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Ryan Plourde, Crowe

How an IT Services Firm Manages Project Resource Scheduling in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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Do you find it difficult to manage your own schedule? What if you had to manage the schedules of 200 consultants flying all over the world working on complex IT projects?

Trustmarque is a leading IT Services firm in the UK. They have hundreds of employees working onsite, in IT consulting roles, at both private and public sector organizations around the world.

The Challenge

They needed an easy and reliable way to schedule those consultants on new projects. But it is not as easy as consulting a calendar. Projects could last weeks or even months. Scheduling needed to take into account skill level, current location, upcoming vacation requests and additional variables.

People can’t just be moved around like pawns on a giant chessboard. It was important to Trustmarque to add the human element, and do what was best for their consultants, as well as for their clients. For example, if someone was working on a project in London for several weeks, it made sense to assign the next project in close vicinity to reduce travel fatigue and burnout. Or if someone had time off scheduled during a critical time in an upcoming project, this could be taken into account before the assignment was given, to reduce unnecessary stress.

The Solution

Trustmarque was already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage customer relationships. After evaluating several Project Management applications, they selected AbleBridge Project Management to handle project cost accounting. This allowed them to organize and manage the tasks, milestones and budgets for all their projects from start to finish within the existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

AbleBridge Project Management also includes powerful time management capabilities, so AbleBridge worked with the company to expand the system to cover their unique scheduling requirements too.

  • Within AbleBridge Project Management when a Project Task is assigned to a resource, the Conflict Check system alerts Trustmarque to potential issues, taking into account working hours, conflicting assignments, vacation/sick days and holidays.
  • The Resource Plan view allows the Trustmarque team to see which resources are available to take on new tasks by showing an overview of tasks and time off for a given period of time. The Resource Plan View looks like a calendar with different color coded boxes indicating whether consultants have tasks or time off scheduled and it can be filtered by year, month/quarter, and Team.

The Result

With these customizations all the customer data, project tasks, milestones, costs and resources assigned to that project are in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a system their team is already familiar with.  This simplifies maintenance, eliminates error due to double entry or broken integrations, and gives the company a 360 degree look at their projects.

Phil Shackleton, Business Projects Analyst at Trustmarque commented, “AbleBridge was fantastic to work with. They understood exactly what we needed and came up with creative ways to fulfill our requirements. The staff is extremely knowledgeable about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provided exceptional service.”

If you are interested in adding a flexible yet integrated Project Management system to Microsoft Dynamics CRM contact AbleBridge.

Read the full Trustmarque case study

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner, www.AbleBridge.com

Follow us on Twitter: @AbleBridge

Dynamics CRM Project Management

One Response to “How an IT Services Firm Manages Project Resource Scheduling in Microsoft Dynamics CRM”

  1. Yvon says:

    I was a little confused at the start of your article because I didn’t know what an IT department had to do with scheduling meetings. It is essential for any business of a certian size, and even smaller businesses to stay organized with a CRM system. I also see the value in having a good IT department, or outsourcing those skills to keep that program and the rest of your system running.

 

 
 
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