If you use flowcharts in your organisation this is the blog post for you.
The inspiration came from reading Ryan Maclean’s blog post where he reflected on the importance of articulating a process logically through a flowchart. Ryan creates his flowchart using Microsoft Visio which is loved by many including myself. Go check it, it’s tea-riffic.
In the Microsoft Office suite there are “siblings.” Microsoft Excel was initially released in 1987 and then its adopted younger sibling came into the picture in 1992. These two siblings seem to have gotten closer over the years and have become more advanced.
Today, I’m excited to share with you the power of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Visio to create data–driven process mapping flowcharts.
Data-driven process mapping flowcharts. Yeah, exactly.
Watch my vlog and be prepared to be amazed by what you see.
Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Visio
Even though I am a Dynamics 365 consultant, I’ve always supported Microsoft products as I grew up with it in my household. My dad taught me Microsoft Excel when I was little and eventually I came across Microsoft Visio in highschool. I never thought I’d be using the two together years later.
Like Ryan, I use Microsoft Visio for what I do as a consultant. If it’s available to you, try it out.
My first encounter with the two siblings playing together nicely was back in NZ where I learnt that I can define the shape data and the data graphic to create a Microsoft Visio template file that can link data to the shapes from an Excel spreadsheet.
Back then I used to work as a Sales Administrator for the General Manager of Sales and I created a Sales “pursuit” template that allowed the salesperson to colour code the existing platforms or the targeted to-be platforms of a client. The data was entered in an Excel spreadsheet by the salesperson and all they needed to do was link it to the Microsoft Visio template file. Microsoft Visio then associated the rows to the shapes and the shape formatting kicked in automatically. The sales team then had a visualization of each client they were pursuing.
Fast forward nine years and now you can create data-drive flowcharts from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It’s truly amazing and if you’ve read the Microsoft Business Applications release notes, soon you’ll be able to create Microsoft Flows from Microsoft Visio.And yes, I am a nerd when it comes to Microsoft Visio in case you hadn’t worked that out already 😁
How can I use the export to Microsoft Visio feature from Microsoft Excel?
You need a Visio Online Plan 2 licence with an Office 365 subscription. Below is a screenshot of what the pricing looks like in Australian dollars.
Remember, to take advantage of creating Microsoft Flows from Microsoft Visio in the future you will need Visio Online Plan 2.
When you open Excel, search for “process” and there will be two templates you can choose from:
Process Map for Basic Flowchart
Process Map for Cross-Functional Flowchart
Select the template that suits you.
Once the template loads there will be tabs that are self-explanatory.
Visio data visualizer tab
This is an introduction to the template.
Understand the Process Map tab
This will outline what you need to know when entering your process into the table in the third tab.
Basically it tells you what the definitions are in the table. I’m not going to re-write the explanations here as it’s straightforward to understand in the tab.
Process Map tab
In this tab this where you enter in your process steps. By default there will always be two rows so you need to remember that when you add your steps, the first start step needs to point to the next process step id otherwise it will continue to point to the default “Stop” step.
Ready to have a part-tea in Visio?
Once all your information is entered into the Process Map tab you can now hit the magic button in the Design tab. The magic button is “Export table to Visio Diagram.”
Microsoft Visio will then load shortly followed by your flowchart based on the data entered in the Microsoft Excel source file.
You can then adjust
the positioning of any shapes that look out of line
the positioning of text
As seen in my vlog, if you insert a new shape into the flowchart in Microsoft Visio, you also have the ability to update the source Microsoft Excel file.
If you also update the source Microsoft Excel file with new process steps by adding new rows, you also have the ability to update the Microsoft Visio flowchart.
Truly amazing what the Microsoft Product Group team has created. Power of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Visio!
I had some trouble installing Microsoft Visio from Office 365 as I had a conflicting version of Office products installed.
I uninstalled through programs and features.
What to do if you can’t install after downloading from Office 365?
In my case, not all the files were uninstalled through program and features. I then had a phone call with Office 365 support to help me through it. Also, Office 365 support was awesome. The lady who helped me was great.
She pointed me to this link to run a program to take care of uninstalling all the files for you. I used “Option 2 – Completely uninstall Office 2016 with the easy fix tool.”
The next thing I was advised to do is to use the diagnostics tool to install the Office suite first, followed by Microsoft Visio. The rest is magic and it works.
If you didn’t know this existed, now you do. It helped me with my installation issues.
There also seems to be a tool available for Dynamics 365 which is interesting. I took a quick peek and looks like you can have assistance with the Dynamics 365 Outlook Client.
What if you can’t see the Export table to Visio diagram button as seen in my vlog?
You need to opt in for the monthly channel for the Office 365 suite to make use of the new features available. To do this, you can head over to this link and download the program to help you switch from Semi-Annual Channel to Monthly Channel for the Office 365 suite.
To create data driven flowcharts from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, you need Visio Online Plan 2 to be able to export to Microsoft Visio. You can have two sources of data and whether you update either source, it will always be reflected by its sibling. You may think why have both an Excel spreadsheet and a Microsoft Visio file? Why not only one? Well here’s my final thoughts
the Excel spreadsheet can be handy as it can provide the information in a tabular format
you may have users who are not familiar with creating flowcharts. They can start with entering the logic into an Excel spreadsheet and then export to Microsoft Visio for the diagram
for beginners with Microsoft Visio, it’s not a bad way to introduce them to it and understand the underlying concept of a flowchart
If you’re happy with creating only the Microsoft Visio file, then you can continue to do so. However since I’ve tried this out, I love it and I know it’s going to make my documentation easier.
Tips for installing Dynamics 365 for Marketing Trial solution : If you encounter the error in the image below when configuring the solution via Dynamics 365 Administration Center in your D365 trial env, then follow the steps below: 1. Assign yourself a Office 365 Enterprise E3 trial license or if you don’t have any, sign up for one 2. Go to trials.dynamics.com 3. Select Marketing, enter the same email and phone used for Office 365 and select Get Started. This should provision a Marketing Dynamics 365 Trial solution and allows you to connect to your existing D365 trial environment #tip#msdyn365#trials
The Dynamics 365 Community is collaborating to improve Industry Solutions and Digital Transformation
Dynamics 365 Saturday is a free Technical & Strategy Event Organised by the Microsoft Dynamics Community MVP’s For CRM and ERP professionals, technical consultants & developers. Learn & share new skills whilst promoting best practices, helping organisations overcome the challenges of implementing a successful digital transformation strategy with Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Dynamics 365 Saturday will replace CRM Saturday to provide a single platform to serve the whole Dynamics 365 community, The core customer experience values and ethics of CRM Saturday will continue to live on through 365 Saturday with the rest of the Dynamics Community.
The Primary Mission of CRM Saturday is to improve Success rates of CRM Implementation by addressing technical and strategic challenges with the community and raising the awareness for soling these issues. CRM Saturday provided CRM and Dynamics 365 professionals and users with insights and training to improve CRM implementation and networking opportunities to keep develop, grow and encourage new speakers and community contributors and open source initiatives. The event is usally split into 2 tracks, Technical and Strategy. The Technical track addresses the specific technical challenges when addressing Dynamics 365. The Strategy track aims to address the challenges faced by CEO’s and Project managers in achieving change across an entire organisation.
The Technical Track is suitable for Dynamics CRM Developers and Technical Consultants who are responsible for Extending, Customizing, and Administrating the CRM Solutions.
The Strategy Track is suitable for Project Managers as well as those responsible for Sales, Marketing & Customer Service. Focus is more on the challenges of Practically implementing CRM within organisations and driving User adoption. We also showcase how to technology to solve common business challenges.
Management of CRM Saturday
The CRM Saturday brand name, logo and website are managed by the CRM Saturday Event Board, which consists of a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the initial concepts of CRM Saturday and encouraging the growth of CRM Events around the world. They support organizers of local events by providing the support and resources for organizers to run a CRM Saturday event. Event organizers take full ownership of their events. CRM Saturday provides focus on providing speakers, Venue and Event management to make each CRM Saturday event successful and ensures all events stay true to the grassroots nature of CRM Saturday. All sponsorship funds collected by events go to the event.
To all Power App noobies (like me) who wants to have a go but do not know where to start, check out the tutorial below (first chapter, there are more). Very easy and fun way to learn using an App built on Power App itself. 🙂
As I approach 18 months of my time at Barhead I can’t help but reflect on the incredible journey it has been. I remember knocking on Ken Struthers door and asking for a role (which didn’t exist at the time but that’s another story) as I was excited with his vision for his company. I wanted to get on board and be part of the Barhead Team, to be part of the initial team that will one day soon, see Barhead becoming the number #1 Microsoft Dynamics Partner in Australia. In a short amount of time (we are talking 2yrs) the company acquired Gold Microsoft Partner status within 6mths and went on to win the ISV Partner of the Year award in 2016/2017 at the Microsoft Inspire Conference. From there we formed a Telstra Partnership to enable clients to use Telstra tech funds on projects as well as recently becoming a Microsoft P Seller.
We have continued to grow and expand our presence in Melbourne and Brisbane. Along the way, we have delivered over 25 new Microsoft Dynamics 365 projects to our clients in various industry sectors, we’ve set sail on the beautiful Pilgrim yacht watching sunsets with our partners, clients and guests and recently we were recommended on stage by our clients at the Microsoft Business Forward event in Melbourne earlier this month.
To say I’m proud to be part of this winning team is an understatement! I’ve learnt so much along the way and formed some amazing relationships with my team, Microsoft, my clients and partners in our network. I feel inspired each day to come to work and make a difference. This is why I choose to work at Barhead. I am presented with opportunities and am challenged each day (because let’s face it, projects don’t always go to plan), rather than shy away from difficult situations, it’s become my platform to continue my personal and business development growth. Life is too short to be unhappy at work, find something you enjoy doing and make each day count.
“In this vlog I show you how to prevent users in seeing the Search feature of Dynamics 365. Other entities and custom entities can’t be enabled yet for Search and I often get asked by customers to hide/remove the search feature so that users don’t see it. This is achieved by updating a Site Setting record. No code is required.” by Elaiza Benitez
For more information or to contact us email@example.com or 1300 DYN 365
Dynamics 365 is so much more than old-school CRM. With the Spring 18 release we will be working with a complete Customer Engagement solution, enabling you to engage with your customers from the very first anonymous contact with a potential customer through to maximising lifetime customer value. #MSDyn365#MSBizApps#MSFT#barheadsolutions
Tech tip: Learn how to update the redeem invitation URL successfully in the Send Invitation workflow for #dynamicsportals New #benitezherevlog #msdyn365 #tip #barheadsolutions. Cheers Elaiza Benitez for sharing!
By Alexandra Tucker
March 21st, 2018
Lisa Crosbie, Pre-Sales Consultant @ Barhead
This short webinar will demonstrate how you can use Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Outlook to view information about your customers, and your recent activities with them without leaving your email application. You will learn how to link emails, tasks and appointments to records in Dynamics 365, and how to create new leads or contacts in Dynamics 365 directly from Outlook. You will also see how this enables you to get a 360-degree view of customer communications in Dynamics 365, and how the new Relationship Assistant in Dynamics 365 can draw your attention to important emails using sentiment analysis. This will be valuable for anyone looking for transparency over communication with customers across their organisation, and anyone who would like to understand more about working with an integrated email and customer relationship management system with sentiment analysis. It will be presented as a 10 minute webinar demonstration, with Q&A following.
Registration for this event will open soon. Contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org 1300 DYN 365
By Alexandra Tucker
March 13th, 2018
All welcome to attend the Microsoft Dynamics 365 User Group monthly events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Join us for the March Dynamics 365 User Group at our regular venue based at KPMG, Barangaroo, Sydney!
For this month’s meetup, I (Leon Tribe) will be giving a review of what happened at this year’s MVP Summit at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, which runs the week before the Meetup.
While the Summit is under strict NDA, I promise to provide a few tidbits and steer you on the right path in regards to the future of Dynamics 365.
KPMG are sponsoring the drinks and food so come along, learn a few things, and have a drink and a nibble with us.
Elaiza Benitez, Barhead Soltutions, Functional Consultant gives our clients a helpful and informative video with hyperlinks and 20 other things you can do with helper text in #dynamicsportals using Web Form Metadata.
For more information contact Barhead: email@example.com 1300 DYN 365
By Alexandra Tucker
February 13th, 2018
Barhead support the Microsoft Dynamics 365 User Group (Melbourne) @ Microsoft Offices on a monthly basis.
Our first Melbourne #msdyn365 User Group of 2018 is next Tuesday. We have Nadeeja and Sarosh presenting on Dynamics 365 Field Services and the wonderful Lisa Crosbie on emojis in Dynamics 365. To kick-off we will be interviewing local MVP Nadeeja, comment below for questions you want to ask! RSVP today at https://lnkd.in/gYFmtA8 PS: we are always looking for presenters so if you are keen on presenting in-person or remotely please let us know!
Get in touch if you’d like to come along.
By Alexandra Tucker
February 7th, 2018
Brisbane Dynamics 365 User Group
“For our first meetup of 2018 we have Mirko from BUSSQ Building Super who have reinvented their core business model and has embarked on a Digital Transformation Journey”
Recently, Andre had a tricky question: Can you create a view that is displaying records that are either owned by a team or the users that are a member of that particular team.
Use “Alias” + FetchXML editing using XrmToolBox (View Designer + FetchXML Builder).
The Longer Answer
The typical answer to the above scenario would be querying the record with the criteria as “Owner ID = the team OR related Owner (user) is a team member of the team”. Using the Advanced Find query, typically this is the query…
However, it seems we can’t group the “main” criteria and the Linked-Entity criteria. Looks like we are stuck here… Worry not, there is a trick for that. So, before I go to the solution here are some setups to set the background.
I have 3 users in my instance:
And I’ve set 2 teams for the testing purpose:
Team A with myself and Test User 1 as the member.
And Team B with Test User 2 as the member.
Now I have some records for testing purpose:
So, when based on the query to see the Team A records, I would expect to see 3 records there. Using the initial query (above) will return no result, as it is treated as ‘AND’ operation.
To start with, I’ll export the FetchXML out of my initial query, it will look like this:
Now the trick is to use the “alias” of the related team entity to form the FetchXML like this:
As you can see above, we are able to set the condition in the “main” filter and set the operator to OR. Below is the result of the fetch… it works as expected 🙂
Now, I want to put the query to the view, how to do that?
I’ll use XrmToolBox’s View Designer to modify the FetchXML of the view. In my case, I’ve setup a Test Query view. Click on the Edit Query, this will open up the FetchXML builder.
Copy & Paste the FetchXML that we had tested previously into the FetchXML window, if you wish, you could test execute the query. Then click on the “Return FetchXML” button up there to go back to the View Designer.
Then click on Save and then Publish..
And here’s the result:
Follow Andre on his blog for more tools and tricks or follow Barhead on Linked in / 1300 DYN 365 / firstname.lastname@example.org