Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 – Business Process Flow

Editor’s note: The following post was written by Dynamics CRM MVP Donna Edwards

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 - Business Process Flow 

In this article, I will explore the new Business Process Flow (BPF) feature and provide some examples of how you can customize it to fit an organization’s need. 

Dynamics CRM 2013, BPFs have many beneficial qualities.  They are available for out-of-the-box (OOB) and custom entities, can span across multiple entities, you can create multiple BPFs for a particular business process, can be role based, can be included in solutions for export and import, and work in the browser, Outlook Client and Tablets. 

A key purpose of a BPF is to guide users through a specific business process to completion.  A BPF is useful in several ways to include but not limited to:

  • Highly configurable to meet the needs of any Organization
  • Ensure that a set of steps are completed for a specified business process
  • Jump stages if needed
  • Track and report on progress
  • Support the establishment of efficient, effective and repeatable processes
  • Guide existing and new employees through the process
  • Support quick, on-boarding of new hires

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 comes with three OOB BPF’s; two are related to sales and one to service.  Let’s begin by briefly exploring the out-of-the-box Phone to Case BPF. 

To view the OOB BPF’s, select Settings and Processes from the top navigation menu.


Select All Processes and open the Phone to Case BPF


Before proceeding, let’s make a copy of the BPF by selecting the Save As button from the top navigation menu.


After making the selection, a new BPF window will open with a newly created BPF named Phone to Case Process (Copy).  The new process will be in draft or inactive status.  We can change the name of the process by selecting the Expand / Collapse chevron from the right side of the process window.


Let’s change the Process Name to “Case Resolution” by replacing “Phone to Case Process (Copy)” with the new name.  Select Save from the top navigation menu and then select the Collapse chevron. 

When viewing the Case Resolution Process BPF, you will notice that there are three stages; Identify, Research, Resolve.  Each one of the stages contains multiple steps.  For example, the Identify Stage includes two Steps; Find a Customer, Find a Case.


Let’s take a look at what the Identify Stage looks like on a new Case record.  To create a new case record, select Service and Cases from the top navigation menu.  Select the Identify process stage from the newly created Case to view the steps:


From here you can complete a lookup for the Customer and Find any similar cases.  Completing those two steps, completes the Identify stage.

Next, let’s make some changes to the new BPF we created.

The first change we’ll complete is to make all of the steps in the Identify, Research and Resolve stages required with the exception of Assign to Others in the Research stage.  To do this, select the Required option on each of the Steps.


Next we are going to add a new Stage and name it Propose Solution.  You can add a new Stage by selecting the plus button next to the word Stages.


Once selected, a new Stage will be added to the bottom of the Stage list. Let’s update the name to Propose Solution, select Propose for the Stage Category, update Steps to display “Suggest a Solution”, select “Activities Complete” for the Field Value, and mark the Step as required.


The next change I want to make is to move the Propose Solution above the Resolve stage.  I can easily make that change by selecting the Move Up option from the bottom of the process form.


Once that is complete, our new BPF displays the Stages in the required order with resolve being the final stage in the process.


After completing the changes desired to the BPF, there are a few additional steps required to make the new process available for use. 

The first step step we’ll take is to enable security roles.  Select the Enable Security Roles button from the top menu.



Select the Enable for Everyone option and select OK. 


Now let’s change the order of the BPFs so our new BPF displays by default.  Select the Order Process Flow button.


Select the Case Resolution BPF from the list, select the green, Move Up arrow and select OK.


The final step is to Activate the process by selecting the Active button from the top menu.


The new BPF will apply to all newly created Cases,  by default, since we moved it to the top of the list. 

If you choose, you can apply the new Case Resolution BPF to existing Case records by opening a Case record, select the More button from the command bar, select the Switch Process from the drop down list and select the Case Resolution BPF from the list.


Be sure to test your new BPF by creating a new Case to ensure everything is working as expected.  You can make any additional changes needed by simply opening the BPF record.

I hope you enjoy the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Process Flow feature.   Be sure to share your favorite BPF features, tips and tricks with us. 


 About the author


Donna has been working with the Dynamics CRM application beginning with the 1.2 version to current.  She partners with all levels of an organization to develop and deliver flexible, scalable solutions that simultaneously address short-term business requirements and long-term strategic growth objectives.  Her skillset includes: Pre-Sales Support • Solution Architect • Functional Consulting • Client Relations • Requirements Definition & Analysis • Business Process Engineering • Process Improvement & Automation • Operational Streamlining.  She is very active in the Dynamics Community, answering in the MSDN Forums and an avid blogger.  Follow her on Twitter.


About MVP Monday

 The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager, formerly known as MVP Lead, for Messaging and Collaboration (Exchange, Lync, Office 365 and SharePoint) and Microsoft Dynamics in the US. She began her career at Microsoft as an Exchange Support Engineer and has been working with the technical community in some capacity for almost a decade. In her spare time she enjoys going to the gym, shopping for handbags, watching period and fantasy dramas, and spending time with her children and miniature Dachshund. Melissa lives in North Carolina and works out of the Microsoft Charlotte office.

Comments (16)
  1. Tommy Long says:

    Very nice page.<img src="…/" height="1" width="1" />

  2. Ankit Shah says:

    Hi Donna, nice article.

    I particularly like the way you have explained Phone to Case process.

    Keep it up.

  3. Saima says:

    Hi.  Thank you for the informative blog. As we see that CRM 2013 allows creating multiple Business process flows (BPF) for an entity, I have a question in this regard.  For example: if two BPF are created for Opportunity entity, can users use both process flows simultaneously for one opportunity….or they should use only one flow depending on the opportunity type.

    In our company while salesperson works on an opportunity, the accounts/operations team also gathers certain info about that opportunity.  As the BPF for salesperson is available already, we want to create a separate BPF only for the accounts/operations team.  Will it be possible if we use both process in parallel for one opportunity record?  Thanks in advance.

  4. Eli Stutz says:

    BPF adds some great new functionary around Dynamics CRM processes. What we've found as that for more complex processes, for example, those which have two branches, looping or integration with other systems (SharePoint, ERP), a BPM suite that integrates with Dynamics CRM is required. Just so happens we have such a solution:…/bpm-for-dynamics-crm

  5. Glen says:

    I'll also add to Saima's question, which is the same thing but I want to make Business Processes dependant on a type within the opportunity, or a type with the Account record ("New Customer Process" only when AccountType=Customer , or "Account Development Process" only when Develop field is checked.

    Is this possible?

    Thanx in Advance

  6. Glen says:

    Well, researching and posting at the same time, Now I realize you can 'switch' processes, which is great (Switch command from task bar), so now I need to find out if I can switch via JS or Business Rules….


  7. jennifer says:

    KBS Training Institute, objective of providing training in ERP especially Microsoft Dynamics AX,CRM,NAV. KBS Training Institute have attained the Learning Solutions Competency in Microsoft  Dynamics AX,CRM,NAV.

  8. Holger says:

    Hi, thanks for the nice manual.

    One question: which field do I need to chose to get the stage information for the opportunity?

    I have troubles having a working representation of the process stage in a list view.

  9. Imad Hajjar says:

    Very nice post, thank you Donna and Melissa! We also write a page, but in french, about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 that you could visit on :…/microsoft-dynamics-crm-2013

    and also, at our company, we have the sole MVP in France: Tanguy Touzard; you know him maybe.

  10. Ryan Dorn says:

    @Holger to pull the business process fields like process name, stage name and category into a view you need to select "Stage ID (process stage)" from the record type drop down in the view editor.  Those fields are in a related entity so you can pull them into a view of any entity involved in a process (ie if you have a process that goes from lead to opportunity you can pull the process attributes into a view of both entities)

  11. Naveeed Saqib says:

    How can I track the Stage Changed On (date and time)? This is needed for analysis of how long an opp. stayed in a certain Stage.

  12. Larry Lentz [CRM MVP] says:

    Great post, Donna. Doing a little last minute refreshing for the Customization exam

  13. Aditya Patil says:


    But what if I don't wanna include particular security role in Identify and Research stage? This can be a part of 3rd stage directly, Is this possible?

    Thanks in Advance 🙂

  14. Gopichand says:

    Do we have any SDK extensions in setting the BPF and its stages in plugin.I have a requirement to clone a lead and opportunity which follows a single BPF.But with plugin iam able to create a new opportuntiy and associate it with a new Lead ,but was not able to navigate to lead to opportunity or from opportunity or lead using BPF


  15. Veerle Swartebroekx says:

    Thanks for this super-well explained page!

  16. Pavel says:

    Thanks for this post!

Comments are closed.

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