As I revised for the MB2-718 exam (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service) I’m creating blog posts detailing all aspects of my revision. I hope these posts will aid anyone who is also revising for this exam. In this post I will explain goals.
The skills measured statement for “Performance Service Management Analysis” is shown below, from this you can see that we’ll need to know how to identify the components that make up a goal and define them.
A goal is simply a target that you wish to measure performance against. Thinking specifically about the service, example goals might include the number of resolved cases. Goals can be defined for each person and rolled into a larger parent goal. Group like this might be used so that they relate to a territory or business sector.
When monitoring goals, we look at in progress and actual values. In terms of service, in progress might be defined as the number of open cases whilst actual might reflect the number of resolved cases.
A goal is made of several parts (or components);
- Goal metric, a numeric value you wish to measure from a specific record type. Some metrics come predefined but others can be added as required. (Revenue for example is a preconfigured goal metric type.)
- Goal target and Goal Period, a target is the value for a specific goal metric to be achieved in a defined period. Actual and in progress values are calculated and compared against the goal target.
- Goal owner, each goal is owned by an individual or team.
- Parent Goals, these are used to arrogate child goals into one larger goal.
- Rollup Queries, are used to define how actual and in progress amounts are rolled up against the goal.
Goals can be created and maintained from either the Sales or Service areas of Dynamics 365. This is because goals connected with sales can be just as important as those connected with service. Actually goals can be related to any system or custom entity.
Goal Metric – Allows a user to define how a goal is measured. For example: counting the number of cases, totaling revenue etc. Dynamics 365 comes with a number of out of the box goal metrics but you can also define others. Rollup fields form part of the goal metric, these contain the calculated fields that are used to derive the actual and in-progress values. When defining the in-progress and actual fields, the user not only says how the field will be calculated but also decides on which date the field will apply. For example: in-progress opportunities might get counted based on their estimated close date but actual revenue will get counted based on date the opportunity was won.
Note: In this example I have used opportunities rather than cases. As this provides a good example of how the actual and in progress values can come from different fields. With cases (service) you may not have this type of complexity. In fact, often you may not want to have a goal for in progress cases. Commonly the goal may simply be a count of resolved cases. (Meaning defining an in-progress value is optional!)
Notice that in the goal metric we have a field that allows us to enable to stretch target. This is an optional concept. Maybe you have a target to resolve 1,000 cases per month. But at a stretch you might be able to resolve 1,200. The stretch target logic would allow me to define both of these targets and monitor progress towards them within one goal.
Goal Target – The target is simply what you’re shooting for. For example: To resolve 100 cases per quarter. A goal target is typically measured against actual and in-progress values. The actual target might be to sell £100k between Jan and March, the in-progress figure would reflect the value of opportunities likely to close between Jan and March. All goals must have a target value and a time period.
The target will commonly be one figure. That being the value or count that you wish to achieve in this period. Below you can see I can also have a stretch target (if that option has been enabled on the associated goal metric.)
Tip: By default the stretch target will not display on the goal charts. To add it you need to edit the XML of the chart layout. I am assuming that will be beyond the scope of the MB2-718 exam. So I haven’t documented here.
Goal Owner – Every goal is tied to a user or team that owns the goal.
Parent Goals – A parent goal is used to group goals. A manager might (for example) have twenty direct reports. Each of these people would have a goal that they own. But all are grouped under the parent goal to see how the group collectively performs. Meaning the parent role becomes an aggregated version of the child goals.
Goal Period – All goals are time bound, whenever a goal is created you need to identify the time period it will “run” for. E.g. Week, month, year or a fiscal period. Fiscal periods, each goal can be linked to a fiscal period. If a fiscal period is selected you must select the year, linking the goal to a specific period in time. Fiscal periods might refer to a year that starts on a different basis, for example for many companies their fiscal year runs April to March. So period 1 is April. (Rather than January!) Alternatively, a custom period can be entered, for this the user must enter a specific start and end date.
Each Goal will have goal criteria, defined on the goal form;
Roll Up Only from Child Goals – This option may often be used on a parent goal when you want the goal to simply be an aggregate from all of the child goals. For example: Each sales person might have an individual goal. The parent goal may then simply be a sum of all the sales people that work in a given territory / team.
Record set for Rollup – Typically each goal will represent cases, sales, etc. that apply to an individual (or team) that owns the records. However, this option can be used to create an organization wide goal.
Rollup Queries – In some situations you’ll need to fine tune the data sets. For example: To only count cases that aren’t low priority. In these circumstance rollup queries are used to articulate the records to be counted. You can define and add rollup queries for in-progress and actual queries. A rollup query is essentially an advanced find used to further filter the data. It is important to notice that the entity type MUST be the same as the entity selected for the goal.
Calculating / Recalculating Goals
Goals will be automatically recalculated periodically throughout the day but users with correct permissions can also select the “Recalculate” button to force a calculation on demand. Sometimes useful when a new goal is first created as actual values will not be updated when the goal is first saved. (Unless you do a recalculate.)
Once the calculation has run automatically or by selecting the Recalculate button the actuals (and in-progress values) can be seen on the goal form.
When viewing charts, you have a number of charts to represent goals.
- Percentage Achieved
- Goal Progress (Counts)
- Goal Progress (Money)
- Today’s Target Vs. Actuals (Count)
- Today’s Target Vs. Actuals (Money)
The “today’s target chart” derives a target based on where you should be at relative to your goal. In my example, I have a target of 100 by end of March but as I am at the end of Feb today’s target chart shows a lower value of 65.
Notice that on a goal progress chart there are four pieces of information represented;
- The ultimate target
- Today’s target
- The in-progress total
- The actual amount achieved
I hope you got all of that! Goals have quite a few concepts to remember. It is worth making sure you have some hands-on experience with these. I suggest created several combinations, including examples that use child / parent goals.
I hope you’ve found this post useful for your preparation for MB2-718.