<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/133892.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

When Dynamics 365 Project Operations joined Microsoft’s suite of cloud-based business solutions, you may have wondered how it differed from previous project management apps. For example, D365 Project Service Automation (PSA) precedes D365 Project Operations. And then there’s Microsoft Project, Microsoft Planner and D365 Finance & Operations - all of which also offer some project management capabilities.

But what makes D365 Project Operations so different? And what prompted Microsoft to add yet another project management solution to the family?

What is Dynamics 365 Project Operations and who is it intended for?

Microsoft describes Project Operations as the application designed to connect your professional services business, end-to-end. So, you can handle projects from the quoting stage all the way through to financials.

This will help you gain the visibility, level of collaboration and agility required to drive success across the organisation.

Thanks to its wide range of features and functionalities, D365 Project Operations can be used by various employees across different job roles. This includes:

  • Project managers
  • Sales managers
  • Resource managers
  • Account managers
  • Finance managers/project accountants
  • Operations managers

Why was Project Operations developed and released?

Microsoft project operationsPhoto by Mikael Blomkvist

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft already had a well-established collection of project management solutions. In addition to D365 PSA, Microsoft Project and Planner, D365 Finance also offered project management capabilities.

So, why add another to the stack?

D365 Project Operations offers functionalities that the other apps don’t offer individually. For example, Microsoft Project comes with planning and scheduling capabilities - but PSA doesn’t. PSA, however, offers advanced sales and delivery functionalities. And D365 Finance obviously offers project management accounting, time and expense management features.

Project Operations offers all of these features (arguably the best of breed capabilities of the three aforementioned apps) in one solution. So, there’s no need for you to invest in and work with multiple apps.

This means:

  • Improved productivity and process efficiency as there’s no need to switch from one solution to another
  • Better data visibility as it’s available in one place (one source of data truth)
  • Unlocks cross-team, departmental and function collaboration as the solution can be used by more employees from different departments

And then there are more features, such as:

  • Gantt charts and drag and drop functionality to further improve project planning
  • Accounting functionality, thanks to integration to Dynamics 365 Finance
  • Dual Write functionality with Microsoft’s Power Platform to ensure data is seamlessly integrated between your finance and operational systems

By putting together the best features of the three existing project management tools (plus a few extras), Microsoft has created a ‘complete’ solution to help drive efficiency for professional services firms.

What are the key features of Project Operations?

Professional services industryPhoto by Vlada Karpovich

Project management

Ensure your project management team can access the exact tools they need to succeed. This includes:

  • Customisable dashboards
  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Work-breakdown structures
  • Ability to create accurate estimates for labour and expenses
  • Built-in insights into how projects are progressing (e.g. the ability to track planned-to-actual consumption) so you can make timely decisions

Resource optimisation

Thanks to a smart scheduling engine, Project Operations can help you assign the right people/resources to the right task at the right time. Using insights such as the employee’s skill, availability and location, your project managers can:

  • Maximise resource utilisation
  • Improve internal productivity
  • Improve project success (and customer satisfaction)
  • Better anticipate resourcing needs

Internal productivity tools

Ensure your team are spending more time on value-added activities and less time on tasks, such as admin. For example, time and expense submission can be manual-heavy and time-consuming. This can lead to data inaccuracies which can affect future project planning and forecasting and cash flow.

Project Operations simplifies time tracking and expense management. Users can easily submit, approve and reconcile time and expenses wherever they’re located (e.g. if they’re out in the field, they can use the D365 mobile app).

PSA softwarePhoto by Alena Darmel

Communication tools

One centralised solution means your team and customers can quickly and easily access the information they need, whenever they need it. An integration with Microsoft Teams, for example, also enables better internal and external communication.

Profit forecasting

A unified sales management dashboard allows your team to easily view product and project-based opportunities. All in one place. This can help them:

  • Prioritise deals
  • Highlight at-risk deals and take prompt action
  • Identify the potential profitability of deals

D365 Project Operations - the ultimate addition to Microsoft’s project management family

As you can see, despite the similarities, Project Operations does differ from PSA. It’s a worthy addition to Microsoft’s project management family.

To read more about Project Operations, its features and how it can benefit your business, click the button below to download our solution factsheet.

Learn more

Discuss this post

Recommended posts

In the modern business world, we use technology daily to elevate efficiency in the workplace, boost the productivity and satisfaction of our employees, and help take our organisation forward as a whole. Automation is a big part of business success nowadays and a key component of business technology, allowing us to automate menial and some complex processes in various departments. While most conversations revolve around IT, marketing, robotics, or chatbot automation, it’s important to give payment automation the attention it deserves. Payment automation means automating your accounts receivables and payables to create a well-rounded, efficient accounting system that’ll help you take your business forward, while minimising risks and possible threats. Today, we’ll put all of that into perspective as we take a look at how payment automation drives business growth, and why you’ll need it in 2023.
Project development, also known as project management, is the process of alighting talent, tools, and various internal and external processes to create a smooth and straightforward project. Regardless of what the project is, the key goals are always the same:
Project management is a comprehensive process where companies invest in managers, talent, tools, and relevant methods and processes to support a project from inception to successful completion. In the competitive modern business world, not having a project management strategy or not investing in project management in the first place leaves a company vulnerable on almost every front.  Without project management, a business cannot coordinate internally or nurture efficient cross-department collaboration, and customer-facing teams struggle to deliver stellar CX that customers expect. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Successful project management brings numerous short, mid, and long-term benefits to modern businesses.  Let’s take a look at what these are and go over project management best practices you can start implementing today to develop and retain your competitive advantage. 
Changing any part of your professional services firm can cause confusion and disruption among your team. People often don’t like change, but sometimes it’s necessary for your firm to drive growth and efficiency. Here, we explore the importance of change management and break down the different stages involved.
IT consulting firms certainly have their work cut out. With recent events such as the pandemic to customers demanding more from the services they buy, it’s evident that the industry is facing more pressure than ever before. However, by better understanding the challenges your IT consultancy firm faces, you can become more resilient and adaptable. Let’s take a look:
right-arrow share search phone phone-filled menu filter envelope envelope-filled close checkmark caret-down arrow-up arrow-right arrow-left arrow-down