Planning on coming to the Dynamics AX Technical Conference in Bellevue, WA on February 3-5, 2014? If you are willing to stay a few extra days then mark your calendar for a post-event workshop for Microsoft Dynamics AX functional consultants working in service industries (professional services, construction, engineering, accounting, advertising, etc.) This will be a deep dive, hands-on, scenario-based workshop where you will learn how to put the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 feature set to work in project-based businesses. Plus, you will get to hear about the latest improvements and changes directly from the product development.
More information available here. Registration pages are still being finalized and should be available by early December.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be reviewing some of the improvements we made to Project management and accounting in the Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU7 release. I'll start with the newly revamped Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) template editing experience:
The first thing you will notice is that you get a full collapsible, hierarchical grid rather than the tree control we used in the previous release. This allows you to see much more of the project plan at once. You can easily expand or collapse the grid with the Expand to Level button in the ribbon. The shaded rows in the grid are summary rows where you can see how the effort hours are totaled at each level.
Moving tasks around in the hierarchy is easy with the Move up, Move down, Indent, and Outdent buttons. You will also see that you get automatic WBS numbering based on the level in the hierarchy. Moving rows up or down or indenting or outdenting will maintain the numbering.
In this example, I'm using automatic scheduling. This means that it will calculate the task duration given the effort and number of resources assigned. You can turn automatic scheduling off if you would like to override this behavior.Since this is a template, the start date and end date are not specified. These will appear once you import the template into a project.
In addition, we have added support for specifying predecessors. Each task can have one more more predecessor tasks. You will see the impact of these tasks when you import the template into a project and have the start and finish dates automatically calculated.
Down below, you will see a set of fast tabs with properties of the selected task. One of these tabs contains the Estimated cost and revenue for the task. The nice thing is that hour transactions are automatically generated based on the WBS elements above. In this example, the 60 hour task in the category of ERPDev automatically keeps in sync with the estimate line below. You can add additional estimate lines that are not affected by the task properties. In the example above, I've added an Item and Expense transactions that are attached to the task. Later, when you import this template into your project, you can push these estimates into project forecasts or budget.
Hopefully, these improvements will make it easier for project managers who would like to use built-in Dynamics AX functionality to edit their WBS. In a future post, I'll talk about the ability to edit your project using Microsoft Project.
I just got back from Barcelona where I was attending Convergence EMEA. I presented two sessions, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Project Management and accounting and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Increasing productivity for project-centric organizations with mobile solutions and Microsoft Office interoperability. For both of these sessions, I previewed some of the features that are coming in the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 release. For those of you who were not able to attend, the session content should be available in a few days to everyone that registers for the Virtual Conference here.
I'm very excited to announce that we have released Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 7 (aka CU7) to CustomerSource and PartnerSource. This is the third CU released for Dynamics AX 2012 R2 (we skipped 2, 3, 4, and 5 to align with AX 2012 RTM CU numbering). For users of Project Management and Accounting, there is a lot of new functionality that will give you a head start on the new capabilities arriving with the R3 release early next year.
You can get an overview of new functionality here: http://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/dn527160.aspx. Here is a high level list of features:
- Use Microsoft Project (client) to create or update a Microsoft Dynamics AX project plan.
- Use Microsoft Project (client) to create or update the work breakdown structure (WBS) for a Microsoft Dynamics AX project quotation.
- Create a WBS template for Microsoft Dynamics AX by using Microsoft Project (client).
- Use Microsoft Project (client) to integrate Dynamics AX projects with an Office 365 SharePoint project site.
- Expanded support for working with project teams, defining project role types, and managing project resources.
- Expanded support for managing worker assignments and capacity in projects.
- Enable audit trails on timesheet entry.
- Improved creation of project Work Breakdown Structures (WBS).
- Improvements for creating project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) templates.
- Improved creation of project budgets and budget revisions.
- Intercompany invoicing for project costs (time and expenses).
I encourage you to download the release and post your feedback. Over the next few weeks, I will dive into these areas in more detail. For now, I'm headed to Convergence EMEA in Barcelona. Hope to see you there.