I am currently revising for the MB-230 exam. This exam is for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and covers all aspects of customer service. As I revise I plan to publish blog posts that collectively will become a complete revision guide for anyone embarking on the same journey as me. In this post I will cover the schedule board.
Below you can see an extract from the current skills measured statement for the MB 230 exam. You can hopefully see that scheduling is firstly a significant section of the exam and also that it covers numerous topics. Meaning this post is one of several that I will create to cover all aspects of scheduling. In this post I will cover concepts connected with the schedule board.
Note: The schedule board is graphical in nature! Meaning I strongly encourage you to get plenty of hands on usage with the schedule board as part of your revision. Reading theory alone will probably not give you an adequate appreciation of its operation.
The schedule board is the tool we use to display details of all our resources and their associated bookings. We can also view unscheduled service activities and schedule them directly from the schedule board.
In addition to seeing the bookings for a resource I can also open their resource card. This allows me to see additional information about their skills and roles. Plus I contact the resource directly from here, I can (for example) click the mail icon to send them an email directly from the schedule board.
A percentage shows against each resource as bookings are assigned. The is based on the resources capacity for the date range being used on the board.
At this point I will flag that we currently have two versions of the schedule board. Something that could be different by the time you are reading this post!! The old board will probably be the experience you first see. (And is shown in the screen shot above.) However we can switch to an improved schedule board. At the time of writing this post I do favour the new board but it has not yet reached feature parity with the old board. You may therefore find you need to use the old experience in some circumstances. The new style board is shown below.
Regardless of which board you use I encourage you to become familiar with the various view and filtering options. Often we will plan at a detailed level working on an hour by hour basis. But you can change this to see the board in terms of days, weeks or even months.
The default will be to show the resource horizontally. But you can change this to a vertical view. Or use the map view to see your bookings on a map. (Assuming they are location aware, not all bookings will be completed onsite!)
We can also advance the date range shown on the schedule board as required. (You may need to review historic bookings, who went to that job last week? Or maybe you need to move forward in time to create an advanced booking.)
The actions menu provides a list of useful actions. The actions include;
- Get driving directions
- Move booking to a different day
- Print schedule board
- Create booking alert
Making a Booking
We can use the book option to book an service activity.
Below you can see that I have selected an unscheduled service activity from my requirements panel. I can now click the book option and enter the details as required.
Note: In my example I am only showing unscheduled service activities. But if you have other Dynamics 365 applications installed you may see additional tabs for other types of work items. For example, when using Field Service you will also see a tab for unscheduled work orders.
Note: You may also need to be aware that you can tailor the views displayed in the requirements panel.
We can also access the scheduling assistant directly from the schedule board. This might be useful as the scheduling assistant will use out fulfilment preferences to suggest possible bookings.
We load the assistant by using the “Find Availability” option, shown below.
Once the find availability option has been selected possible booking options will be presented. Selecting one of the options will open a side panel that will allow us to complete the booking as suggested.
The filters pane allows us to filter the displayed resources. This can be on many fields including territory, organizational units, roles and more.
Having entered the required filter options the dispatcher will click search and the results on the schedule board will adjust.
It will be common that each dispatcher will define a set of default filters that will become their initial view. As it will be common for each dispatcher to work with a given set of technicians, territory or maybe role. The “Options” button allows the dispatcher to save the current filters as their default. They can also use the select resources option to “tag” specific resources they would like to include in their view.
You may use the details pane to view additional information about the selected booking. Including its status and also links are provided to the originating service activity.
In complex scenarios each dispatcher may want to create multiple schedule boards. Maybe, for example, they look after multiple organizational units and benefit from seeing these in separate views.
Below you can see that I have used the “+” icon to add a second schedule board. Each board could then be filtered differently as required.
Also notice that as I create the board (or afterwards from the settings cog) I can define many settings. For example, within these settings I can define what views are shown in the requirements panel. Meaning I could create a view specific to each board if required.
I suggest you experiment with creating additional boards and tailoring which views are shown.
I hope I have described the key elements in the schedule board. But as I mentioned at the start …. Using the schedule board is a graphical experience so I encourage you to experiment and spend plenty of hands on time becoming comfortable using and tailoring the boards. Enjoy.