Tip #195: Recurring goal creation strategies

The goal functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is very powerful, but in my opinion, is not used as often as it should be. One of the reasons for this is because goals do not recreate themselves–you must recreate them for each time period. This can be very cumbersome, especially if the time periods are short. If someone has to manually type in goals every week, chances are they aren’t going to do it.

The good news is there are ways to make goal re-creation more automated. The following are three approaches.

  1. Import from Excel: For this approach, create one goal for each user/group. Populate the dates, metric, goal, and rollup fields. Export these records to Excel as a static workbook. This will become your goal template. Each time you want to recreate your goals, update the worksheet, changing the date fields, and the goal value (if the goal for this time period will be different). Leave the metric and rollup fields the same, save, and import to CRM. This approach works well when you want to quickly recreate the goals and maybe change the goals amount for the new time period.
  2. Use a data integration: Using a tool like Scribe or SSIS with Kingswaysoft, create a DTS. Have your SQL query set the appropriate time period and users. Since all goals will include the same metric, specify the GUID of the appropriate metric, and write the goals to CRM. I would recommend creating one set of goals first, then look at how the fields are populated in CRM. This way you can be sure that your data load populates the appropriate fields. Using this approach, you can create a scheduled job that runs on a scheduled basis and automatically creates the goals for the new period.
  3. Use a workflow: With a little bit of customization, you can create an entity to serve as the goal scheduler, and a workflow that will automatically recreate goals for you. I have documented this process in this post.

Bonus tip: Make sure that you periodically “close” completed goals. This freezes the goal value, and prevents performance impact from CRM having to keep recalculate completed goals.

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