My sessions on this fall conference season

This fall Dynamics NAV conference season will start soon, in two months and it is the last moment to register on conference you planned to go. This season we expect thick events schedule and officially season will start in Orlando on Directions NA at September 17th. If you need the full list of Dynamics conferences, you can find here.

I’ll have my session on three of these conferences. First I’ll start with Directions NA, then continue with Directions EMEA and finish my season on NAVUG Summit.

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I’ll have the same session on Directions NA and Directions EMEA – ‘Project Management Methodology in Dynamics 365 BE Implementation‘ and I already wrote about this topic.

My first session will be third day of Directions NA – September 19th at 3:15pm. As I said, I’ll have the same session on Directions EMEA, and it will be at the first day of conference, after Keynote – October 4th at 11:15am. After these two conferences where I’ll have soft skills topic (project management), I’ll have more technical topics on NAVUG Summit, starting from October 11.

My topics will be how to use Flows with NAV, where I’ll show not only technical topic, but also practical example how and where to use it. And then, I’ll have topic about variations in Manufacturing in NAV, where I’ll try to transfer my experiences in a lot of Mfg implementations. Schedule is published, but it will be changed for sure. I know this, because I need to provide two sessions in the same moment 🙂 … and I know myself, I cannot do it 🙂

See you there…

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Directions 2017 NA

The third year in a row, I’ll have session in Directions NA. I’ve got confirmation a few days ago and I can say that I’m so happy, because it is one of the my favorite conferences and I really love the American audience.

DirectionsNA

Conference will be held at the beautiful hotel JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, Florida in period September 17-21. It is still not too late to make registration here. I would like to see all of you there.

DirectionsHotel

This time, my topic will not be technical, but related with Dynamics 365. I’ll speak about Project Management Methodology in D365 BE Implementation. I think this is important topic although we are usually thinking only on very fast selling and very fast implementing solution, when speak about D365 Business Edition. But it is still a project and we still need to take care about a lot of things and to manage it.

Now, I don’t want to speak about all details here, because I’ll try to help you in this kind of project management with this session.

My presentations from Directions conferences

Directions EMEA was finished one week ago. Ten days before, we finished with Directions NA conference. Both of these conferences were amazing and it was an honor to attend on them and to have some presentations.

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After these presentations, people who attended ask me to get these presentations. I know that both of Directions will publish these presentations, but in the mean time, I want to give you everything I prepared.

On the following link, you can get all three presentations:

  • DirectionsNA – Water-Agile-Fall methodology and NAV implementation
  • DirectionsNA – Choosing the best possible Azure platform for NAV
  • DirectionsEMEA – Choosing the best possible Azure platform for NAV

Thank you for being on my sessions and see you the next year in Orlando and/or Madrid. If you have some additional questions, do not hesitate to ask (you can use direct messaging on blog). Cheers.

My Sessions on Directions NA and EMEA

Few days ago, I wrote about new Directions NA and EMEA. Now I can announce my sessions. I’ll have sessions on both of these Directions.

Directions

First, about Directions NA, I’ll have two sessions. First session is about Azure and NAV, i.e. How to choose the best possible Azure platform for NAV. This session will be on the end of first day (5:15-6:15pm).

Second session will be related with some soft skills and it will be Water-Agile-Fall methodology and NAV implementation. This session will be the first after Keynote at the second day (10:15-11:15am) and I hope, this topic is interesting enough to come so early :).

Regarding Directions EMEA, I’ll provide the same session about NAV and Azure as on Direction NA. This session will be 12.10. at 17:15-18:15.

See you there.

Using Jobs and Resources in NAV

In 2013, I was wrote series about using Jobs in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Reason for this was that Microsoft have added several enhancements to jobs and project management features.

One of them was improvement of using work in process (WIP) to make monitoring this process easier and to improve the interaction with financial reporting. From Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, we have got the following enhancements:

  • You can create and define a job WIP method, to supplement the five system-defined choices.
  • Jobs setup has been expanded to include options to control the treatment of WIP in all jobs. For example, you can specify that a WIP method that you have defined be the default for your organization.
  • Users can now track and perform WIP calculations in a new location. From here, you can calculate and post WIP to the general ledger and show any warnings if there are problems with a WIP calculation. For more information, see Job WIP Cockpit on my previous blog post.

Because, I already posted about that, I makes compilation of these posts and put them on one place, because this can be very useful in following posts about using of Job Posting Groups. This will not be a manual for using of Jobs module, but it can be helpful in some areas.

Job WIP Cockpit

As the most of projects are jobs performing usually several months (or several years), WIP calculation is very important part of Job Management. Now, we have new functionality for WIP calculation in Jobs – the WIP cockpit.

The WIP cockpit provides a complete overview of costs, revenues, and profits generated by the project in particular period. In a single place, we can see the amounts that will be posted to company ledgers, and see how these amounts were calculated, with details of the underlying transactions that caused them just another click away. In addition, the WIP cockpit displays WIP warnings, which enable users to see if the underlying collected data is in line with what is defined by the WIP method and if all prerequisites for recognizing costs and revenues are met before posting WIP to a company’s balance sheet.

The Job WIP Cockpit is the central location to track WIP for all of your projects. Each line contains information about a job, including calculated and posted WIP.

How WIP cockpit work?

You can find WIP cockpit page on Jobs->Tasks->Job WIP Cockpit.

The window has two parts, and supports easy access to the typical tasks and routines needed to ensure that WIP compliance stays on track. In the upper part of the window, for any job listed, you can select it and perform the following actions:

  • Calculate WIP: On the Home tab, in the Process group, choose Calculate WIP. The results are displayed in the Job WIP Totals section of the window.
  • Post WIP to G/L: On the Home tab, in the Process group, choose Post WIP to G/L. Job WIP totals are posted to the general ledger.
  • Show Warnings: On the Home tab, choose Show Warnings to see the Job WIP Warnings list. From there, you can see the warning message, and make any adjustments that are necessary, if the WIP Warnings field is set to Yes.
  • Entries: On the Analyze tab, you can review WIP entries and WIP general ledger entries, if there are any, as well as job ledger entries associated with the job.

In the lower part of the window, you can see details about calculated WIP for an individual job and use the information provided there to analyze your results.

Calculate WIP

It is necessary to position on required job on top part of window. After that you need to start function “Calculate WIP…”. NAV will make calculation and fill lines based on Job Tasks on bottom part of window, related with top job line. You can see calculated WIP values at bottom part of window.

If you made mistake, you can delete this WIP entries by starting function “Delete WIP Entries”. This function will delete bottom line related with required job line on top part of window.

If system find some problem, NAV will marked with Yes field “WIP Warnings”. You can open page from this field with warning comments.

Post WIP to G/L

If you want to post calculated WIP values to G/L Entry, you need do start function “Post WIP to G/L…”. System will post all WIP entries to G/L entries and move value from “Recog. Costs Amount” field to “Recog. Costs G/L Amount” field on top part windows, as delete WIP entries in bottom lines. You can see all transaction using report “Job WIP To G/L”. Also, you can analyze G/L entries using function “WIP G/L Entries” and using Navigate from that table.

Creating Jobs

I do not want to describe complete process of creating new Job. If you need it, you can find complete manual here. But I want to emphasize few things:

It is important to choose Job Posting Group on the Posting tab. Job posting groups determine which G/L Accounts we post to. The Job Posting Group that you set up on the Job Card will be used as default Job Posting Group on the Job Tasks, but you can change this posting group on each Job Task.

It is also important to set WIP Posting Method. It indicates whether ‘WIP Posting Method’ is per job or per job ledger entry. When we select ‘Per Job’, NAV uses total WIP costs and sales to calculate WIP. When we select ‘Per Job Ledger Entry’, NAV uses the accumulated values for WIP costs and sales. The default value is Per Job:

  • Per Job: Default. If there have been no general ledger or WIP entries, you can modify this field. You can also modify this field if all existing entries are reversed.
  • Per Job Ledger Entry: WIP is posted per job ledger entry. This option can be selected only if there are no existing WIP entries or WIP G/L entries, or if all WIP G/L entries have been reversed.

And finally, we have to set WIP Method. It contains the name of the work in process (WIP) calculation method that is associated with a job. Work in process (WIP) is used to match expenses with revenues. Microsoft Dynamics NAV supports multiple ways to calculate WIP and recognition of sales and costs (see the Job WIP Methods).

We should create a new Job WIP methods that reflects the needs of our company. After we have created it, we can set it as the default Job WIP calculation method that will be used in our company.

NAV supports multiple ways to calculate WIP and recognition of sales and costs:

  • Completed Contract: No sales or costs are part of the calculation.
  • Cost of Sales: Recognizes WIP when the customer is invoiced.
  • Cost Value: Recognizes WIP when the customer is invoiced.
  • Percentage of Completion: Recognizes costs as they are reported.
  • Sales Value: Recognizes costs as they are reported.

In addition, it is possible to create our own formula for calculating the WIP associated with a job, but not now about this.

Create a code for the method, add a description, and then select the appropriate values for the ‘Recognized Costs’ and ‘Recognized Sales’ fields. By design, the ‘System Defined’ check box is not selected, but three others are selected. There are next fields:

  • WIP Cost: For this field, the following applies: Cost Amount (WIP) = Usage (Total Cost) – Recognized Cost. For system defined WIP methods, the ‘WIP Cost’ field is the default and is checked. For WIP methods that we create, we can only clear the check box if we set ‘Recognized Costs’ to ‘Usage (Total Cost)’. When we do this, ‘Job Costs Applied’ and ‘Recognized Costs’ are not posted to the General Ledger.
  • WIP Sales: For this field, the following applies: Sales Amount (WIP) = Contract (Invoiced Price) – Recognized Sales. For system-defined WIP methods, the ‘WIP Sales’ field is the default and is checked. For WIP methods that we create, we can only clear the check box if we set ‘Recognized Sales’ to ‘Contract (Invoiced Price)’. When we do this, the contract (invoiced price) is not posted to the general ledger.
  • Valid: Indicates whether a WIP method can be associated with a job when we are creating or modifying a job. If we select this check box in the Job WIP Methods window, we can then set the method as a default WIP method in the Jobs Setup window. Once set, we cannot clear this check box if the WIP method has been specified as the default WIP Method in the Jobs Setup Window.
  • System Defined: Indicates whether a Job WIP Method is system-defined. We cannot change the contents of this field.

I think, it is enough to understand following posts about usage of Job Posting Groups… maybe more than you really need, but… If you still need more, you can find it here. More about Job planning and similar topics, you can find here.

Project Management is a Boolean

I hear very often that some made “almost all” by the project management methodology. They usually say, “I used maybe 99% by methodology”. But their projects still crashed. And, this is not connected with methodology type they used. You can use waterfall, agile or some mixed type, but you must really USE it in practice. First, you must know methodology you choose and then you can choose tools for your project leading.

If you want successful project, you have to provide top managers support, well known methodology for using and project leadership by someone who has successfully implemented a similar project(s). But, if you think about these, you will see that all of that is actually Project Management. If you correctly lead a project, this project will be successful. On other side, you can find a lot of reasons, why projects are unsuccessful, but they are mostly unsuccessful because of project management missing (either on the side on implementer or on the client side). Sometime in very rare situation, project can crush because of inexperienced or bad developers or consultants. But, this situation is really rare, because Project Management is the main reason for both of them, SUCCESSFUL or UNSUCCESSFUL projects.

You cannot use almost all from Project Management Methodology. You can USE Project Management Methodology or you can NON-USE Project Management Methodology. Because of that, I like to say that Project Management is Boolean, you can use or non-use. You cannot use 87% or 96%; you cannot measure usage of Project Management Methodology by percentage.

Imagine for a moment car driving. I pass driving test, I never drink alcohol when I drive, I always drive slower than the limit, I never drive through red light, etc. But, I just keep my eyes closed while driving, but everything other is OK. I respect 99.9% of the rules. But are you want to be in car with me. Maybe I can drive a few meters, but for surely I cannot drive on this way for kilometers. The same situation is with projects. Maybe, you have to brake some rule in some specific situation, but I must know how and where to return to be on a right way again. If you don’t know it, you will never (successful) arrive to the end of project.

On the simplified diagram, we can imagine an ideal project flow, from the beginning to the end. This is ideal situation and I think usually it is not possible entirely:

PM1

But, this is for example one project flow in non-ideal situation, but in situation where we know where have to go. We can see that sometime we do something irregular, but if we know where we have to go back, we can finish project successful. It is not so easy, but project management is a complex job and not so easy :).

PM2

But if don’t know tools, roles, risk, deliverables… we don’t know where have to go and for sure, we cannot finish project successful. Maybe we can do it, but only accidentally. And, this success is not repeatable.

PM3

And you can use any type of project management methodologies. OK, for some project type is better agile, for some other project types is better waterfall and so on. But if you well know project management methodologies, you will choose a right model. But even, you make a wrong choice, you just have to respect all the rules of this methodology. If you choose what you have to use and what you have not to use, YOU DO NOT MANAGE WITH THE PROJECT.