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Articles & Deep Dives Into Microsoft Business Applications with a focus on Power Platform & D365 by the Dynamics Hotdish Team

Unleashing End User Potential: Effective Training Unveiled

Training plays a crucial role in the successful implementation and adoption of new systems or processes within an organization. However, it is important to recognize that training and testing are not the same thing. In this blog post, we will delve into the distinction between training and testing, highlighting why effective training is essential for empowering end users.

When discussing the differentiation between User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and training, it becomes evident that these activities serve distinct purposes. UAT primarily focuses on testing the system, ensuring its functionality and identifying any potential issues. On the other hand, training aims to educate end users on how to effectively use the system, tailored to their specific roles and responsibilities.

One of the fundamental differences between testing and training lies in the target audience. UAT typically involves a small subset of individuals who are directly involved in the testing process. In contrast, training aims to reach the entire group of end users, providing them with organized and comprehensive knowledge of the system. It is essential to ensure that training occurs after the system has been thoroughly tested and errors have been rectified. This prevents end users from perceiving the system as flawed, which can hinder their adoption and enthusiasm for utilizing the new solution.

Furthermore, training caters to the diverse needs and requirements of different user groups within an organization. Employees in various roles and positions may interact with the system differently, emphasizing the importance of tailoring training content accordingly. Effective training should address the unique challenges and workflows of each group, enabling end users to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their tasks efficiently.

Attempting to combine testing and training into a single activity can be counterproductive. It may lead to confusion, frustration, and a lack of clarity for end users. By keeping testing and training separate, organizations can optimize the effectiveness of each process. Testing identifies and resolves issues, ensuring a stable and functional system, while training equips end users with the expertise required to leverage the system effectively.

In conclusion, training and testing are distinct activities with separate objectives and target audiences. By recognizing the differences between these two processes, organizations can enhance the effectiveness of their training programs and empower end users to embrace new systems confidently. Tailoring training content to specific roles, conducting training after thorough testing, and ensuring clear communication with the intended audience are essential steps toward successful training implementation. Embracing these principles will enable organizations to maximize end user satisfaction, system adoption, and overall business efficiency.

Check out our training topic podcast episodes to learn more!

The Power of ADKAR Unlocks Change Success

Different models and frameworks in the field of change management assist firms in navigating the difficulties of carrying out successful transitions. The ADKAR model, which offers a structured method of managing change at the person level, is one example of such a model. We shall examine the ADKAR model’s definition and practical applications in this blog article.

The ADKAR model, developed by Jeff Hiatt and popularized through his book, ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community, is an acronym that stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. These five elements represent the key stages an individual undergoes during a change initiative. Let’s dive into each component of the model.

Awareness of the Need for Change: The first stage is to raise people’s knowledge of the justification and goal for the change. It entails explaining the motivations, advantages, and prospective effects of the change.

Desire to Support Change: It is crucial to foster people’s desire and willingness to support and participate in the change once they are aware of its necessity. This entails resolving reservations, supplying inspiration, and highlighting the advantages for both the individual and the company.

Knowledge of How to Change: It is vital to provide people with the knowledge and abilities needed to accept change. Individuals can gain new skills, increase their confidence, and comprehend the process of transformation with the use of educational materials, training programs, and workshops.

Ability to Demonstrate Skills and Behaviors: Individuals must be able to use their newly acquired information successfully; knowledge alone is insufficient. Giving people the chance to practice, receive coaching, and receive feedback enables them to build the necessary skills and behaviors to successfully implement the change.

Reinforcement to Make the Change Stay: As a continual process, change necessitates ongoing reinforcement in order to be sustained. It is easier to establish new behaviors and guarantee long-term success when people are praised and rewarded for their efforts, when milestones are celebrated, and when the advantages of the change are emphasized.

The ADKAR model offers practitioners of change management a framework for comprehending and addressing the personal component of change. Organizations can support their employees through the process of change and improve the likelihood of successful adoption by concentrating on each component of the model. The following are some helpful hints for applying the ADKAR model:

  1. Determine the present situation: Analyze the organization’s preparation for change and pinpoint any areas where people might encounter resistance or skill or knowledge deficiencies.
  2. Make strategic communication plans: Create compelling and unambiguous communications to spread information about the change throughout the organization and to raise awareness of it.
  3. Ensure sufficient training and resources: Provide thorough training courses and other materials that address the precise knowledge and abilities needed for the change project.
  4. By providing coaching and mentoring, you can: Assign mentors or change champions to help people through the process of change, offer encouragement, and reinforce the desirable habits.
  5. To ensure that the change is ingrained in the corporate culture, it is important to continuously track the progress of the change, recognize achievements, and offer reinforcement.

For change management professionals, the ADKAR model is a useful tool for navigating the challenges of successfully implementing transformations. Organizations may improve the efficacy of their change programs and boost employee buy-in by recognizing and addressing the distinct aspects of change. Keep in mind that change involves people as well as processes and systems. Organizations can use the ADKAR model to foster an environment where people feel more supported and empowered to accept change and produce long-lasting results.

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Change Management

Change Management: Navigating Successful Transitions

When launching new initiatives or projects, organizations must go through a crucial process called change management. Understanding how change will affect people, teams, and the entire organization is necessary for successfully guiding people through the shift. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and training are crucial components of change management, but they only cover a small portion of its overall breadth. We will discuss what change management comprises and why it is essential for getting successful results in any transformative endeavor in this blog article.

A comprehensive strategy for moving from the present condition to a desired future one is included in change management. It starts by acknowledging that people are impacted by change at different organizational levels and throughout the course of a project. Organizations may reduce resistance to change, boost participation, and support a smoother transition by proactively addressing the human element of that change.

A number of essential elements go into effective change management. It demands early engagement and planning, first and foremost. Significant obstacles and resistance might arise if change management is postponed or ignored entirely. Organizations can set themselves up for success by starting change management initiatives as soon as the project is conceived.

Another essential component of change management is having a thorough understanding of the affected people and teams. This entails determining what will change for them and offering the required resources and assistance to get them ready for the upcoming transition. Change management requires understanding who will be impacted and how the change will affect their roles and duties, much like gathering requirements before beginning a project.

The emotional journey that people typically take when transitioning is illustrated by the change curve. Beginning with doubt and denial, it descends before rising to acceptance and problem-solving. By assisting people in passing through the early stages more quickly and without as much resistance as possible, change management seeks to flatten this curve. Organizations can speed up the adoption of new procedures, procedures, systems, or tools by doing this.

If change management is neglected or put off people may get trapped in the bottom section of the curve, which is marked by uncertainty, blame, and resistance. This might cause stress and reluctance to accept the change, which eventually jeopardizes the project’s success. Organizations can proactively address concerns, allay anxieties, and lead people toward acceptance and involvement by beginning change management early.

Change management is a multidimensional discipline that is essential to the execution of projects successfully. It encompasses the full change process, from planning and preparation through adoption and integration, going beyond training and UAT. Organizations may reduce resistance, maximize involvement, and raise the possibility of attaining desired results by giving change management top priority from the start of the project.

Effective transition management requires an understanding of the human element of change and the provision of people and teams with the right resources, encouragement, and direction. Organizations may foster a culture where people welcome change and collaborate to achieve common goals by proactively addressing concerns, regulating emotions, and enabling a smooth transition.

In conclusion, change management is a continual activity that promotes organizational resilience and flexibility, not just a box to be checked during project implementation. Organizations can position themselves for success in a constantly changing business environment by adopting change management as a core component of each transformative endeavor.

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Change Management

Roles in Change Management: Holistic Strategies for Success

The process of change management is intricate and involves more than just identifying end users. It necessitates taking into account all parties impacted by process modifications brought on by technological improvements. It is crucial to carry out an impact assessment and offer assistance during the transformation. The involvement of management and executive sponsorship is also significant, as their communication is essential to the success of the initiative. Effective detractor management and the development of system advocates are also essential for successful change management. This blog explores the numerous roles that are involved in change management and offers tips for navigating these crucial elements.

Identifying the end users is essential in change management, but it goes beyond just the system users. Other stakeholders who might be impacted by the process changes brought on by the technological upgrade must also be taken into account. In order to determine the whole list of people impacted by the change, an impact assessment must be conducted. For instance, because of system changes, some people downstream might need to be notified in a new way or receive information in a different way. Change managers can evaluate what needs to change for each group, their current processes, the new processes, and the differences (delta) between them by understanding the scope of impact. To avoid ignoring any affected parties and guarantee their happiness with the change, help and direction must be given throughout. Additionally, it’s critical to classify people depending on their possible influence on the change, such as whether they will be supporters, opponents, or neutral, and pay attention to them appropriately during the identification phase.

The engagement of management and executive sponsorship is an important factor that is frequently overlooked in change management. It is crucial to plan how to involve the right leadership team members and to emphasize the value of their communication regarding the project. Misinformation, a lack of communication, or unfavorable management styles might compromise a deployment’s success. To ensure team buy-in and promote a favorable attitude toward the change, leadership participation is essential.

A key component of change management is cultivating supporters of the system and change. Collaboration and direction are made possible by locating people who are eager to support the change and are willing to spread the word about it. Change managers who work closely with these champions can give them messaging and approaches for motivating and supporting others. Conversely, it’s as crucial to interact with critics and comprehend their issues. Change managers can lessen resistance and boost acceptance by addressing their concerns and figuring out how to get them on board. An efficient strategy to move through the change process is to categorize people according to their level of support and adjust the approach accordingly. To avoid unneeded stress and keep a good attitude on the project, it is also crucial to regulate the flow of information.

In conclusion, effective change management necessitates a comprehensive strategy that takes into account the effects on all parties involved. Finding end users is just the beginning; it is essential to comprehend the impact’s wider range and carry out careful assessments. Management involvement and executive sponsorship are essential for effective communication and team buy-in. The key to reducing opposition is cultivating champions who advocate the change and attending to the worries of critics. Change managers may traverse the complexity of change and guarantee a successful conclusion by regulating information flow and customizing methods based on specific responsibilities. Successful change management activities will be facilitated by accepting these roles and responsibilities.

Check out our podcast episodes on similar topics to learn more!

Rediscovering the Joy of Reading: Liz’s 2023 Reflection

One of Liz’s 2023 personal highlights was rediscovering the joy of reading. This year, she immersed herself in the pages of 28 books. She knew had read “a lot”, but didn’t realize how many until she counted for this post. It fills her with amazement and gratitude that she found THAT MUCH time to read…

UAT: Key Differences and Best Practices between Agile and Waterfall

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is essential for making sure that Dynamics 365 projects are successful. Depending on whether the project uses Agile or Waterfall approaches, the approach to UAT can vary greatly. We will examine the distinctions between UAT in Agile and Waterfall in this blog article, as well as highlight the crucial factors to take into account when organizing and carrying out the best UAT sessions.

UAT is a continuous procedure that occurs throughout the project in agile approaches. Users can test new features and give feedback after each release since features are released incrementally as they are created. This ongoing feedback loop makes it possible to quickly handle any problems or changes in requirements, which results in a more responsive and adaptable development process. UAT sessions may be shorter and more frequent in an agile setting, with users actively participating in testing and offering feedback as the project moves along.

A sequential approach is used by Waterfall techniques, which have separate phases for requirements gathering, design, development, and testing. After the system has been fully implemented and at the end of the development lifecycle, UAT normally takes place in a Waterfall project. In contrast to Agile, where UAT is a continuous process, Waterfall UAT sessions typically focus on a more thorough system verification against predetermined acceptance criteria. The main responsibility of users is to confirm that the finished product fits their needs and expectations.

The project’s nature also affects the UAT strategy. Both Agile and Waterfall UAT for enhancement projects on existing systems may require testing new functionality or changes in isolation to make sure they do not impair the stability of the existing system. Net new projects, on the other hand, where a system is developed from scratch, need a more thorough UAT procedure. This guarantees that the new system satisfies user needs and successfully replaces the old one.

UAT should not be the first time a system is tested, regardless of the approach. There are preliminary testing phases in both Agile and Waterfall, such as unit testing, where the development team confirms the system’s fundamental correctness and functioning before delivering it to users for acceptance testing. This lowers the likelihood of significant issues during UAT by identifying and resolving problems early in the development lifecycle.

In conclusion, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a crucial component of both Agile and Waterfall techniques, although their methods and schedules are different. Waterfall UAT is more thorough and occurs toward the conclusion of the project, whereas Agile UAT is ongoing, iterative, and frequently involves user involvement. Planning and carrying out the most efficient UAT sessions requires a thorough understanding of the project’s approach and its unique requirements. Customizing the UAT process to the project’s demands can guarantee successful user acceptance and produce high-quality software solutions.

Check out our podcast episodes on similar topics to learn more!

UAT is Designed for Successful Dynamics 365 Implementations, Not for Training

A critical step in the Dynamics 365 deployment process is user acceptance testing (UAT) to check that the system satisfies the needs and specifications of the end users. But a widespread misperception is that UAT also acts as a period of user training. This is a false assumption that has to be refuted. End user training should not be done during UAT because doing so can hurt the implementation’s chances of being successful.

The main goal of UAT is to test the entire process, find any problems or faults, and take action to fix them. It is now up to the users to check the functionality of the system, offer suggestions, and guarantee that it complies with their particular business procedures. When UAT is viewed as training, the importance of thoroughly testing the system is lost, which compromises the testing effort.

Additionally, if users see UAT as a chance for training, they might utilize workarounds or recall problems from testing, which can cause confusion and inefficiencies once the system goes live. UAT is intended to identify and address these problems, not as a platform for system usage training. Appropriate training and change management activities should be carried out separately to make sure that users are sufficiently prepared for the go-live phase.

The difference between UAT and end user training must be emphasized. While training should concentrate on showing users how to efficiently use the system after go-live, UAT should be viewed as a specialized testing phase to validate the system’s functionality. Organizations face the danger of deploying a system that hasn’t been well tested and might not satisfy user requirements if they treat UAT as training.

In conclusion, it is crucial for the effective execution of Dynamics 365 implementations to comprehend the goal of user acceptance testing (UAT) and its distinct distinction from end user training. Organizations may guarantee that the system is thoroughly validated, problems are fixed, and users are well prepared for the go-live phase by recognizing UAT as a separate testing phase. Organizations may enhance the effectiveness of their software implementations and conduct the most productive UAT sessions possible by making this important distinction.

Check out our podcast episode to learn more!

Planning and Executing the Best User Acceptance Testing Sessions

Maximizing Potential: Empowering Users through a Train the Trainer Program

It is crucial to give end users the abilities and knowledge they need to efficiently use software tools and procedures in the quickly changing corporate environment of today. Implementing a ‘Train the Trainer’ program is one efficient way to accomplish this. Organizations may empower their employees and streamline the training process by utilizing internal resources to their full capacity and giving them the chance to become trainers. This blog discusses the advantages of Train the Trainer programs and emphasizes how important they are for empowering end users to reach their full potential.

When implemented correctly, Train the Trainer programs offer many benefits to both individuals and companies. One of the main advantages is the chance for professional development that these programs provide. Frequently, individuals who weren’t initially chosen to be trainers can raise their hands to take part in the program. Through this inclusive approach, people in a variety of positions can improve their training skills, promoting both personal and professional growth.

Additionally, Train the Trainer courses give participants new abilities that enable them to lead within their teams. People who are enthusiastic about teaching others how to use particular tools or procedures might use their knowledge to promote improved acceptance and utilization. This not only improves their personal professional standing but also boosts the organization’s general productivity and effectiveness.

Furthermore, these programs address the challenge faced by learning and development teams in large organizations. With a wide array of software tools and continuous training requirements, it is often impractical for dedicated teams to develop extensive training programs for every individual software application. Train the Trainer programs tap into the knowledge and experience of employees who are already adept at using these tools, reducing the burden on the learning and development team while ensuring effective training delivery.

It is essential to have supervision and support from personnel who can guarantee the program’s success while implementing Train the Trainer programs. The program’s value is maximized for the participants and the organization as a whole by hiring competent trainers to provide direction and help.

In conclusion, Train the Trainer initiatives offer a compelling strategy for equipping end users with efficient training. Organizations may guarantee that their staff have the abilities needed to make the most of software tools and procedures by offering growth opportunities, encouraging leadership roles, and utilizing internal resources. This strategy not only improves each person’s career chances but also helps the organization as a whole succeed and be more productive. Implementing a well-done Train the Trainer program is a long-term investment that helps firms remain adaptable and competitive in a constantly changing business environment.

Check out our training topic podcast episodes to learn more!

Revolutionizing Customer Service Management: Real-time Tools for Supervisors

Effective management is essential in today’s fast-paced customer service industry to guarantee customer happiness and team efficiency. Technology improvements have given managers access to strong tools that let them help and monitor their teams in real time. We will examine the manager tools available in Dynamics 365 Customer Service and how they transform team management in this blog article.

The ability to listen in on ongoing discussions between agents and clients is one of the most important tools accessible to supervisors. OmniChannel offers a feature where supervisors have the option to join ongoing conversations, whether they are taking place over the phone or in a web chat. During these chats, a built-in dashboard offers information into consumer sentiment, enabling managers to spot possible problems. Supervisors can pick the conversation and start listening if the tone takes a turn for the worse.

The supervisor can choose from a number of interaction choices while monitoring. They can get a transcription of current phone calls or listen in immediately to gain important context. Supervisors can read the complete chat in the case of web chat. Importantly, a pop-up message informs the agents of the supervisor’s presence, promoting transparency and enhancing teamwork. Supervisors can also offer direction and support using chat messages within the OmniChannel interface to ensure seamless collaboration.

While there are no built-in alerts for negative sentiment, it is possible to set up custom notifications with additional configuration using Power Automate. This feature helps supervisors to be alerted when client conversations need their attention, which improves their capacity to deal with problems quickly. OmniChannel is a useful tool for managers to use when leading their teams because of its monitoring features and notifications.

The benefits do not stop with just current client conversations, they are also offer value to junior team members throughout training, coaching, and management interaction. These features can be used by managers to offer real-time direction and assistance, revolutionizing the way teams are managed. Supervisors are better equipped to provide timely support and step in when they can see what is going on in a conversation right away. This feature is especially useful in distant work settings where managers are unable to see how their teams communicate in person. These tools’ accessibility equips managers to adjust to shifting workplace dynamics and uphold a high degree of support for their teams.

Additionally, these instruments significantly enhance quality control procedures. Managers are asked to listen to recordings of calls and provide agents feedback days or weeks after the call had occurred. The agent’s memory of the interaction and the feedback received were frequently out of sync as a result of this delayed input. Supervisors are able to provide fast feedback based on real-time sentiment analysis when they have the opportunity to listen in on talks. This makes sure that agents receive feedback when the situation is top of mind, which improves performance and increases job satisfaction.

Supervisors have access to a number of revolutionary features through the manager tools accessible in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, particularly through the OmniChannel app. The way teams are managed has undergone a transformation due to the capability of monitoring current conversations, receiving real-time insights into consumer sentiment, and offering rapid support. Regardless of their location, these technologies enable training, mentoring, and assistance for agents. Supervisors can enhance team performance, raise customer happiness, and respond to the changing needs of the customer service environment by utilizing these technologies. These tools are crucial for efficient management and creating excellent customer experiences as customer service continues to develop.

Check out our podcast episode to learn more!

OMNICHANNEL OVERLOAD – Learn How Omnichannel Amplifies the Customer Service Experience

Key Considerations for Dynamics 365 Customer Service Success

Establishing an efficient customer service system is essential to increase customer satisfaction and preserve solid connections. Dynamics 365 Customer Service provides a comprehensive solution for customer service management, but there are a number of things to take into account before putting it into use. We will review the important items to think about while setting up Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

Considerations for Setting up Customer Service

Licensing and Functionality

The licensing for the Dynamics 365 OmniChannel app is separate from the licensing for Customer Service. To make the OmniChannel features available, organizations must buy both licenses. Personal phone lines can be set up through Teams, but OmniChannel functionality requires additional licenses for customer support and digital messaging. To ensure cost-effectiveness, it is crucial to assess the additional license costs and identify the precise user requirements.

Cost

Each of the two licensing options—Customer Service and the OmniChannel digital add-on—costs about $100 per user per month. The entire budget needs to account for this added expense. To maximize the return on investment (ROI), it is necessary to project the number of people who will actively use the OmniChannel capabilities.

Call Center Size and Complexity

Microsoft is targeting larger businesses with complicated needs for the OmniChannel add on feature of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The Microsoft 365 stack includes choices for small enterprises, such as Teams and Power Apps, but Dynamics 365’s full capabilities are best suited for bigger teams with complex customer care scenarios. Consider the size and needs of your business to see if the extensive features of Dynamics 365 Customer Service are a fit.

Efficiency and Automation

Features for automation are available in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, which can greatly increase productivity. Power Virtual Agents (PVA) can be used to conduct first client encounters which saves agents’ time from having pointless talks. Organizations can speed up customer interactions, maximize agent productivity, and improve overall efficiency by automating some duties and deploying Power Virtual Agents.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service implementations need to be planned and thought out carefully. Important first steps include understanding the licensing requirements, calculating the extra expense, and determining whether the solution is appropriate given the size and complexity of your company. Additionally, utilizing Dynamics 365’s automation features can boost productivity and increase the overall customer service experience. By taking these considerations into account, businesses can make informed decisions and successfully set up Dynamics 365 Customer Service to meet their specific needs.

Check out our podcast episode to learn more!

OMNICHANNEL OVERLOAD – Learn How Omnichannel Amplifies the Customer Service Experience

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