Once again, to start my blog post, I would like to share a short story on my side:

A friend of mine recently told me that she forgot to update the Creative team regarding a small change from the client, and now they have to rush it out within 3 days because a small change requires them to start all over again, hence she felt bad about it.

See? One of the side products of ineffective communication.

So I ask her why did she forgot to inform the Creative team in the first place, since any new requirements should be updated to relevant personnel as soon as possible. Then she said because she has been keeping track of everything but the system she’s using is a bit messy and she has been changing a lot of stuff lately, so she overlooked it.

Ok, unorganized data on top of ineffective communication.

This is not something that is totally irrelevant, but everyday work life issues whereby everyone is juggling everything and people are bound to make mistakes when it involves coordination within different departments. To err is human, right?

Although I’m not trying to suggest that to not err is machine, but we do need a clear and simple software system to help us manage everything easily and to minimize error.

What has CRM software got to do with Project Management?

On the technical level, the project service module in CRM software affords keeping track of sales activities. The Project Manager is able to see how many open leads he/she has, how many secured projects he/she has, what information about the client do they have etc… which is roughly the same as what I’ve introduced in Customer Management using Dynamics CRM.

It is important for Project Managers to know what’s going on before the projects even start because they can have a mental note on how many projects they have to handle concurrently and how many potential projects may be coming in. This enables them to plan their time and resources more wisely.

On the strategic level, Project Management can be associated with Customer Relationship Management because ultimately, you want a happy and satisfied customer. You want clients who have worked with you receive a pleasant experience and therefore, will either come back to you again for new projects or recommend your service to other companies.  

The ability to carry out a project smoothly from end-to-end and deliver high quality results is what everyone in the project team hopes to achieve. None of us want to spend time fumbling on information collection, inefficient coordination, confused instructions, or poor time/resource management. Instead, all of us want to enjoy doing the actual project that stimulates our intellectual and allows us to improve ourselves, rather than doing administrative work.

Google “Why Do Projects Fail”, and you can find many similar content pertaining to what I’ve mentioned above. Making use of technology is the easiest method to solve these problems, the main thing just lies on which software to choose and why?

Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online?

One big reason why Dynamics CRM is highly recommended is due to its exhaustiveness – you are able to get a 360 degree view of everything you need to know. What I really like about Dynamics CRM is the ability to allow you to understand your situation inside-out and outside-in, so that you are certain about what is going on and how things are going on.

You are able to know the different tasks needed to complete the project, and who are working in your team. Since every project requires different talent resources, one project might need a Designer, while another project might need a Programmer. You are also able to know how many hours each talent should be working on to complete the project. As some require longer time than others, you can set the work hour requirement for your team so that everyone will know how much they have to commit to this project and they can prioritize their time too.

No ambiguity at all. No uncertainty at all. No wasted resources at all.

Dynamics CRM interface also allows easy modification – simply drag and drop to change the type of dependencies or add/minus project hours required from your team members. See, so easy! But… here comes another question: how do you know who to recruit for your project?

1. Dynamics CRM gives you freedom and transparency in talent resource management

If the company only has 20-30 people, then it is still possible to know each and every one of them. But what if the company has 200-300 employees? What if you are looking for team members with a particular skill set? What if many of them are working on different projects concurrently and you are not sure if they are available?

How do you know who to choose? How do you know who is able to commit?

You can’t go around for 2-3 days trying to settle administrative stuff in order to kick-start your project. Moreover, this also increase costs required to deliver projects. Hence to earn more profit, reduce costs is done easily simply by investing in Dynamics CRM.

Dynamics CRM enables you to specify what are the requirements for the tasks and propose potential candidates for your project.

A list of available and potential candidates for a particular task will be shown to you, together with how many hours they can commit. Another great function of Dynamics CRM is clear classification – you are able to view the candidates based on Organizational Units, Business Units, Resource Types, Teams, Roles, Skills. You can narrow your choice of candidates based on these classifications so as to save your time to find the best fit person for your team.

You will know how long do you need this particular candidate to work for you as Dynamics CRM is smart enough to generate such information. Hence you get to view the candidates’ profile and availability, and also able to see what other projects they are working on concurrently. If you have already booked this person for Project 1 and think that he is more suitable to be working on your new Project 2, then you have the flexibility to change his bookings to Project 2.

Alternatively, you can also recruit employees for your project via another method: submit Resource Request. When you have no preference towards who is working in your team, or simply do not have the time to go through different profiles, then you can ‘submit a request’ just like how HR recruiters publish available positions online. As a Designer (for example) who is relatively free and is looking for a project to work on, can browse through various requests and select the one that suits him the most (in terms of timing, duration, skills set, interests etc.).

2. Dynamics CRM helps you manage your project costs easily 

As there are different offices at various geographical locations, the cost of each employee is different due to different country, different currency etc. If there is a particular project that requires people from different offices to come together and work on it, then the costings will be different, and in different currencies as well.

So Dynamics CRM actually allows you to keep track on how much does each resource costs you and are able to convert the costs to the same currency. This allows easy billing of the customers so that they receive a clear invoice regarding how much they need to pay, but at the same time you can also keep track on revenue, cost and profit.

Even if your company only has one location or different offices are located in the same country, Dynamics CRM still makes budget management easier. You can know how much does your talent resource costs per hour, how many hours they are supposed to work to complete the project, and what is the client‘s budget. With all these information clearly stored in Dynamics CRM, it makes life much easier for Project Managers.

Ok, previously I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about how Dynamics CRM helps to organize EVERYTHING for you – from time management, to talent resource management, to budget management. Remember my dear friend at the start of the article? Other than unorganized data, there is also another factor that contributes to her carelessness.

Communication.

3. Smooth and transparent communication process with Dynamics CRM

There is no way communication is not a hassle in Project Management. In fact, this factor has been cited over and over again by various websites as reasons to “Why Project Management FAILS”.

With Dynamics CRM, you are able to set all kinds of schedule that is clear and visible for all members to see. Also, there is a group conversation panel that allows everyone to talk and discuss issues there. The conversations will be stored within the CRM system, and you can go back to refer anytime you want in case you are too busy with different projects and forgot the details on what you’ve discussed last week.

Any files or notes can be shared among team members as well. So communication issues will be minimized to its maximum.

That’s not all:

There are still other functions available for Project Management in Dynamics CRM, such as the affordance to enter time sheet for approval and subsequently check progress of everybody. The Project Manager is also able to get information on resource utilization to keep track if resources are used wisely to its optimal or not. But I shall not elaborate on all these if not this will cause information-overload for you.

Again, Dynamics CRM being such as exhaustive + inclusive software, you can still customize it based on which modules you need to do business. That’s the reason why by engaging Web Masters Technologies’ Microsoft-certified professionals, you are able to get the most value out of your IT investment. You need not purchase from us immediately, as you have the freedom to choose who to engage, but there’s no harm dropping us an email at info@cyberdesign.co.in or visit our website  http://cyberdesign.co.in/microsoft-dynamics-crm/ ‎to request for a demo.

In summary, if your company has a sales department and also a project management department, then getting Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a worthy choice. Since it’s just a matter of how you use the software, then using ONE integrated software for different functions and purposes are more cost-effective than having to purchase TWO separate software AND still need to spend time/effort to transfer knowledge between various functional groups if they happen to be connected together e.g. salesperson need to update product team regarding what the customer is looking for.

Stay tune for more interesting information about software! Till next time, see ya ~