Project Service Automation PSA offers a nice WBS interface that is really good but still has some limitations. The best thing is that it integrates with MS Project so users can use their existing project plan templates. Here is an overview of Work Breakdown Structure in Project Service Automation.
How to open wbs within dynamics 365 for project service automation:
- Open up your project in Dynamics 365 Project Services.
- Access associated entities and click on WBS. It will open up your WBS.
Integration with MS Project:
- On the project record, click on “Open in MS Project”. It will open up your project in the MS Project. This requires PSA add-on for MS Project.
- Once a project is linked to MS Project it cannot be edited in CRM.
- Make change to projects in MS Project and it syncs automatically to the linked project.
- If user wants to create a project plan in MS Project and then upload in Dynamics 365, it can be done through integration as well. Create project in MS Project. Publish it through the PSA add-on tab. MS Project will ask for selection of project or project template to publish the project.
- It does not support Milestones. If project plan being integrated has Milestones then on integration they would show up as task with 1 hour in WBS inside Dynamics 365 PSA module.
- By default resource roles do not get integrated automatically. However, what integration does is that it creates additional columns in the Resource sheet of your project plan. Use these to get actual resources in the system.
- Data save is still an issue. At times if you make changes in work breakdown your changes can be lost if there is a big project plan that might take a long time to update.
- In order to open up a project in MS Project directly from CRM, MS Project needs to be saved in SharePoint. By default MS Project is not saved in the document location associated with the project. Make sure you save your project plan against the project in SP location that is linked to the project. That will make document management a lot more easier.
- Resources are considered to be 100% assigned on the project. In most of my project plans I have resources spending some percentage of time on the task. This is to help manage resources working on multiple projects. However, on sync with Project Service Automation PSA in CRM resource is assigned with 100% time on the project.
- If you have existing project templates in MS Project, you can sync them with WBS against a project template in Project Service Automation PSA. This is really helpful because you can use these templates in PSA application to create your projects. Best way to start is to start by creating project template record in PSA application. Once template object is created just open up your MS Project. If you have the add-in installed it will show you an option to connect with Project template in CRM. Link with your project template record. Now you can start building your project plan and publish to PSA online module once done. Remember, if you want resource roles against tasks then add PSA columns to your resources in MS Project.
- One key aspect of the sync is that by default all resources are mapped to the Generic resource unless you use named resources and the resources are also present in CRM. If you use roles in your project plan then make sure all the roles are also available in CRM otherwise role will be matched to Team Member default role. In order to assigned tasks to resources on the first sync configure users and not the resources assigned in the MS Project plan. However, on first synch, CRM adds additional columns to Resources tab. This would help synchronize the right roles.
- If your resource in MS Project contains name of the users in CRM then your task will be assigned to resource on WBS integration. Otherwise they are all assigned to Generic resource with the expectation that project manager will assign to appropriate resource from the resource pool.
We will write more about this integration and also about integrating with TFS for developers.