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Microsoft D365 Project Service Overview

D365 Project Service gives end-to-end support for service organizations by providing tools for managing the sales and delivery process. This supports you identify opportunities, submit bids, reach contractual agreements, manage resources, delivery projects on time and within budget, record time and expenses, and invoice the customer.

This article explains to you how project managers can use the D365 Project Service app to estimate work, project costs, and forecast resource requirements. Team members can collaborate on projects and maintain the current and accurate project status, allowing project managers to identify and manage project risks. These advanced tasks are performed in larger organizations with separate divisions that have to work together.

With the Spring 2018 release, D365 Project Service uses the Unified Interface framework. This lets you delivery of a consistent, uniform user interface that follows responsive design for optimal viewing on any screen size or device.

Project Management Tools

The project management tools in D365 Project Service help you run projects with ease. Built-in templates and scheduling tools help project managers and teams stay productive.

The D365 Project Service tools help to:

  • Plan projects with work schedule and estimates
  • Estimate and track project cost and revenue
  • Leverage project estimates during the sales process
  • Forecast resource requirement for the project in the pipeline.
  • Deliver the project successfully by tracking project progress and cost consumption

In the sections that follow we’ll explore how each of these tools is supported in the Project Service app.

Creating a Schedule using a Work Breakdown Structure

A project schedule communicates what work needs to be done, which resources will do the work and the timeframe in which that work must be finished. The project schedule reflects all the work associated with delivering a project on time. In Microsoft D365 Project Service, you create a project schedule by breaking down work into manageable tasks, estimating the time required to do a task, setting task dependencies, setting task durations, and estimating the generic resources that do the tasks.

The project schedule is created in the Schedule tab on the project form.

D365 Project Service

Project schedule


The first step in creating a project schedule is to break down the work into manageable portions. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in The Project Service app supports the following features for doing this.

  • Project Root Node

The project root node is the top-level summary task for the project. All other project tasks are created under it. The name of the root task is set to the project name. The effort, dates, and duration of the root node are summarized based on the values on the hierarchy below it. You can’t edit the properties of the root node or delete it.

  • Summary or Container Tasks

Summary tasks have sub-tasks or container tasks under them but have no work effort or cost of their own. Their work effort and cost are a roll-up of their container tasks. The start date of the summary task is the start date of the container tasks, and its end date is the end date of the container tasks. The name of a summary task can be edited, but scheduling properties of effort, dates, and duration can’t. Deleting a summary task
deletes the task and all its constituent tasks.

  • Leaf Node Tasks

These tasks represent the most granular work on the project. They have an estimated effort, resources, planned start and end dates, and a duration.

Creating a Task Hierarchy

You can create a task hierarchy with the following options:

Add Task

This option allows you to create a new task in the hierarchy. If you don’t choose a position, the task is inserted at the end. As with any modern grid experience, the last row is empty and available for new task details. A WBS ID is assigned to the task and represents the depth and position in the hierarchy. The WBS ID uses outline numbering. For tasks in the first level under the root of the project, a numbering scheme of 1, 2, 3, etc. is used, and for tasks under the first level root, a numbering scheme of 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. is used.

Indent Task

When a task is indented, it becomes a child task directly above it. The WBS number of this task is recalculated by using the outline numbering scheme from the WBS number of its parent. The parent task is now a summary or a container task and therefore becomes a roll-up of its constituent tasks.

Outdent Task

When a task is out-dented, it is no longer a constituent of its parent. Its WBS ID is recalculated to reflect the updated depth and position in the hierarchy. The effort, cost, and dates of the previous parent task get recalculated, so they do not include this task.

Move Up and Move Down

Move up and the Move down changes the position of a task within its parent hierarchy. Moving the task up or down does not have any effect on its effort, cost, dates, or duration. Only the WBS number of the task is recalculated to reflect the new position in the parent’s constituent task list.

Accessibility and Keyboard Shortcuts

The WBS grid is fully accessible and can be used with screen readers such as Narrator, JAWS, or NVDA. You can navigate through the grid area using arrow keys (as in Excel), tab through the interactive UI elements and use Down Arrow or Enter or the spacebar to select and invoke the dropdown menu. The column headers are also interactive, which lets you hide and show columns, use the Tab and arrow keys to navigate through the column headers and use the action buttons on the toolbar. In addition, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Refresh: ALT+SHIFT+F5
  • Add: ALT+SHIFT+Insert
  • Delete: ALT+SHIFT+Delete
  • Move up/down: ALT+SHIFT+Up/Down arrows
  • Indent/Outdent: ALT_SHIFT+Left/Right arrows
  • Expand/Collapse Hierarchies: ALT+SHIFT+Plus/Minus keys

Task Attributes

A task’s name informs the description of work that needs to be completed. In the D365 Project Service app, the attributes associated with a task describe the schedule of the task and its staffing requirements.

Task attributes

Task attributes

Schedule Attributes

An effort, Start date, End date, Duration are used to describe the schedule of the task. By assigning values to these attributes, you can determine the schedule for the task.

  • Effort hours is an estimate of the hours required to complete the task.
  • Duration is expressed in days to specify the number of work days it will take to complete the task.
  • The auto-generated WBS ID field is used for ordering tasks in the hierarchy. Dependencies between the tasks manage the actual order in which the task being worked on.
Schedule attributes

Schedule attributes

Staffing Attributes

Staffing attributes are accessed through the Resources field in the WBS.

Staffing Attributes

Staffing Attributes

Task mode

Task mode determines the scheduling of leaf node tasks. The D365 Project Service app supports two task modes for every task: auto scheduling and manual scheduling.

Auto Scheduling

When task mode is set to Automatically Scheduled for a task, the task-scheduling engine uses the scheduling rules on the following task attributes to determine the schedule for the task.

Scheduling Rules

The start date of a leaf node task that does not have predecessor’s defaults to the project’s scheduled start date. The duration of the leaf node task is always calculated as the number of working days between its start and end dates. When a task is automatically scheduled, the scheduling engine follows these rules:

  • Start and end dates of the task must be working days according to the project’s scheduling calendar. A detailed description of how to set up work templates backing up the project scheduling calendar can be found in the Setup section in this document.
  • For any task that has predecessor tasks, the start date of that task defaults to the latest end date of its predecessors.
  • Effort = number of people * duration * hours in a standard workday of the project calendar.

Manual Scheduling

If these rules don’t work for you, you can set the task mode for the task to Manually Scheduled. This stops the scheduling engine from calculating the values for other scheduling attributes. Regardless of the task mode, setting predecessors on tasks always impacts the dependent task’s start date.

Estimating Project Cost and Revenue

Project estimates provide the financial view for the work estimated and scheduled in the project WBS. The Estimates tab shows you the cost and revenue impact of the work you’re planning. It also helps you see the information on many predefined dimensions.

Estimating project cost

Estimating project cost

Cost and Sales Value of the Project

Pricelists define the cost and bill rates for roles in the projects. You can determine the cost and revenue impact of the work based on the roles associated with the position name and named resource assigned to WBS tasks. If there are tasks without any assignments (generic or named), you can’t get cost or sales estimates. Cost and sales values consider the date defined in the pricelists.

Cost Price Defaulting

Every project belongs to an organization listed in the Contracting Unit field in the project. The price list associated with the Contracting Unit is used to determine the unit cost price. You can determine the cost prices on roles for the date defined on estimate lines by searching for the combination of role, unit, and organizational unit in the cost price list to get the correct cost price. Note that all tasks must have an assignment to a resource, either generic or named, so their prices can be calculated. Unassigned tasks have a cost of 0.00.

If the combination of role, unit, and the organizational unit doesn’t result in a cost price from the contracting unit’s price list, the system ignores unit and searches for the combination of role and organizational unit. If it finds a cost price, this price is converted to the unit you picked on the estimate line using conversion factors

Sales Price Defaulting

The sales pricelist is determined based on the sales entity the project is attached to or the project customer. When a sales entity such as opportunity, quote or contract is associated with the project, the sales entity’s sales price is determined by the price list associated with the quote or contract. If the quote or contract has a custom price list, this is the default sales pricelist for project estimates. If there is no association to the sales entities, then the default sales price list from the parameters is the project’s default sales pricelist matched by the customer’s currency defined on the project.

Each estimate line has a resourcing unit associated with it that indicates the organizational unit from which the resources are booked for completing the task. You can determine the sales price for the associated roles by searching for the combination of role, unit, and resourcing unit in the sales price list. If there are no assignments on the task, the sales price for the task is 0.00.

If the combination of role, unit, and resourcing unit doesn’t result in a sales price from the sales price list, the system ignores unit and searches for the combination of role and resourcing unit. If a sales price is found, it is converted to the unit picked by the user on the sales estimate line using the conversion factor.

If the combination of role and resourcing unit doesn’t result in a sales price from the sales price list, the system drops resourcing unit and search for the role and unit combination for the default price after applying conversion.

If the system doesn’t find a price for the role, then sales price defaults to 0.00 in the estimate line.

The Estimates tab has a grid view that displays estimate lines with the unit, total cost, and sales price as shown in the following screenshot.

estimate lines with unit, total cost, and sales price

estimate lines with unit, total cost, and sales


In this Article, we dealt with the D365 Project Service overview along with their functionalities.

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