The Jobs and Resource Planning modules Microsoft of Dynamics 365 Business Central were developed with project-based companies in mind. Examples are engineering-to-order and construction. The system's focus is on the financial aspects of a project. However, it leaves project management and project planning on the side.
Project-based companies have a vast list of software to help them gain better control of their projects. At NETRONIC we are on the same boat, the difference is, our extension, the Visual Jobs Scheduler fully integrates with Dynamics 365 Business Central.
In this blog, I’d like to cover how to easily manage your projects in Business Central with interactive Gantt charts. The graphical drag & drop ease both your project planning and your resource scheduling.
Dynamics 356 Business Central: Emphasis on financing, leaving aside scheduling
As a project manager, you must control a long list of aspects for a project to work out. From resource allocations to resource costs and consumption (actual vs. plan), item consumption, project book like the progress, and much more.
At NETRONIC, we observed the Jobs and Resources module covers all these challenges by bringing together data from other Business Central modules.
However, this data focuses a lot more on the financial side of the project than on the scheduling and execution. Hence, we found a niche: Project managers require information related to planning and scheduling for example the timeframe, milestones, and progress of projects.
The Job Tasks help define the hierarchy of the project tasks. They provide information regarding time, for example, the start and end date. However, there is no out-of-the-box tool to assign each of the tasks to the resources. Likewise, there is no functionality to define or distinguish any dependencies among them. This means that when something changes, you’d have to manually adjust the dates per task.
A Job Planning Line lies under a Job Task and its purpose is to allocate resources to a job task. This is essential for the execution phase. Nevertheless, Business Central doesn’t recognize any conflicts on the resources. This means one resource can get assigned more hours than the ones it has available without any warnings.
Dynamics 356 Business Central PLUS the Visual Jobs Scheduler
There is no doubt on the value of a Gantt chart for project management. Many of our customers draw their own by hand, represent them on Excel spreadsheets or through the software options they have at hand.
An interactive Gantt chart allows you to control, administrate and modify projects effortlessly. Because Dynamics 365 Business Central doesn’t offer this option out of the box, we suggest you simply add an extension like the Visual Jobs Scheduler that integrates completely into your ERP system.
The Visual Jobs Scheduler (VJS) is based on the unchanged standard Business Central system. The extension visualizes the project structure and data model of jobs, job tasks, job planning lines, and resource allocations making it easy to use, change, adapt and resolve.
It helps you with an integrated project and resource planning. This extension enables you to answer a lot of questions on the project status at glance, for example:
What is the timeline of my project?
How much will a delay in a task affect my milestone?
How do my team’s calendars look like?
Who can I assign to a task?
And much more!
5 Project planning benefits from using the Visual Jobs Scheduler
The VJS is widely recommended among the dynamics community for its great benefits and connectivity. With this in mind, I’d like to share the 5 benefits our customers mention the most like the answer to why they chose to enhance their project planning efforts with the VJS.
1. Automatic rescheduling via drag & drop
With the VJS you can easily plan and reschedule a whole job, the job tasks, and its job planning lines or resources with simple mouse movements in a matter of seconds.
2. Identify dependencies
You can create a link to represent the connection between two jobs, job tasks, or job planning lines within your schedule. This link will be considered when moving anything. In other words, if you reschedule one element the dependent elements will adjust accordingly. For example, start to start and finish to start.
3. Resource allocations and conflicts
Resource allocations, including allocations caused by the Service and the Assembly module and by jobs that are not currently loaded into the VJS as well as impending conflicts or overloads, are visualized in clear-cut views and by symbols and visual alerts.
4. Ability to plan on group level
With the VJS, you can assign job planning lines to a resource group and later on reassign them to a concrete resource. This enables you to have a rough and fine project and resource planning with the same tool.
5. Three available views
The VJS offers three clearly structured views. This ensures you find the best perspective for every planning situation: by jobs, by resources, and by histogram. The latter representing the graphs of occupation per resource to easily identify any conflicts.
Want to upgrade your project planning and scheduling?
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