Developing the right permissions and security for Dynamics 365 Business Central has long been thought of as an IT or administrative project, but I challenge you to think otherwise. Rather than get bored with facts, figures, and arguments to prove my opinion, I will tell you a story. Sit back and relax while you read about Amy and the experience of driving a Permits and Security project.
Amy’s company is setting up Business Central. As the IT manager, Amy is very involved in the implementation. His company becomes a Business Central administrator and assigns him a security and permissions project. Amy is terrified to think about the responsibility of the project. He is concerned about the timeline and backlog of users who may be disappointed if they encounter permission issues while fixing kinks. Amy decides to tackle the project one by one, starting with the Finance Department. Billy Bob and Joe are two users of a large finance department.
Lesson 1: The Business Central Administrator doesn’t know EVERYTHING that users do. Users are real SMEs (subject matter experts).
Amy quickly realizes that she doesn’t know what Billy Bob and Joe do in the system every day, so she doesn’t know what permission they need. He thinks about the usual activities of the finance department and probably decides that they will need permission to publish journal entries, enter invoices payable, create and send sales invoices, and make monthly financial reports. Before assigning any system permissions, Amy decides to email Billy Bob and Joe to confirm their assignments. We are glad that you were contacted when you received replies to the following emails:
- Users perform certain tasks that were not on their list. Billy Bob approves the time sheets, and Joe is in charge of raising the annual budget. Neither of them knew they were doing these tasks.
- Some of the tasks changed recently or took more steps than he thought. The AP process now uses approvals and Amy had no idea until Joe told her to.
- Users are not performing all the tasks they thought were “Financial” tasks. Joe informs Amy that the sales team is creating and publishing sales invoices. This helps Amy to remove this task from the Financial Planning page and add it to the Sales section.
Lesson 2: Sharing responsibility and workload.
After Amy Billy Bob and Joe get involved in the planning process, she realizes that the project seems much more managed when the responsibility and work are shared with them. No one is overwhelmed. Billy Bob and Joe decide to get involved in the whole Permissions and Security project. Here’s how users contribute to each phase of the project:
- Planning: Join Billy Bob and Joe Amy in a 30-minute brainstorm to complete a list of their daily / weekly / monthly tasks. Amy directs this interview by listing functional areas of Business Central, such as an invitation to help you easily identify tasks such as Customer, Seller, and Items, Billy Bob, and Trends.
A sample planning document may include:
- Recording / Creation Permissions: Amy researches and finds that the best way to create custom Authorization Sets in Business Central is to use the Authorization Recorder. After being trained to use Billy Bob and Joe’s Permit Recorder, Amy creates the Permission Set agreed upon from the planning phase in the Business Central Sandbox environment and assigns Billy Bob and Joe the job of creating permission recordings.
- Test: Billy Bob and Joe help test the permissions recorded on Sandbox and then in the Production environment, simply by their daily work assignments. They work with Amy to report test and error messages before assigning permissions to other Financial users. Who better to test than the end user?
- Troubleshooting: Once the permissions are in the Production environment, Billy Bob and Joe become their department resources when other users encounter permissions issues.
Lesson 3: Summarize the project schedule
Amy’s original approach was to fully plan, test, and enforce the financial permits before moving on to the Sales Department. As Billy Bob and Joe have been involved in helping to record the permits and have given them a week to finish, it is time to start the Sales Department planning process. He is excited when he realizes that shared responsibility means shortening the timeline and completing the project with overlapping phases instead of one by one. With this approach, Amy specifies that she can shorten the timeline from 4 and a half months to 2 months, reducing the project duration by more than 50%!
A sample of the overlapping phase timeline may be as follows: