Proven Customisation Best Practices for Dynamics 365 CRM Admins

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Proven Customisation Best Practices for Dynamics 365 CRM Admins

As a CRM admin manager, you know first-hand the power of customising Dynamics 365 to unlock its full potential for your organisation. But without following best practices, customisations can become an obstacle rather than an asset.

By optimising workflows, automating processes, and enhancing experiences, you can tailor Dynamics to address your unique business needs.

However, to ensure your customisations deliver value and align with your goals over time, it’s essential to approach them strategically.

Let’s explore some best practices for customising Dynamics effectively, from clearly defining requirements to testing thoroughly, so you can feel confident your solutions will improve productivity rather than cause headaches down the road.

With the right approach, you can build customisations that can be easily adapted and evolve with your organisation.

Define Your Customisation Goals and Requirements

Before diving into customisations, it’s crucial to clearly define your goals and requirements. Start by identifying the specific areas of the system that require customisation and the outcomes you want to achieve.

For instance, this could include modifying existing entities, creating custom tables, or implementing custom business processes. Document your requirements and prioritise them based on their expected impact.

Start With Out-of-the-Box Functionality

Dynamics and the Microsoft Power Platform offers a wide range of out-of-the-box functionality to address many business needs and usage scenario.

Before opting for customisations, explore the native features and configurations available within the system.

This approach can save time, effort, and will avoid potential complexities associated with custom development.

Configuring out-of-the-box functionality will ensure compatibility with future updates and reduces the risk of introducing custom code that may require the burden of additional maintenance.

Follow Solution Layering and Segmentation

When customising Dynamics 365, it’s important to follow a solution layering and segmentation approach.

Instead of making changes directly in your production environment, create a separate development or sandbox environment to firstly deploy customisations.

This allows you to safely test and validate customisations without impacting the live system.

Utilising solution packages to package and deploy customisations will ensure a structured and manageable deployment process.

Implement Customisations with Future Upgrades in Mind

When customising your system, avoid making changes to its core functionality that may conflict with future updates.

Instead, focus on using supported extension points, such as plugins, workflows, or JavaScript libraries, to ensure compatibility with future releases.

Regularly review and update your customisations to align with the latest version of Dynamics 365.

A specialist Microsoft partner such as ServerSys will support you in understanding how upcoming releases could impact your system. These may require some customisations to be adapted but could also reveal opportunities to replace customisations when new functionality is available.

Adopt a Modular Approach

Customising Dynamics in a modular fashion ensures a flexible and scalable system. By breaking customisations into smaller, manageable components it allows for easier maintenance, reusability, and scalability.

This approach also means you can add or remove customisations based on evolving business needs, without disrupting the overall system functionality.

Engage Stakeholders

When customising Dynamics, involve key project stakeholders throughout the process.

Their input will be invaluable to understand specific requirements, user preferences, and usability considerations.

Conduct workshops or user interviews to gather feedback and validate customisations. This collaborative approach ensures that customisations align with business needs and enhance end-user experiences to drive adoption.

Test Customisations Thoroughly

Develop a comprehensive testing strategy that covers all aspects of your customisations, including functionality, integration, performance, and user acceptance. Conduct unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing to validate the customisations against defined requirements. Test in both the development environment and a representative production-like environment to identify and address any potential issues before deploying to the live system.

Provide Training and Documentation

Customisations may introduce new features or changes to existing processes. Depending on the scope and impactful nature of your customisation, to ensure adoption it may be helpful to provide wider training and documentation for end users.

This may include developing user guides, process documentation, and training materials that explain how customisations work and how they align with business processes.

This activity should educate users on the customisations and address any questions or concerns they may have.

Regularly Review and Refine Customisations

Customisations should be treated as an ongoing process rather than a one-time effort.

Regularly review and refine your customisations to ensure they continue to meet your evolving business needs. Solicit feedback from users, monitor system performance, and assess the impact of customisations on overall productivity.

It’s also worthwhile regularly reviewing new features and Microsoft updates to identify opportunities for further optimisation or enhancement.

Adopting best practices will save time and produce better outcomes

By following the best practices outlined in this blog post you can ensure successful customisations that enhance user experiences.

ServerSys are here to support you in making continuous improvements to your system. Please contact us to for an initial discussion to explore how we can help you increase the impact of Dynamics 365.

May 17, 2023

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Dan Norris - Communications Manager ServerSys

Daniel Norris

Daniel Norris is the communications manager for ServerSys. His role is to bring you the latest updates, tips, news and guides on Dynamics 365.

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