What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA) is now known as Project Operations as of October 2020. Project Operations is an end-to-end solution that will help your sales and delivery teams engage customers and deliver billable projects on time and within budget. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations gives you the tools you need to: Estimate, quote, and contract work; Plan and assign resources; Enable team collaboration; Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing.
Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Operations means your Sales and projects teams can create accurate quotes from a draft project plan, comparing the results to customer budgets and timescales. This can then be shared with a customer, revised and updated until it is approved, at which point the quote can be converted to a project contract and the associated opportunity closed as won.
Using a single system for sales and project management allows you to track a sale from initial enquiry (lead), right through to project delivery, measuring the profitability of the delivered project. With expense and time entry modules, Project Operations allows you to accurately track all project actuals against estimates and monitor the progress and cost consumption of projects in real time, highlighting problems early on.
Combined with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portals, project information can be shared with customers such as the project schedule and progress.
The benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Operations
Using the sales tools in Project Operations, sales users can create quotes and accurately identify the costs associated to the project, including resource, expenses and any associated products such as licences or materials. Projects can be quoted as fixed price or time and materials, giving you flexibility in your chosen delivery model. In collaboration with your project team, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales users can create a draft project plan for the project which will then automatically estimate the cost and sales prices for the quote and compare them to your customers’ expectations.
Using the built-in scheduling tools within Project Operations, project managers can build a project schedule and identify the roles required to deliver the tasks within the project. From this, resource requirements can be generated which are then booked, either by the project manager or a request can be sent for the resource to a separate booking team.
Taking into account resources skills, proficiencies and availability, resources can then be searched and allocated to projects.
Once a project has been planned, it then moves to the delivery stage where resources can see what’s assigned to them to work on and add time entries and expenses against the project. The Project Manager can track project progress in terms of time spent, tasks complete and cost consumption.
Once a project is underway and a project contract is in place, the project can then be billed to the customer. This can either be in fixed price milestones which are pre-defined so that analysis can be undertaken as to when revenue is recognised, or as time and materials where time entries are collated and invoiced on a schedule, be it weekly, monthly, or ad-hoc.
As invoices are generated against the project, ‘actual’ transaction records are created which can then be used to report on actual project costs and profitability.
Invoices can be generated using custom branded templates for distribution to customers and then the associated transactions either sent to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, or any other ERP/accounts package you may have. Most common accounts packages have an existing integration to Microsoft Dynamics 365, but for those that may not a .csv export file can be produce for importing into the finance system.
Analysis and Reporting
Within Project Operations there are a suite of reports which can be delivered as charts, dashboards, spreadsheets and Power BI reports. The Power BI Practice Manager report provides an overview of projects in terms of sales, resource availability and required capacity, utilisation and revenue and profit.
Users can create their own dashboards, reporting on any data within the system as lists or charts, and embed external content on dashboards using iFrames. Additionally, Excel templates can be prebuilt with useful pivot tables and charts and can be easily produced in any format. These Excel reports are useful for external communications and project updates as they can be filtered and formatted so they are client friendly in terms of data and look and feel. Automation can be added using Microsoft Flow to distribute reports as Word Documents, Excel Documents or PDFs to customers, communicating project progress or details from the RAID log for example. Resource utilisation can be viewed for resources in your organisation, reported against an individual target utilisation figure.
Project Operations is built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform and as such has all of the standard Microsoft Dynamics tools available to customise the system to add new fields, forms, views, workflows and business process flows to ensure the system exactly fits your requirements as a business.
Our team of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consultants will undertake analysis with you to deeply understand your business and map your process to Microsoft Dynamics 365 to ensure the system is easy to use, upholds your business processes and has the best user adoption rates possible. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Operations is a broad system with a lot of functionality covering multiple departments and as such quality training is critical to the success of any Project Service Automation project.
Infinity Group provide expert training across the entire Microsoft Dynamics 365 product suite to ensure you get the most from the platform. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations is the ideal tool to manage your projects and resources from initial sale through to billing and completion.
If you are interested in implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Operations or viewing a demo, then please get in touch