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  • Sebastian Sieber

#4 - D365 Project Operations Advent Calendar: Staff external Resources effectively

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Four down - a few more to go. Let's see what our fourth post will bring us! Without any further words, let's jump into today's topic! 🎅🏼

Advents Calendar number 4

How to set up Contract Workers and Subcontracts

In order to deliver high-quality work at a scalable level you also need and want to schedule external resources, so-called contract workers.

Contract workers in D365 Project Operations can be allocated as Bookable Resource, quite similar to your in-house colleagues, including features like skills, roles, and a work hours calendar.

Contract Worker Example

Some prerequisites have to be set up prior in order to add our external coworker to our projects:

  • Track all your vendors and suppliers as Accounts with Relation Type Vendor or Supplier

  • Create and link the future Contract Workers as Contacts to their respective Vendor or Supplier Account

  • For each Contract Worker and Contact, create a new Bookable Resource as shown above. Select Resource Type = Contact and Contract Worker as Type of Worker. Once this setup is chosen, the system requires you to link the previously linked Account to the Contact.

  • Proceed now as you used to be with a new employee - assign fitting Work Hours, Resource Skills and a default Resource Role.

  • Introduce a specific Purchase Price Lists per Account or overall, based on the Role or even specific for each Resource. The Purchase Price Lists is the third type of a price list available, next to sales and cost. If you want to explore more around price lists in Project Operations may be one of the next Advent Calendar posts will be worth a look 😇

After our base configuration, we only need a Subcontract for the Account. The Subcontract is the purchasing equivalent of the Project Contract on the sales side of the process.

Make sure to link the correct purchase type price list in the Subcontract Price Lists Tab in case it's not yet associated with the Account. This will be crucial for your estimation and planning of the project.

Subcontract example

In general, you can find all the Subcontracting-related tables and information in the specific sitemap group in the Projects area (red box).

On the Subcontract itself, we find all the basic information like Status, Payment Terms, current Subtotal, who requested the purchase, and who is responsible on the vendor/supplier side.

The focus should now shift to the Subcontract Lines - pretty similar to everything we see on the Project Contract with their Project-based Lines. You can set up a new Subcontract Line in order you have a pre-defined budget you want to book against:

Add Subcontract Line

How to staff your Project

In our case, we want to plan the Low Code Developer in our projects first to see how many hours we need to request for the next month. So we can start our process from the Project.

Plan the Role as generic resource in your project plan according to your needs:

Project Team Members Overview

As you can see we already have a request for a Pro Code Developer which is marked as Contract Worker Type. And with Vanessa we also have one external on board.

You can also directly assign the desired external in case you already have set up the Subcontract Line and skip the whole staffing process - just make sure the Subcontract information is set on the Project Team Member as here for Vanessa:

Project Team Member with linked Subcontract

For now, the target is to staff the Low Code Developer with an external resource. Therefore we want to connect the Project Team Member the system has set up with the fitting Subcontract.

Find Subcontracting Options in Project Team Member Grid

We select the Project Team Member record and the top right corner will change to generate a requirement and find Subcontracting Options too. Click on the button to proceed with the selection of the previously created Subcontract.

Subcontracting Options

You will find two options - track the efforts of this employee against an existing Subcontract Line or create a new one from scratch. This is the reason we previously didn't create a separate line. We decided for the new Subcontract Line to set up everything automatically.

Added Subcontract

After proceeding with the creation of the subcontract line, the employee type for our Low Code Developer changes to Contract Worker and linked to the Subcontract details.

New Project Team Member with linked Subcontract

From here you can directly access the created Subcontract Line:

Subcontract Line with Quantity ordered set

What I've discovered is that the Quantity Ordered is not pre-filled automatically. You may want to build a little process here to map the value accordingly.

Otherwise, we find on the line now all the necessary information regarding the assignment, including pricing based on the purchase price list and some controlling information for the project execution later.

From the Project, you can now proceed with the usual staffing process and find the desired external co-worker for the task.

All pricing and booking-related information will now be tracked against the Subcontract and the project planning can proceed!

In the same way, you're able to substitute already assigned internal employees with external colleagues.

Let me know if you want to know more about Subcontracting - for example, an in-depth how to set up the structure. Also, invoicing can be covered - for today's episode a first look hopefully turn out well.

Hope you like these new small episodes. I can't wait to explore more with you tomorrow! 😊🎅🏼


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