Category Archives: Business processes

Grand Theft User Group

My colleague Josh Knox (https://iamjoshknox.com/) and I attended the D365UG Summit event this week. On Friday afternoon, we showed up for a session called “How to Make Training a Success in Your D365FO Implementation.” Unfortunately, there was a scheduling snafu and no presenter.

We figured what the heck, let’s steal this thing and MC a discussion! Then a room full of smart end users gave us a lot of free great content. And since we’re in the spirit of stealing, we figured let’s take that content and make a blog post too!

Training Around Go-live

Probably the biggest issue raised by the group was how to support users during the go-live. It can be quite overwhelming for users to adopt a new system, and sometimes minor steps or deviations in the process can cause headaches.

Some of the ideas presented by the group for supporting the users included:

  • A dedicated triage room at go-live where users can meet with system experts and SMEs to immediately get help and have questions answered. Also, once they get answers, also provide documentation of the question and answer.
  • Ensure training scenarios include what to do when things go wrong.
  • Give end users visibility and training into how the system works beyond their individual scope by explaining other upstream and downstream processes.
  • Provide business context for the processes being done in Dynamics.
  • One idea was to not do that much training prior to go-live. Teach users some basics about Dynamics, but wait until they have actual business data to process and do the training then.

Avoid Burnout

Implementations are challenging as generally the people involved have extra work. Also, during a go-live users won’t be able to process things as fast as they could in their old system, creating work backlog and additional stress. It’s important to have strategies in place to mitigate this.

The user community came up with these strategies to help:

  • Have healthy lunch catered – eating poorly does not help stress levels.
  • Nominate one person as a captain to train others in their group; this person doesn’t necessarily need to be the group manager. Also, it may be beneficial to nominate this person based on their success learning Dynamics.
  • Prior to go-live, allow users to set aside a certain amount of time each day to learn.

Process Documentation

Everyone feels better about a new system with some reference materials, even if only for the most frequent processes.

Advice in this area was:

Keyboard Shortcuts

Teaching users keyboard shortcuts for high volume processes can greatly improve user efficiency.

Speed up your data entry by:

Validation (The Human Type)

Implementations are challenging! It’s so important to be supportive and understanding when going through this massive change, and to let people know some stress and frustration is a normal part of the process – and that you will all pitch in to get through it.

My first job was doing an implementation on Axapta 2.5 back in 2002. Never in my life have I had weirder dreams than during that six months. I had a dream where my friend and I were at a restaurant and he said, “I’ll have a Fanta with my waffles. Then I want to you kill me!” And then my brother wrote a song about it. And then he made a hiphop mix because my family is weird (https://soundcloud.com/matthewdean/fanta-hiphop-mix).

To reiterate, trust me when I say EVERYTHING you’re feeling is normal and you will make it through that go-live!

 

 

 

Killing Me Softly With Task Guides

Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to help users with simple guides for doing the most common tasks in AX 2012. With the release of the new Dynamics AX (aka AX 7), a brand new task recorder feature set has been released. Task recorders now manifest as in-product help called Task guides.

Task guides are an amazing piece of technology and engineering. The whole experience is awesome for helping to train users and help them remember how to execute functions in Dynamics AX. For me it means the style of books I used to write is no longer needed; it’s time to find a new angle.

Creating a new task recording

Click on Settings (gear icon) > Task recorder.2016-02-28_18-05-57

Create a new recording.
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Give the recording a name and description. Click OK.
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Step through the process in AX. Each step will show up in the Task recorder window.
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Each step will have default text, but the text can be modified by clicking on the edit icon.
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When finished with the recording, click on the Stop button.
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Save the Task recording. The best option is to save to LCS (I’ll be blogging more about LCS in the future), but for purposes of this example Save to this PC.
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Playing the Task guide

Click on Settings (gear icon) > Task recorder.
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Play recording as guide to step through each step in Dynamics AX.
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Open the Task guide from this PCBrowse for the task recording file. Click on Open task guide then Start task guide.
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Now the cool part! AX will point exactly where to click for each step, and display any additional instructions supplied while recording the guide.
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Six Months of AX Content in One Post

Too many client go-lives and good summer weather have destroyed my blogging rhythm. So in a fit of craziness I decided to post every video from the incredible iPad manual “AX 2012 Core Financials”.

General Ledger Videos

Bank Management Videos

Accounts Receivable Videos

Accounts Payable Videos

Let me know in the comments how much time this buys me until I need to post again…

 

Project Setup – Validations

The final post in the Project setup series is on Validations. Validations limit the Workers or Categories that can be entered against a Project.

The videos in the Project setup are only part of the AX 2012 Projects textbook. Experience the whole manual including tips, step-by-step instructions, interactive screenshots, and videos; also, jokes, which an enthusiastic reader described to me as “sometimes funny.”

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