Microsoft showed its commitment to using artificial intelligence through its partnership with OpenAI. At this point, they’re most well-known as the creators of ChatGPT. The company’s Dynamics 365 release wave 1 plan showed how Microsoft would introduce hundreds of AI capabilities within their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Project managers stand to benefit significantly from Copilot by using AI in project management.
What is Dynamics 365 Project Operations?
Dynamics 365 Project Operations is a comprehensive project management solution from Microsoft. It’s designed to streamline project-based operations into a unified platform. Integrating everything into one platform gives companies complete visibility into the project lifecycle. Project managers have what they need to handle projects more efficiently.
Additional benefits offered by D365 Project Operations include:
- Business insights — Project managers and team members gain increased visibility across all project data, teams, and processes. Integrated AI capabilities help leaders make faster, data-backed decisions.
- Accelerated sales cycle — Sales teams can speed up the sales cycle by obtaining faster, more accurate quotes, utilizing flexible pricing, and seamlessly transitioning from estimates to final sales.
- Better resourcing — Team leaders can ensure they’re aligning people with the right skills to appropriate projects, improving the quality of overall outcomes.
- Faster project delivery — Built-in project management features help managers overcome obstacles and speed up market delivery.
Top Dynamics 365 Project Management Features
- Costing and pricing — Users can model pricing and cost variations based on location and market economics.
- Contract structuring — Use deal structure templates to create various contract types, including fixed-price, time and materials, and retainer types.
- Flexible pricing and accurate quoting — Generate high-level estimates, then use standardized templates to set up detailed estimates, schedules, and monetary values for quotes.
- Unified dashboard — Bring together information from various sources into a single view.
Dynamics 365 Project Management Use Cases
Below are some use cases showing how businesses can leverage Dynamics 365 Project Operations functionality within their organization.
1. Project Management
Dynamics 365 Project Management’s capabilities are suited to a variety of industries. For example, consulting firms and legal practices can use the platform to manage client projects. D365 Project Management can generate project plans, allow managers to assign tasks to team members, and allocate the proper resources. The platform also gives firms tools to manage client engagements and relationships effectively by:
- Storing client information
- Tracking project histories
- Maintaining communication logs
Dynamics 365 Project Operations provides mobile access that allows team members to work from anywhere. That means professional teams can work remotely or from client sites. The platform also integrates with other Microsoft Office tools like Outlook and Excel, making it easier to perform functions like capturing emails and analyzing project information.
2. Resource Management
Microsoft Project Management matches resources like consultants, analysts, and designers to projects based on their skill set, availability, and overall knowledge. That helps organizations optimize resource use and keep team members from feeling overwhelmed.
The platform helps managers create resource schedules outlining the team members assigned to specific projects and tasks. It also contains project dates, which helps with avoiding resource conflicts. If project circumstances change, D365 Project Management simplifies the process of making real-time resource allocation adjustments.
In addition to avoiding overbooking, the software solution lets you define and track the skills of team members. If you have four developers working for your company, Dynamics 365 Project Management lets you lay out their specific skills and competencies. If the project calls for a Dot Net developer, you can ensure that you have people assigned capable of handling the technical load.
3. Time Tracking and Expense Management
Dynamics 365 Project Management lets project team members log hours directly into the platform from a desktop or mobile. They can make entries based on their preferences and the project requirements. Managers can easily keep up with the time everyone spends working on various project tasks or assignments.
Businesses can establish approval workflows for supervisors or project managers to ensure accurate time recording aligned with project expectations. Dynamics 365 Project Management integrates time-tracking data with project management functionalities. All logged time contributes to functions like progress tracking and resource utilization.
4. Billing and Invoicing
D365 Project Operations establishes more efficient and accurate project financial management by integrating time and expense data into the billing process. All billable hours and project-related expenses get captured and leveraged to generate invoices. The platform also automates invoice generation based on defined contract terms and time-tracking information.
Users can distinguish between billable and non-billable hours, ensuring that only eligible work gets included on client invoices. If a project has multiple milestones or phases, Dynamics 365 Project Operations can generate invoices after the completion of each. The solution also provides customizable invoice templates organizations can tailor to their branding and requirements.
The robust collaboration features in Dynamics 365 Project serves as a centralized hub where project team members can access documents, communications, and other related information. Users can upload, share, and store files like reports and presentations. That way, all team members can quickly access any project-related materials.
Microsoft Project Operations records communications like emails, notes, and messages. Users have a historical record of all discussions and decisions, providing transparency and accountability. The platform also allows users to update task statuses, log progress, and communicate with other team members about updates or challenges related to their project activities.
6. Contract and Compliance Management
The platform allows organizational users to define and manage contracts to ensure they include specific conditions, terms, and deliverables. The platform also helps businesses in regulated industries adhere to all required regulations and standards. D365 Project Operations tracks compliance tasks and maintains audit trails for all record changes and updates.
Businesses can set up compliance-related tasks and checklists to ensure the completion of all compliance activities and that all required documentation is present. The platform can send automated reminders related to compliance activities and deadlines.
Streamline Project Management With IES
Internet eBusiness Solutions (IES) helps organizations find the right solutions for their business environment. We provide guidance on leveraging tools like Dynamics 365 Project Management to its fullest potential. Learn more about our services by contacting one of our technology experts.