Project Service Automation (PSA) in Dynamics 365 CE/ CRM


The Project Service Automation (PSA) application helps organizations efficiently track, manage, and deliver project-based services, from the initial sale all the way to invoicing. The app enables you to:

  • Plan projects, and create estimates and work schedules
  • Estimate and track project cost and revenue
  • Forecast resource requirements for projects in the pipeline
  • Track project progress and cost consumption
  • Manage quoting, pricing, and billing for projects
  • Assign and manage resources
  • Use reports and interactive dashboards to monitor key performance indicators for successful projects

In addition, to help you monitor and control costs for your project-based work, individual consultants easily enter and track project time and expenses either on mobile or using a web browser.

project schedule communicates what work must be completed, which resources will do the work, and the timeframe that the work must be finished in. It reflects all the work that is associated with delivering the project on time. In Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation, you create a project schedule by breaking the work down into manageable tasks, estimating the time that is required to do each task, setting task dependencies, setting task durations, and estimating the generic resources that will do the tasks. The project schedule is created on the Schedule tab of the project page.

Tasks

The first step in creating a project schedule is to break the work down into manageable portions. The schedule in PSA supports the following features:

  • Project root node
  • Summary or container tasks
  • Leaf node tasks

Project root node

The project root node is the top-level summary task for the project. All other project tasks are created under it. The name of the root node is always set to the project name. The effort, dates, and duration of the root node are summarized based on the values in the hierarchy below it. You can’t edit the properties of the root node. You also can’t delete the root node.

Summary or container tasks

Summary tasks have sub-tasks or container tasks under them. They have no work effort or cost of their own. Instead, their work effort and cost are a rollup of the work effort and cost of their container tasks. The start date of the summary task is the start date of the container tasks, and the end date is the end date of the container tasks. The name of a summary task can be edited, but scheduling properties (effort, dates, and duration) can’t be edited. If you delete a summary task, you also delete all its container tasks.

Leaf node tasks

Leaf node tasks represent the most granular work on the project. They have an estimated effort, resources, planned start and end dates, and a duration.

Creating a task hierarchy

You can create a task hierarchy by using the following options:

  • Add task button
  • Indent task button
  • Outdent task button
  • Move up and Move down buttons
  • Accessibility and keyboard shortcuts

Add task

The Add task button lets you create a new task in the hierarchy. If you don’t select a position, the task is inserted at the end.

A schedule ID is assigned to every task. The schedule ID represents the task’s depth and position in the hierarchy. It uses outline numbering. For tasks in the first level under the project root node, a numbering scheme of 1, 2, 3, and so on, is used. For tasks under the first level, a numbering scheme of 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and so on, is used.

Indent task

When a task is indented, it becomes a child of the task that is directly above it. The schedule ID of the task is then recalculated so that it’s based on the schedule ID of its new parent and follows the outline numbering scheme. The parent task is now a summary task or a container task. Therefore, it becomes a rollup of its child tasks.

Outdent task

When a task is outdented, it’s no longer a child of the task that was its parent. The schedule ID is then recalculated so that it reflects the task’s updated depth and position in the hierarchy. The effort, cost, and dates of the previous parent task are recalculated so that they don’t include this task.

Move up and Move down

The Move up and Move down buttons change the position of a task within its parent hierarchy. Changes of this type don’t affect the task’s effort, cost, dates, or duration. Only the task’s schedule ID is affected. The schedule ID is recalculated so that it reflects the task’s new position in the parent’s list of child tasks.

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