SAGlobal’s ProjAX (now known as Projects+) Adds New Forecasting and Earned Value Capabilities
As part of SAGlobal’s focus around providing Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions to the Service Industries, we continue to make significant investments in our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) IP that extends the core Dynamics AX Service Industries solution to provide best-in-class ERP capabilities for professional services firms and other project-based businesses.
In addition to other enhancements, the recent May 2015 release of ProjAX (now known as Projects+) adds some enhanced functionality around the WBS and the forecasting process which pushes data from the WBS in Dynamics AX into forecast models, which will support improved forecasting and Earned Value reporting.
People that are familiar with Dynamics AX might note that there is already a button on the WBS to push the data to a forecast. However, this standard feature does not time-phase the data into the forecast, meaning it has limited value for forecasting purposes. So you might have a great project plan built out in the WBS, and might be updating your Estimate to Complete (ETC) on the WBS, but the information is basically stuck in the WBS tables and not readily consumable for reporting.
Our design approach in both our core ProjAX (now known as Projects+) solution and our industry-specific ProjAX-BI (now known as Projects+ BI) offering is to get the plan and budget data into the forecast tables since this provides the cleanest and easiest way to report and compare this data to your actuals. This new feature allows you to push three flavors of data from the WBS into the forecast tables:
- Planned Value – this is the baseline from the WBS, including expected hours and amounts by day
- Earned Value – the expected value of work completed to date
- Estimate to Complete – the value of the work yet to be completed, time-phased into the future based on the WBS dates
This data is organized at a very low level of granularity (daily) so that we have the information available to aggregate to any higher unit to support a wide variety of reporting needs. Rather than simply viewing the forecast tables directly in the Dynamics AX user interface, this data may be better consumed in a report or cube view that allows you to view the data at a higher level of detail, such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc… For example, using a tool like Excel to consume this data, you can calculate metrics for earned value (CPI/SPI) and plot out the standard 3-line graphs like shown in the image below.
This is another example of the significant investments that SAGlobal is making in our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) solution to add value to our clients and provide best-in-class features within Dynamics AX. Stay tuned for more updates around future developments and enhancements.
About the Author
Andy Yeomans is Director of Business Development for SAGlobal, where his role is to help project-driven organizations evaluate and select ERP software systems to better manage their finances, projects, clients, and resources. Andy was instrumental in developing the organization's Microsoft Dynamics AX industry solutions and practice area for the AE & Environmental industry. Andy has over 17 years of ERP experience and has helped dozens of AE & Environmental firms evaluate, select, and implement ERP software systems for their business.