12 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service

In this article, learn the 12 mistakes to avoid when switching to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for field services.

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    Moving your field service operations to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service is a smart business decision. No matter what the driving forces behind this decision are, your team can see many benefits. But that is only if you execute the migration properly.

    Rushing into a major project like a Dynamics 365 data migration can lead to some unnecessary headaches, all of which are avoidable. Fortunately, you do not need to reinvent the wheel for your Dynamics 365 migration. In this article, we share twelve of the most common mistakes field service teams make during migration projects and offer advice on avoiding them yourself.

    1. Not Planning Your Migration

    Any project—software migration or otherwise—will encounter unexpected issues. That does not mean you can skip the planning step, though. If anything, you need to double down and ensure you have proper contingencies in place for when issues pop up.

    Your data, customers’ data, and financials could be at risk if you encounter an unexpected glitch. A seasoned Microsoft partner can help you prepare an implementation plan, but to get started with your own brainstorming, make sure you have answers to these questions:

    • What are your strategic goals for this migration?
    • Who are your migration project stakeholders, and what are their roles and responsibilities?
    • What is your tentative migration project timeline?
    • Are there license renewal dates for new or old software you need to factor into your timeline?
    • What metrics do you want to capture?
    • How will you handle training and testing?
    • How will you handle data cleansing and data integration?

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    2. Failing to Find a Project Champion

    As much as we would like every project to be a purely bottom-up team-driven effort, most successful projects need a champion. Someone who is the top-down driving force willing to be accountable and see the entire effort through to completion. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service migrations are no different.

    The project champion stands as the internal team leader steering the migration effort. This individual gathers stakeholder feedback and is the primary liaison with your Microsoft implementation partner. Projects that lack a champion are at risk of veering off course rapidly, which can cause unnecessary additional costs and dragged-out timelines.

    3. Taking on too Much at Once

    After seeing what Dynamics 365 is capable of, it is natural for many organizations to try to address all their business challenges simultaneously with a single, organization-spanning implementation. However, this approach often leads to high initial expenses and considerable time commitments.

    While Dynamics 365 can handle broad use cases like that, trying to apply them all at once is a recipe for disaster in the real world. That “all-in” approach can be difficult for many users to adapt to, potentially causing fatigue throughout the business. Also, stakeholders might not immediately witness any benefits and could become disenchanted with the project.

    Instead of going all in, initially focus on your low-hanging fruit—the easiest implementations with the greatest return on spent resources. Then scale up as project and training resources allow.

    12 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service 1. Not Planning your Migration 2. Failing to Find a project Champion 3. Taking on Too Much at Once 4. Not Performing Data Cleansing 5. Not Taking the Opportunity to Update Workflows 6. Forgetting Technology is there to Serve the User 7. Failing to Consider Integrations 8. Confusing Data Migration for Data Integration 9. Ignoring Misfit Data 10. Not Prioritizing Training 11. Not Setting Reporting Goals 12. Not Engaging the Right Migration Partner

    4. Not Performing Data Cleansing

    You do not want to waste time and resources migrating outdated, duplicate, or low-quality data. So before conducting a field service software integration, it is crucial to profile and cleanse your data. Data profiling involves examining source data to understand its structure, contents, and interconnections.

    We often see companies in their rush to migrate opt to shift all their data in its existing state, intending to clean it up later. That never happens, and the mess you tried to leave behind just comes along onto a new software platform. We strongly advise investing time before the migration in profiling and cleansing data. It is well worth the effort.

    5. Not Taking the Opportunity to Update Workflows

    Migrating platforms is an opportune time to enhance your sales, marketing, and field service workflows. Frequently, we encounter companies aiming to simply replicate in the new software what they did in the old one. While this approach may be appropriate, you should always look for opportunities for improvement.

    One of the greatest advantages field service teams gain from Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the ability to integrate their workflows with other Microsoft solutions, such as Teams, Power BI, and SharePoint.

    6. Forgetting Technology is There to Serve the User

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 boasts diverse capabilities, but not all of them will be relevant to every user. Some field service leaders try to get all the bells and whistles, overlooking their users’ actual needs. That tends to result in field service software implementations that, to cater to everyone’s needs, end up serving no one.

    7. Failing to Consider Integrations

    Dynamics 365 can link with a broad range of different third-party applications. For businesses migrating to Dynamics 365, it is important to consider your current integrations and assess what is necessary to ensure continuity of work post-migration. If something doesn’t work out of the box, there’s a good chance your Microsoft partner can help you make it work by utilizing Microsoft’s open API framework.

    8. Confusing Data Migration for Data Integration

    Many confuse these concepts, but you must understand the difference before undertaking a field service migration project. Data migrations involve moving data from one location to another—a “lift and shift.” Data integrations are more complex processes that involve two or more data sets into a single, functional whole.

    9. Ignoring Misfit Data

    Most teams are not moving from stock field service software to Dynamics 365, they have done some kind of customization and created custom data fields. It is not unusual for those teams to forget about those fields during a migration, creating “misfit” data with no home in Dynamics 365. Make sure you specifically look for potential misfits when profiling data and plan what future customizations you might need.

    10. Not Prioritizing Training

    Remember, the technology is there for your users. If your users do not know how to get the most from Dynamics 365, your entire migration project and all the time and resources you have spent on it will go to waste.

    Give everyone in your organization the training they need. Some might want one-on-one hands-on instruction. Others might be online learners. Ensure everyone gets what they need—preferably before you go live—and you’ll be rewarded with increased productivity in no time.

    11. Not Setting Reporting Goals

    Dynamics 365 includes many insightful reports, but they are not identical to those in your team’s software. Differences in data structures between applications can significantly impact what reports are available. So make sure to define your reporting objectives and discuss with your Microsoft partner how to achieve those objectives within the new structure available.

    12. Not Engaging the Right Migration Partner

    As an experienced Dynamics 365 partner, we can say that even good software implementations come with speed bumps along the way. But bad ones can be devastating to your business. We have re-implemented enough do-it-yourself Microsoft Dynamics 365 field service migrations to understand that the most successful deployments involve an experienced migration partner. And how we can do it right the first time.

    Get your Dynamics 365 Field Service Migration Right the First Time

    As a Gold Microsoft partner, Velosio works with companies like yours, helping implement field service solutions that differentiate your organization, create value, and add to the bottom line.

    Take our Operational Maturity Assessment today to determine if your field service team can benefit from migrating to Dynamics 365.