flows, is a great tool for guiding the users through a process. It is useful in scenarios where the users are currently using their phone app to update details in CRM and would prefer a more process-centric approach than a data centric approach. One drawback with the current design is that the task flows are not contextual i.e. they don’t run under a context of a record. Users need to start liking a feature when they start using it. The current design introduces additional click and search e.g. search for the appointment record or a contact record, which is not efficient and may eventually lead to users not using the feature. However, the feature is still in a preview stage, and we can expect additional enhancements when this feature is eventually released. Do provide your feedback to the product team on this feature on Connect.