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Matt Felzke, Solver Global

Project Budgeting, Microsoft Dynamics AX Style


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    In this article, project budgeting and the modern planning solutions for project management will take center stage as a way to improve your Microsoft Dynamics AX experience. 

    It’s nothing new to say that budgeting and/or forecasting are such integral processes to managing a business – and that has always been true.  The quality of your planning routines can be make-or-break for your organization, particularly if you consider planning in relation to the 2008 recession.  Organization-wide budgeting and forecasting is common, regular and typically includes multiple professionals bringing together historical, actual figures and projected numbers for the upcoming period.  However, some organizations and project managers have to plan for a specific project or task.  If you are a consultant, project coordinator or other professional who is billing hours to a client, managing more than one project or putting together a bid for a gig, project budgeting is a huge part of your career.

     

    I have spoken to several consultants recently about their diverse projects.  One of these professionals is a management consultant who is working with a company to overhaul how they access, manage, and analyze their data for more informed decision-making.  In the beginning stage of the job, he is currently familiarizing himself with the status quo of their analytics, attempting to pinpoint particular demands this company has for Business Intelligence (BI) software – and his goal is to secure a best-of-breed technology solution to assist this organization in making their processes more efficient and accomplishing more related to their goals.  As project management continues to become more prevalent, this consultant’s task and our conversation about project planning manifested into an education of sorts regarding how he scopes, bids and budgets for projects.  His experience has been that most assume that project budgeting is a series of guesses that are typically rounded up, but if you have a quality planning tool, it can and should be accurate and adaptable.

     

    Project Status Dashboards for AX

     

    Microsoft Dynamics AX does come equipped with budgeting abilities that can be utilized for projects, but like most enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, you are required to create easy-to-use data entry screens for business end users to contribute to a project’s budget or forecast, so lots of organizations usually do this manually in Excel.

     

    In comparison, traditional budgeting is organized around a specific time period, like a calendar or fiscal year, while project budgeting is structured around a task.  Our management consultant friend, Michael, will serve as an example of project budgeting as he analyzes their current BI toolbox, evaluates their performance management processes, shops around for the right software, and implements the tool(s), all lasting up to 12 months.  Michael’s work with this corporation is great for seeing project budgeting in action, but it additionally illustrates today’s BI software implementations.  In this article, I’ll explore the concept of project budgeting, utilizing Michael’s task as an example, and I will aim to give you the head start you need in terms of knowing modern features and functionalities that you should be looking for in today’s planning solutions.

    To continue learning more Project Budgeting for Dynamics AX, read the rest of this article here.

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