Group responsibility for customer issues is a common scenario among Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients. In the past, these groups would only have had one viable option for group management of Cases and that was Queues. However, in organizations that don’t want to follow the work on/release model of queues, tracking who is responsible for an item can be confusing. There is an alternative – using teams in CRM 2011.

Team views make moving a case from group ownership to individual ownership straight forward. Unlike Queue Items, which have Worked By which may be different from the Case ownership implying that two people are responsible for the Case, using teams is straight forward. Either an individual owns the case and is responsible for it or the team does. When the team owns the item, it means that it’s waiting for an individual to claim responsibility. People use the assign button to take ownership and release ownership if they choose to return it back to the team for someone else to work.

Queues and Teams work similarly but have their differences. Queues have an owner and that owner is either a team or an individual. Teams have an administrator, typically the manager of that team, and team members. One very big difference is that teams do not have their own email address, but queues do. For the client in question, this was not a roadblock. They did not want to manage inbound email and cases in the same area.

One thing that is important to remember is that just because a team you are a member of owns a record; it does not make the record appear in your default “My Active” views. Special views must be created to give visibility into these records. This is simple to accomplish via a system view.

System Administrators or System Customizers can create a view that shows which Cases are owned by a Team of which the logged in User is a member. Let’s look at that logic:

using teams in CRM 2011

Once these views have been created, it really improves the Customer Service representative’s ability to manage their cases to create a Dashboard. The items owned by the team should be prominently displayed so that Users can see when new items are available to work. Additional views that filter by status help to show the user what items they have the next action on and which they are waiting on the customer. These views keep items from falling through the cracks.

Here’s how it all comes together on a Dashboard.

CRM and Teams

Another great view that should be built as a management tool is a view that shows which Users have responsibility for open cases within a team. This allows managers to easily pull up open items when a particular user is out sick to reassign their work.

Team Functionality and CRM

Here is a sample of the view’s logic:

Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment on how you are using teams.

Happy CRM’ing.

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