Most project managers rely on software tools to track and manage the delivery of projects. Typically, the first step after finalizing the project charter is to build your WBS (work breakdown structure). One of the most popular tools for this is Microsoft Project which allows you to build your WBS into a project plan where you can assign dependencies, resources, durations, and dates. While it is a very powerful tool, Dynamics 365 PSA (Project Service Automation) offers a more robust end-end solution that also links the sales team to the delivery team.
Some of the unique benefits of PSA include:
Linkage to Dynamics CRM Opportunities or Quotes:
- Project quotes and budgets (Fixed Fee and/or Time & Materials)
- Display project related key indicators to give the sales team more insight around:
- Meeting customer expectations
- Meeting the revenue goals of sales
Features within Dynamics Project Services Automation:
- Leverage Business Process Flows to standardize the flow and activities of a project
- Project plan templates can also be used to ensure standardization/consistency
- Set resource labor rates
- Since these rates are centralized this offers an automated structure that ensures standardized budgeting capability
- Set charge categorization (Billable vs. Non-billable)
- Develop WBS
- Categorize by phase or sprint
- Create dependencies
- Enter roles and resources
- Include effort and duration
- Indicate date ranges
- Manage Gantt charts
- Cross project resource forecast, utilization, and availability
- Project and resource reports, dashboards, and charts
Linkage with Dynamics Time Entries:
- Resources can enter time directly against projects maintained in Dynamics which offers accurate and up to date budget details
- Resource time entries can be entered against specific project tasks which allows for traceability of plan vs. actual effort
As you can see from the features listed, this is much more than just a project management tool. It provides all the capabilities to help ensure that the process and controls of your organization’s PMO are standardized and adhered to.
Furthermore, the tool offers the Delivery Management team full reporting and management capabilities across the portfolio of projects. Finally, the most amazing part of this tool is the way it bridges the divide, which many times exists, between the sales team and the delivery team.
For more information about Project Service Automation, check out our CRM Minute video!
Happy Dynamics 365’ing!