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Remove the project data silo from your business with Dynamics CRM project service

With many providers delivering similar services, your customer experience needs to be distinct and consistent across every client interaction. Organisations have to reach new levels of transparency and collaboration, both internally and externally. People have come to expect this. They expect to be involved; they expect to collaborate; they expect to be online; they expect to be able to do it anywhere; and they expect this to be simple.

And because we’re only as good as – and remembered by – our last customer delivery, as project organisations we need to focus on delivering excellent products and services, consistently.

Delivering projects is all about relationships and team collaboration, so why shouldn’t this be embedded into a Customer Relationship Management solution?

SPI Research for Microsoft on 2016 Professional Services Maturity talks about moving organisations from Project Heroic and Functional Excellence to Portfolio and Collaborative Excellence. The move away from individual project heroes leads to significant performance improvements and an increase in average EBITDA compared with less mature organisations. To be able to progress along the maturity lifecycle you require systems that are embedded into the process, removing silos of data and enabling greater collaboration amongst teams, both internal and external.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service adds transparency and collaboration to projects

How can we achieve this? With the introduction of project service in Dynamics CRM 2016 Online, project excellence is now easier than ever before.

About Microsoft Dynamics CRM project service

 Launched by Microsoft in March as part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave, project service is an end-to-end solution that extends Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide a single system of customer engagement for project sales, resourcing, delivery and billing.

Through Office 365 integration, collaboration becomes second nature and automated, notes can be shared using OneNote, documents worked on by multiple people seamlessly and shared with the team, internally and externally.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM project service delivers:

  • Project-based contracts: Project contracts relate quotes and orders to project plans, financial estimates, labour pricing, and billing arrangements, like time and materials or fixed price. The contract highlights key metrics, including profitability and feasibility.
  • Project planning: Visual project planning and estimation includes predecessors, automatic task scheduling, and views of sales and cost information for time and expenses. You can use the resulting plan in quotes and project contracts.
  • Resource management: Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right projects. You can also track resource utilisation and forecasting metrics.
  • Time and expenses: Team members can use the web or mobile apps to record time and expenses for multiple projects. Managers can easily approve new entries while understanding the financial implications of the newly-approved items.
  • Project billing: Project invoices reflect the terms of the contract and the approved work and expenses. The financial impact of project work, including costs, unbilled revenue, and invoices, is recorded for use in analytics and integration into financial systems.

The focus of project service

Microsoft Dynamics CRM project service focuses on removing project data silos by embedding deep project service capabilities into Dynamics CRM, concentrating on three core operational excellence factors:

  • Deep customer and employee engagement: A focus on building credibility through collaborative project planning, estimation and expectations setting. This helps to provide confidence in project success through proven processes and a responsive engagement model, delivering predictable on-time and on budget projects with process automation and transparency. The 2015 Miller Heiman Global Sales Best Practices study states that 94% of world class organisations collaborate across all departments to close large deals, as opposed to only 43% across all organisations.
  • Empower professionals: at the end of the day it’s the quality of your professionals that deliver excellent customer engagement and customer experiences. The focus here is ensuring consistency and process excellence to drive up the maturity lifecycle. Through a single system view, you can facilitate transparency with comprehensive views of skills and their relationship to project requirements, ensuring the right resource with the right skills is assigned to work, inevitably driving more realistic attainment of on-time and on-budget projects. You can enhance productivity through providing collaboration tools via Office 365 groups, project team sites and tools like visual studio online. It also empowers employees to find projects to maintain skills, and to collaborate amongst the team increasing loyalty through visible interaction, recognition and skills development.
  • Optimise growth: The 2016 SPI Professional Services Maturity Benchmark states organisations using an integrated project-based solution with CRM are 44% more profitable than those using neither. Coordinating a firm wide approach to prioritising client and pursuit management using team collaboration in consistent ways helps to deliver successful projects. Monitoring and managing overall status and having that visible to the professionals is critical in ensuring that real time visibility of project status. The more people are aware then the more they care and focus on delivering successful project outcomes. Using the built in metrics in project service and PowerBI reporting tools facilitates timely decision making enabling the business to adapt and change accordingly before it is too late.

If you’d like to know more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM project service and how we can help your organisation to deliver project excellence and move along the project lifecycle, we’d love to talk to you. Find out more and download a datasheet here.

Posted by: Steven Foster, Client Director | 09 June 2016

Tags: Project Management, Project Delivery, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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