Business Process Flow Changes in v. 9

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, an important feature of the Opportunity entity is the Business Process Flow as shown below.

It’s common for Sales organizations to leverage the corresponding field on the Opportunity entity, which is known as “Pipeline Phase” to use in dashboards, views, and reports. Below is a view that shows this field.

As you can see, the Pipeline Phase corresponds to the currently active business process flow phase in the chevron-based representation. (Potential Major Investment active Phase = “Qualify” and Pipeline Phase = “qualify.”

When a phase is advanced in the Business Process Flow, the Pipeline Phase field is changed by the system to reflect the currently active phase.

Or … it WAS until version 9 of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Starting with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales version 9, this changed.  Now, the Pipeline Phase does not automatically advance. This is because the Business Process Flow architecture has changed such that there is now an entity named “Opportunity Sales Process”, which is essentially a transect entity between Process and Opportunity, which a lookup to Opportunity.  Below is a view of this new entity:

This means that for every Opportunity, there is a record in the database for that Opportunity in that particular stage.  And for whatever reason, when an Opportunity Business Process Flow phase is advanced, there is no logic in the system to update the Pipeline Phase field on the Opportunity.

A Workaround for the Business Process Flow version 9 Issue

It’s possible that this will be fixed in a future update, if enough people complain about it. But until that happens, this can be solved with a workflow created for the new entity Opportunity Sales Process. See below for the steps.

Creating a Workflow to Solve the Business Process Flow v. 9 Problem

  1. Navigate to Settings, Processes
  2. Click “+NEW” to create a new Process.
  3. Give it a name, and choose the Opportunity Sales Process for Entity as shown below.

4. Check the two boxes “Start when: “Process is applied” and “Process changes” as shown below.

5. Click “Select” next to “Process changes” and choose the “Active Stage” field as shown below and then click OK.

6. Click “Add Step” and choose “Update”. You can give it a name (like “Update the Related Opportunity” to keep track of what is going on.)

7. Change the entity from Opportunity Sales Process to “Opportunity” as shown below.

8. Click “Set Properties” after you have changed to Opportunity.

9. Scroll down in the window that appears until you see at the bottom, “Pipeline Phase”. Then click in that field, ensure that the Operator is set to Opportunity Sales Process, and Active Stage and then click Add as shown below. You should see the yellow variable appear in the field as shown.

10. Scroll back up and Save and Close that window.

11. Back at the Process screen, Activate the process.

12. Test this by returning to your list of Opps showing the Pipeline Phase and opening one, then advancing the phase, then refreshing your list. You should see the phase advancing.  Below is the result of several of these actions. Compare it to the first list above and you will see that the Pipeline Phase has been updated.