Best practices and advice
Check you have the right environments set up
Best practices for Dynamics 365 (and development in general) are to have four environments: production, UAT, Test and Development. This keeps development far away from your live environment so that no work breaks you live system. At a minimum you need a sandbox and a production – and these update previews will go into your sandbox for testing before going near your production environment.
Download the release plan when they become available
This will be about 2-3 months prior to each release. Reading these will give you a good idea of what the next release includes and can give you a sense of scale and the changes being made, which you can evaluate against your system. The release notes are fairly extensive, but you can also keep an eye out for summaries and highlights from the Dynamics community. These are split into Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.
Give yourself enough time to test
The most time-consuming task is testing the updates, so the earlier that you set up the preview the longer you have to test. If anything is causing an issue, then you will have time to diagnose and fix this.
Review customisations, integration and third-party solutions
Now could also be a good time to review what customisations, integrations and third-party solutions you have in place to make sure that they are supported; anything unsupported is likely to break during an upgrade. Your CRM partner can help with this, or Microsoft even have tools you can run to check your system.
Evaluate new features against your requirements regularly
The updates aren’t done to cause issues but to bring new functionality, improvements and benefits to Dynamics 365. An update might introduce a new functionality that removes the need for a third-party tool or might simplify an internal process. Evaluating the updates means you might discover a new improvement that could have a big benefit on your company.
Stay up to date with the roadmap
Microsoft have one Dynamics roadmap now, which will show upcoming changes. Keeping an eye on this will give you a further heads up of what might be in the next release. View the roadmap here.