Project management is no piece of cake. Managers need to keep their eye on resources, time, budget and progress. It can be multi-layered, time-consuming work.

Which makes even more baffling the fact that smaller companies and project teams often do not use dedicated project management software, as a study by Capterra has found. Instead, they often document projects manually, most commonly using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. The complaints we often hear from customers is that these proviso solutions result in inefficient and unnecessarily complicated processes marked by disruptions of media.

While smaller businesses tend not to use professional software for project management at all, larger companies are often stuck with siloed and inflexible solutions that offer comprehensive functionality but do not meet their requirements.

The benefits of Dynamics 365 based project management

Project management software gives project managers improved overview of projects, it helps streamline processes and simplifies reporting. In contrast to project documentation with Excel spreadsheets and other makeshift solutions, professional project management software is more efficient and easier to use, resulting in fewer errors.

proMX’s project management software portfolio is based around Microsoft Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 is a suite of nine cloud business apps, each focusing on a different business area – from sales to marketing to service. They connect seamlessly with one another (thus eliminating disruptions of media when managing a company’s business cycle) but can also be used stand-alone.

Dynamics 365 apps offer broad functionality and were designed to fit the needs of businesses in many different industries. Which is why a major tenant of the Dynamics philosophy is adaptability. Concretly, this means that all Dynamics modules can be extended with third party developed apps that offer additional or specialized features.

Our project management product portfolio

There are several options to manage projects in Microsoft Dynamics 365. Our product portfolio covers different sets of requirements.

Getting started in professional project management

For companies that want to introduce a project management solution for the first time, our recommendations vary according to the size of their project team and the complexity of their business processes.

Option A: proRM Fast Start

What is it? proRM Fast Start is an app for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales developed by proMX. It integrates seamlessly into the Sales module and adds project management capabilities. This allows businesses to manage both sales processes and projects in one solution.

Who is it for? The app is designed to help businesses or business units get started in project management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 quickly. It is an ideal starting point for companies that have thus far not used professional project management software and require only basic functionality.

Which functions does it include? proRM Fast Start includes four basic project management features:

  • project planning and controlling
  • time and expense tracking
  • approval management
  • invoicing

Why use it? The app is extremely easy to set up (configuration takes two days at most) and intuitive to use, eliminating the need for prolonged employee trainings. If a company is already using Dynamics 365, proRM Fast Start is the quickest and least expensive option of starting out in project management.

Option B: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation

What is it? Part of the Dynamics 365 suite, Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA) is a sophisticated project management app that can be employed both as a stand-alone solution or seamlessly integrated with other Dynamics modules.

Who is it for? Large project teams with upwards of 50 users that have complex processes.

Which functions does it include? The app not only covers project delivery needs but also takes financial aspects into account. For first-class project planning capabilities, it can soon also be integrated with Microsoft Project.

Why use it? PSA was specifically developed to meet the needs of revenue-oriented project-based organizations. It is the most sophisticated project management software in Microsoft’s product portfolio. And the development team is not done yet – exciting things are in the works for PSA. Since the app is cloud-based, users will always be up to date and benefitting from the latest innovations.

Upgrading your project management software

Should either of these solutions no longer meet a business’s requirements, there are two options: upgrading to a more comprehensive software or extending the existing solution.

Option A: Graduating from proRM Fast Start to PSA

What is it? In case the functionality of proRM Fast Start is no longer sufficient, a business can easily upgrade to Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation, which offers many more features.

Why use it? We consider proRM Fast Start the first step of project management in Microsoft Dynamics 365. For some companies, it may be a good fit for a long time. Others might outgrow it at some point. This is why we have designed it to be compatible with PSA. Switching to the Microsoft app is easily done and users will not have to be completely retrained in how to use the software.

Option B: Extending PSA with Project Management Add-ons

What is it? The three proMX Project Management Add-ons for Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation boost the PSA functionality in key areas:

  • Time Tracking offers detailed start and end time tracking
  • Approval Manager adds extensive filter functionality for project managers
  • Project Gantt provides multi-customer project management in one view

Why use it? We have found that companies often miss these features in PSA. The add-ons stack up the app at low cost.

Any of the products mentioned in this article can be tested for free. We are also happy to walk you through Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation in a webinar. Feel free to contact our team if you have questions about the solutions, prices or our services.