Hack #3: How to navigate/use Leads in Dynamics 365 Project Operations

Deployment types: Lite deployment – deal to proforma invoicing and for resource/non-stocked based scenarios

Despite the big debate about Leads (whether to use it with Opportunities or not), they can still help organize data when deploying a first-party app such as any Dynamics 365 Project Operations (or any module). Let’s look at how they work in Project Operations.

Similar to the other modules, they drive the first interactions from Sales to Delivery/Products. Project Operations understands that this Lead could be either:

Work Based (aka Project), or

Item Based (aka Product),

so the first decision is to signal that:

Important: If you choose Item Based, you cannot change it later (after you qualify the Lead that is, unless you roll that back, argh) and it will drive the next options in downstream steps, so one option is to just simply pick Work Based ALWAYS since you can add either a product or service later (the system does not force you to just select a project for instance). But, if you pick Item Based, after you Qualify it, you will give you this message:


And it starts to behave differently, enforcing you to slap a Price List to keep going, very confusing to end-users:

It gets cranky at you!

Now, aside from losing reporting data on what each Lead is: project or product (in this case not important I would argue), you could default this field to always choose Work Based + hide it in the Form from users so behind the scenes it picks that option and let’s you move forward without any undesireable impact. Obvioulsy, this is vertical-customer-based decision, so know that it is an option.

Back to our philosophical question, where can the OOTB Leads come in handy when using Dynamics 365 (in any first-party app module)? Integration with an ERP, or specifically, Dynamics 365 Business Central and F&O.

When you use the native integration with Business Central, for example, you might hear your customer complain that in the past they had too much garbage data, duplicates, and it was a nightmare that they can’t stop talking about it! So, one way to avoid the Sales team driving Finance crazy, you use Leads for records that are NOT Opportunites yet, and don’t need an account, so that they don’t show in your ERP’s list of customers.

Accounting and Finance only want to see real/existing customer data so they report on reality! So Sales can go nuts (with guardrails of course) at Lead creation without showing unecessary records on the other side. Now, that is cool!

Check out docs for more detail: here

I hope you liked it.

See you next time!