Describe the work order lifecycle

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In Dynamics 365 Field Service, a work order refers to a task or a job needing to be scheduled or assigned to someone. Work orders generally include information such as:

  • who is the work order for
  • the type of work needs to be performed
  • timeframes,
  • products and services to be delivered
  • tasks that need to be done

For example, Contoso Coffee might create a work order for a customer whose espresso machine is not circulating water needs to be repaired.

That’s not the only scenario where a work order might be created. Work orders can be created for any number of scenarios including:

  • An internal request for a new piece of equipment to be installed.

  • A follow-up on an inspection or audit.

  • Dispatching a technician based on an alert generated by an IoT device.

  • A case that cannot be resolved remotely and requires a technician to be dispatched.

How and when organizations create work orders depends on multiple factors such as their service model, procedures, and technology being used. Dynamics 365 Field Service supports the creation of work orders in many ways. Some ways that an organization can create a work order include:

  • As part of a defined service selling process:

    • Manually created after an order has been placed

    • Automatically created from a sales opportunity created in Dynamics 365

  • As an escalation for a case that could not be resolved remotely

    • Case records created in Dynamics 365 can be automatically converted to work orders
  • A customer manually requesting or scheduling service from a portal

  • Automatically based on a service agreement or schedule

  • Automatically from an event raised by an IoT Device

Each work order has a status that defines the current state of the work order. The status lets individuals know where the work order is at in its lifecycle process.

The available work order statuses are:

  • Open – Unscheduled: Indicates that the work order has been created but has not yet been scheduled in the system.

  • Open – Scheduled: Indicates that the work order has been scheduled and a resource has been assigned responsibility for completing the work.

  • Open – In Progress: Indicates that a field agent is actively working on the item.

  • Open – Completed: Indicates that the work has been completed, and the work order might be waiting for final approval to ensure that everything was done correctly.

  • Closed – Posted: Indicates that the work order is closed, and billing can take place.

  • Closed – Canceled: Indicates that the work on the item was not completed and was canceled.

As the work order proceeds through its lifecycle, the status is reflected on the word order record in Dynamics 365. While each organization is a little different, the stages that a work order goes through during its lifecycle are similar to the graphic.

Illustration of the typical work order lifecycle.

  • Work order creation: A work order is created, usually from a case or opportunity

  • Schedule: The work order is then scheduled.

  • Dispatch: The work order is dispatched.

  • Service: The work order is performed, and details are updated.

  • Review/Approval: The work order is reviewed and approved by a supervisor.

  • Invoice and inventory adjustment: Inventory adjustments are made, and an invoice is generated for the corresponding account.

Click-through Demo: Work with Work Orders

In this click-through demonstration, you're guided through a few different work order creation scenarios. First, we see the creation of a work order from a case record, and then we walk through the different components of work order.

Work with Work Orders

As you saw, Dynamics 365 Field Service provides multiple options for creating work orders based on the needs of your organization. Once created, important information such as the products needed, and the services to be provided, can be automatically populated based on what the work order is for. Other important information, such as priority, scheduling windows, and customer preferences, can also be defined to help provide guidance as the work order is scheduled.