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Welcome to the Dynamics Blog hosted by the professionals at Armanino. This blog is about anything that may be helpful to others regarding Microsoft Dynamics' software. The topics can be anything from Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, CRM, SharePoint, MAS 90/200, .NET development, accounting, compliance and more.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA vs Project Management, Which Is Right for You?

Posted by Michelle Monnin

When reading about Microsoft Dynamics 365, you will often find the graphic below. Many people notice the Project Service Automation (PSA) block in the left center but may not know it is something different than the Project Management module within Operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation or Project Management

Why two and what’s the difference? First some background…

The Project Management module in Dynamics 365 Enterprise for Finance & Operations (formerly Dynamics AX) facilitates project accounting as well as project management with: project contracts, work breakdown structures (WBS), resource scheduling, and time & expense reporting. It is tightly integrated to other functionality within Dynamics such as purchasing, general ledger, production, and even shipping. Project Management has invoicing capability, which then posts to accounts receivable.

Project Service Automation: Sales departments needed similar capability but were not as concerned with the accounting transactions.  Project Service Automation was developed for organizations needing to bid on projects and track their progress and is a powerful module to deploy with D365 for Sales (CRM).  Think of service organizations such as accounting firms or consulting firms.

PSA typically starts from an opportunity in sales.  It also has a work breakdown structure and the ability to calculate costs and prices.  Opportunities are won, contracts are recorded and then the resources are scheduled.  Resources can report their time. Resources can record expenses, but it is not an Expense Management system (for example: tied to credit cards and payments). An invoice can be created in PSA, but it then needs to be fed to an accounting system (such as Dynamics 365 Operations or Dynamics 365 for Business) to track and process the receivable.

How PSA and Project Management integrate:

Microsoft is building integration between the two products.  In private preview, this solution provides direct synchronization in the following areas:

  • Maintain project contracts in Project Service Automation and sync them directly from Project Service Automation to Finance and Operations.
  • Create projects in Project Service Automation and sync them directly from Project Service Automation to Finance and Operations.
  • Maintain project contract lines in Project Service Automation and sync them directly from Project Service Automation to Finance and Operations.
  • Maintain project contract line milestones in Project Service Automation and sync them directly from Project Service Automation to Finance and Operations.

When to implement Project Service Automation (PSA):

  • If the requirement for Project Management stems from sales, opportunities, then PSA is the path to go.
  • If you have a separate accounting system, then PSA makes the most sense.
  • If all your projects are internal (help desk, IT projects) and you don’t need any billing, then PSA.

When to implement Project Management:

  • If you have complex billing requirements tied to inventory and purchasing, then Project Management is the path to go.
  • If you require project accounting with ties to costs and your general ledger, then Project Management is the recommendation.
  • If your projects involve making “things” (for example: machines, buildings), because of the lack of inventory tracking in PSA, you will want to implement Project Management.

There will be cases when you would implement both. Of course that is for another topic.

Questions about PSA or Project Management? Drop it in the comments below or shoot us an email.

 

Michelle Monnin

As Manager of Armanino’s Enterprise Solution Consulting practice, Michelle is responsible for coordinating the presales activities across Armanino’s Microsoft engagements. Her background includes extensive experience across a wide range of business applications with emphasis on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and supply chain advanced planning applications within the manufacturing and distribution industry. Prior to joining Armanino, Michelle worked at ERP companies such as SAP, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards and Symix (now called Syteline).

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