Anybody who has worked with project management and accounting in Dynamics 365 and has set up a project, knows that there are various “stages”. The typical scenario is that a project is created, then is in process, and finally completed. 

 

Managing a project in D365 – whether it is Time and Material, Fixed Price, Investment, Cost, Time, or Internal – is a key function for users of the system. Tracking a project from beginning to end and completing all the steps along the way is a key to the success of the project. Using the project stages to control what can be done in each stage is an important and under-appreciated functionality of the Projects module.

 

First, let’s look at the All projects page in the Project tab under the Maintain group. Here is an option to modify the Project stage. You can see that for this Time and Material project, this particular project is “In process.” Note that the stages Created and Finished are enabled, which means that with the proper security, a user can change the stage to either one. Yes, you can move a project stage backwards, and there can be reasons for this to happen

Project management and accounting > All projects

 

So what do these stages mean? Let’s take a look at the setup of the stages and the rules associated with each stage. 

 

First, the screen shot below shows how the project is currently set-up

Project management and accounting > Setup > Project management and accounting parameters

Project stage tab

 

In the first column, the first five stages are the out of the box stages. The second column represents the actual wording of the stage that we saw in the project itself. 

 

The next six columns represent the project types in the system. The grid and the check boxes display the stages that you will have for each type. For example, for an Investment project, there will only be two stages:, In process and Completed. 

 

The key to using these stages is to define rules of what can and cannot be done while a project is in a particular stage. To see this functionality, click on the place your cursor on a stage, and then click on select the Project stage rules to bring up this screen:

Here you can see that these are the rules for the Created stage for a Time and material project. Note that the highlighted area are the only activities where you have the options. The available options are a result of the combination of the Project type and Project stage. For example, the creation of journals is simply not allowed while any project is in the Created stage. 

 

If we take a look at what is allowed for the In process stage, you will see many more enabled options:

In this stage, all options are available except Estimates and Reverse eliminate, which are functions only available only with Fixed price and Investment projects. 

 

Next is a In the screen shot below of of the In process stage of a Fixed price project. , Here you can see that all options are allowed, including the estimates and reverse eliminate. 

Here is a table of what each of the options are, and they also they show which options are available for specific project types.

 

  • Create quotation – Create a project quotation for fixed-price and time-and-material projects.
  • Create forecast/budget – Create and schedule forecast lines for any transaction.
  • Create estimates Create estimates for fixed-price projects.
  • Create item tasks Create sales and purchase orders, item requirements, and production orders for projects.
  • Create journalsCreate journals transactions for projects.
  • Create invoice proposalCreate an invoice proposal for fixed-price and time-and-material projects.
  • Reverse eliminate Allow a reverse elimination of the budget for selected project types.

 

As you can see, the use of stages is an very important part of using Project management and accounting. Stages, combined with security roles, they provide a tremendous level of control over who could can do what and when they can do it while managing a project and project transactions. 

 

Want to learn more about Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations? Visit academy.rsmus.com for eLearning courses and information about our hosted training classes in Denver! Or contact our Microsoft Dynamics experts at RSM (855) 437-7201.  

 

Howard LeCover

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