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Managing Projects RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey Guys,

    We need to figure out a way to manage our projects. Our projects typically are simple 5-10 task web design projects. Here are the currnet potential methods of managing projects with our crm/sharepoint platform. We are new to this so any help your be appreciated.

    1.       Contracts
    - This doesn’t seem to be a great method of tracking projects. I played around with it and its awkward and refers more to like tech support contracts.

    2.       Opportunities
    - We can manage projects just as opportunities. So for example, when we started to pitch a website it would have an opportunity. Then once we won the job then we could have tracked all the tasks and files in there and only close the opportunity after we finished the project.

    The downfall for this is open projects will get mixed with ongoing potential opportunities and it can become a mess. Opportunities should be for projects we have yet to win.

    We used SugarCRM before this and it had a great project management module. Once you win an opportunites.. u can upgrade it into a project. We loved that about sugarcrm but nothing else lol.

    3.       Sharepoint projects

    - This is the slickest and easiest way to do it… but I can see it getting out of control very quickly. From what I see… there is no easy way to sort sharepoint document sites and list sites. Also for all our projects we have two pages, a document and a list page.

    We could create tabs at the top called “Projects” to separate form our main SharePoint site… but even then I can see it getting messy. Furthermore… we are not linking projects to accounts in crm. Which will eventually get out of control.

     

    So unless we can somehow link sharepoint into crm then we cant use it.

     

    4.       Add Project as a new attribute in CRM.
    - This shows promise but it is not as slick as sharepoint project management and it will be difficult to upload and manage files for projects. Also there is no ghant chart option.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    Saturday, May 9, 2009 7:13 PM

Answers

  • Hi Richard,

    it is not likely that you will find a perfect solution for you out of the box.

    As a consultant I recommend you to create a custom entity and add the behaviour you want with .NET-code and SQL Server Reports and Third-party-AddOns.

    If you want to get a SharePoint-Integration to CRM to add documents to such custom entity I can recommend the Documents Core Pack from mscrm-addons.
    http://www.mscrm-addons.com/Products/AddonsforMSCRM40/DocumentsCorePackforMSCRM40/tabid/130/language/de-DE/Default.aspx

    The Gant Chart Option is easily addable with an appripriate SQL Server Report.

    And almost any other wish can be added with Workflows and PlugIns.

    Best regards,
    Jürgen

    Jürgen Beck

    Dipl. Kfm./Wirtschaftsinformatik
    MVP, MCSD.NET, MCITP DBA, MCDBA, MCSE
    Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional
    Microsoft Certified CRM Developer
    Microsoft Certified Trainer

    ComBeck IT Services & Business Solutions
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist

    Developing & Supporting Business Applications from small business to big enterprises covering scores of sectors

    http://www.combeck.de
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 10:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    I have worked on a similar solution. And here is our approach to project.

    Our thinking; It's smart to add projects to CRM, it gives valuable information from a customer perspective, and it's easy to track Outlook information, then set regarding on e-mails and meetings in most cases. But, CRM is not a collaborative tool, so we implemented a sharepoint integratation, that gives access directly from project in CRM to Sharepoint. I.e. if we are collaborating (documents, discussions, to-do lists etc) we are in Sharepoint, if we are capturing e-mails, meetings or other unstructured information we are in CRM. I strongly believe in combining both; since they are excellent in each of their areas.

    What we did :

    1. Create Project entity (with notes, history and user owner ..)
    - Created N:N Relationships to users and contacts (no roles ... could do 1:N:1 to assign roles etc)
    - Created N:1 relationship to case and account (relevant level for our scenario to limit access to data)
    - added fields Title, From Date, To Date, Description ... kept it at a minimum.
    - added a sharepoint link field
    - added an ISV config entry to view sharepoint page from CRM, and give access to link that could open up the site in seperate window.
    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:22 PM

All replies

  • I replied to your question -how to manage contracts- before reading this question. I would like to add that you can create an order/project from within the opportunity and close it with status won.
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 9:57 AM
  • Hi Richard,

    it is not likely that you will find a perfect solution for you out of the box.

    As a consultant I recommend you to create a custom entity and add the behaviour you want with .NET-code and SQL Server Reports and Third-party-AddOns.

    If you want to get a SharePoint-Integration to CRM to add documents to such custom entity I can recommend the Documents Core Pack from mscrm-addons.
    http://www.mscrm-addons.com/Products/AddonsforMSCRM40/DocumentsCorePackforMSCRM40/tabid/130/language/de-DE/Default.aspx

    The Gant Chart Option is easily addable with an appripriate SQL Server Report.

    And almost any other wish can be added with Workflows and PlugIns.

    Best regards,
    Jürgen

    Jürgen Beck

    Dipl. Kfm./Wirtschaftsinformatik
    MVP, MCSD.NET, MCITP DBA, MCDBA, MCSE
    Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional
    Microsoft Certified CRM Developer
    Microsoft Certified Trainer

    ComBeck IT Services & Business Solutions
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist

    Developing & Supporting Business Applications from small business to big enterprises covering scores of sectors

    http://www.combeck.de
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 10:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Nauta,

    So an order can be a project? And then maybe managed somewhere else?

    Jurgen,

    We do not have the budget or resources to do that much custom development. We are a small firm with tight margins.

    We are just trying to find a work around.

    Any suggestions for our situation?
    Monday, May 11, 2009 7:48 PM
  • Richard,

    Yes, the salesperson creates the order/project, completes the order/projectform and assigns it to the projectleader. You can create invoices from within the order/project.

    Regards,

    Jan Nauta


    Microsoft Business Solutions Partner www.nauta-automatisering.nl
    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:19 AM
  • Hi,

    I have worked on a similar solution. And here is our approach to project.

    Our thinking; It's smart to add projects to CRM, it gives valuable information from a customer perspective, and it's easy to track Outlook information, then set regarding on e-mails and meetings in most cases. But, CRM is not a collaborative tool, so we implemented a sharepoint integratation, that gives access directly from project in CRM to Sharepoint. I.e. if we are collaborating (documents, discussions, to-do lists etc) we are in Sharepoint, if we are capturing e-mails, meetings or other unstructured information we are in CRM. I strongly believe in combining both; since they are excellent in each of their areas.

    What we did :

    1. Create Project entity (with notes, history and user owner ..)
    - Created N:N Relationships to users and contacts (no roles ... could do 1:N:1 to assign roles etc)
    - Created N:1 relationship to case and account (relevant level for our scenario to limit access to data)
    - added fields Title, From Date, To Date, Description ... kept it at a minimum.
    - added a sharepoint link field
    - added an ISV config entry to view sharepoint page from CRM, and give access to link that could open up the site in seperate window.
    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:22 PM