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In today’s increasingly complex business environment, project-centric organizations face a variety of challenges to succeed; challenges like winning new deals, optimizing resource utilization, simplifying time and expense processes, streamlining project financials, and gaining key business insights. Ultimately, project-centric organizations are always looking for ways to optimize their operations and improve their bottom line.

Since its launch, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations has connected sales, resource management, project management, and finance teams within one application to help win more deals, accelerate project delivery, and maximize profitability. In our first 2021 release wave 1 for Dynamics 365 Project Operations, we’ve refined and enhanced features that will continue to empower your project-centric business.

Non-stock materials for projects

With this update, sales and account managers using Project Operations deployed for lite and resource or non-stocked scenarios can provide more accurate quotes based on estimates, including non-stocked materials and their pricing as well as project contracts that contain services and materials. This update will also allow consumption tracking of these materials during the project delivery phase so project accountants can invoice customers for their use.

Procurement agents will have the ability to record pending vendor invoices for projects and provide these insights to all personas involved, from the project manager to the project accountant. Project team members and project managers will be able to track and approve non-stocked material usage against the project, enabling downstream accounting. Accounting and finance can see non-stock material costs immediately and invoice customers for their usage.

Task-based billing

In project-centric businesses, account and project managers often face the challenge of accommodating their customer’s complex billing and contracting needs. Sometimes a set of project tasks are complimentary or not chargeable, like proof of concept or presales activities, while the remaining tasks may require fixed fee or time and materials billing. Another example of complex contracting requirements is when multiple organizations need to be billed for different sets of tasks under the same project. Project Operations deployed for resource or non-stocked scenarios now support multiple billing scenarios with the flexibility to define what to bill for, whom to bill, and when to bill for each contract line all the way down to the task level.

Customers will now have the flexibility to use multiple billing methods in the contract while keeping the work in the same project for easy management and invoicing. Finance and leadership now get combined, accurate project profitability analysis for the work under a contract, regardless of its billing requirements.

Improvements to project planning and task scheduling experiences

Since its release, Project Operations has leveraged project management capabilities from Microsoft Project for the web. Project Operations customers have benefited from new features released by the Project team like Export to Excel, Export Timeline to PDF, Create Attachments on Tasks, and more. Learn more about what’s new in Project.

One 2021 release wave 1 feature we’d like to highlight is Scheduling modes, which will enable project managers to designate how Project Operations calculate task assignments depending on what makes the most sense for a particular project. Define the amount of work needed to complete an assignment (fixed effort) or the amount of time it will take to complete (fixed duration). Alternatively, set a completion date or the amount of work, and let Project Operations determine the allocation of resources needed to meet the deadline (fixed units).

Throughout the 2021 release wave 1, the Project team will bring even more new features to Project for the web and to Project Operations as well.

Enhanced Project Operations APIs

Project for the web capabilities in Project Operations were preventing certain scheduling entities from create, update, and delete programmatic access. We have now enabled enhanced APIs so customers can develop custom solutions to utilizing this API. Learn more about Schedule APIs.

Learn more about these features and how Project Operations connects project-centric businesses in one application

Learn about these capabilities by reading the What’s New April 2021 release notes and the Project Operations 2021 release wave 1.

We invite you to watch on-demand event sessions showcasing these features, Reimagine Project Management with Microsoft.

To learn more about Projects Operations, watch videos on how Project Operations can help you:

  • Win more bids with better deal management
  • Optimize resource utilization
  • Accelerate project delivery
  • Enhance collaboration and simplify time and expense
  • Drive project performance
  • Increase business agility

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

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