Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guided Tasks

Learning Paths are a new feature in Microsoft Dynamics 365 that are designed to help on-board new users.

In our previous post we featured Learning Path Sidebars and how these can be configured to help users gain familiarity with the application.

With this release of Dynamics 365, Guided Tasks are the other type of learning path content.

Guided Tasks consist of a series of pop up bubbles to guide users through record forms, process flows and other aspects of the Dynamics 365 interface.

The aim is to provide new users additional support within the UI to help them get up to speed and navigate processes that will help them gain familiarity with the application, and ultimately consistently complete tasks accurately.

Guided Tasks can provide a reminder of items covered during training to reinforce these points and minimise support demands, especially from users who are new to the system.

In comparison to Sidebars, Guided Tasks are a sequence of steps demonstrating action that a user will need to follow to complete or advance a business process.

Before building a new Guided Task we'll start by looking at the four types of bubble available:

Bubble with Next Button

This is a simple pop-up bubble with an arrow as the next step.

This might be directed to a Dynamics 365 field, a menu item or another CRM action to give users more information and context about this.

In the example above, the bubble points to a step in a lead qualification process flow. This prompts a user to associate a new lead with a contact record in the event that the lead relates to an existing customer.

This is just one of a series of steps in the Guided Task so a next arrow appears directing users to the next bubble in this series.

The current stage in the guided path is shown at the foot of the bubble enabling users to see progress at a glance.

Bubble with User Action

This variation of the Next Button differs by requiring users to take a defined action before they can progress to the next step.

This type of bubble will be pinned to a clickable control within the Dynamics 365 user interface such as a link or button.

In the example above, the guided task will only progress when a user clicks the Purchase Timeframe field. 

Once this is done, they will move on to the next learning bubble in the Guided Task.

It is important to note that if a page changes, or if another UI change occurs as a result of this action, any further steps in the guided learning must be pinned in the context of that changed state.

For example, if action this item directs users to a new page the next bubble in the sequence must be applied to this target page. 

Simulate User Action

In comparison to the User Action bubble this option enables users to progress to the next step in the Guided Task by either clicking the required item in the user interface, or clicking the next arrow.

Bubble With Learn More

This step can be used to conclude a Guided Task as it features a customisable button that will direct users to a learning path Sidebar which can be configured to share more information and resources about the process.

Creating a New Guided Task

To get started a new Guided Task will be created from the learning path content library:

In this example we will create a learning path that will guide users through the process to create a new case record.

In the main settings shown below the guided process has been configured to run when the target page loads. Another option could be to start this when a sidebar link is clicked:

In the main settings, the new guided task is applied to CRM users in the 'Customer Service Rep' security role.

As a result, this will only be displayed for this role type, for example Service Manager

This is an important difference from traditional help as Learning Paths are contextual to each organisation. This adapts to fit individual roles, the current page or record, and even which type of device is used.

The series of bubbles that will form the new Guided Task can now be defined.

This will start with a Next Button bubble.

Upon selecting this option the tile will be dragged to the target item on a CRM form or page where the bubble will be shown. This screen should be selected before starting this process. 

In the above example, the Find Customer lookup has been selected and this bubble will instruct users to link a new case record to an existing Account record.

A header for this bubble is entered and supporting content can be applied as embedded text or video. 

For this example, the bubble is formatted with text.

Further bubbles will be added to complete this guided task sequence.

In some instances, you might want to adjust the location of the bubble, and specifically how this points to the target field or navigation item.

Select the bubble placement icon to edit this. For task bubble, the placement has been changed to display the item below the target field.

Having some variety in the placement of bubbles might increase the impact of the message but care is needed to avoid parts of bubbles falling outside the screen that prevents users from reading them.  

Another gotcha to avoid is when applying the 'User Action' or 'Simulate User Action' bubbles. 

If the required user action results in a look up field or a down-list being expanded this state will remain when the user progresses to the next bubble in the process.

As a result, avoid placing subsequent bubbles where they will be obscured by any expanded items from earlier steps.

Returning to our example, a complete series of bubbles has now been defined so the guided task can be previewed. This is shown in (silent) video below.

In the current release, the content of each bubble can easily be amended but there isn't an option to adjust the order sequence. 

New bubbles will only be added to the next step in the sequence, they can't be inserted at an earlier stage and there isn't a move up / down control currently. As a result, mapping out the Guided Task beforehand is strongly recommended.

The new Guided Task can be 'checked in' which enables other content authors to review and make changes, or this can be published to make it live on the system and available to appropriate Dynamics 365 users.

If you need any assistance in enabling and configuring a Guided Task or Sidebar learning path that we've featured in these posts please get in touch.

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