I’ve talked often on this blog about the availability of project management software for the past 20 years being limited to highly specialised, inflexible, out of the box solutions. And in order to make these solutions fit their organisation, companies were either forced to change their processes, or pay for customisations to be made in order to suit them better. Both these options seem unappealing, so what is the answer?

With many software programs, customising the software to suit your business needs often requires changes to the code, which can be expensive. Not only that, extensive customisation will often take you out of the upgrade loop, as the software is either now too specific to be compatible with the upgrade changes, or customisations you have made will be overridden by the upgrade changes.

On the other hand, you can go with software out of the box, with little or no extra customisation, and adapt your working processes to fit the way the software has been designed. This option is cheaper, and means the software can be upgraded with minimal disruption to the existing code as there are very few customisations.

But neither of these options sounds very appealing. On the one hand, you have the added expense of customisation that can take you out of the upgrade loop, or you have to change your business process to suit the software. But with the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 this year, there is now a way you can have the best of both worlds.

Using the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, IPM is one particular project management software program that can be configured very flexibly without the need for code changes. By using workflows and simple customisations such as field labels, role based forms and dashboards, IPM can be configured to suit each individual organisation’s processes without making any changes to the original code.

What’s more, these configurations and workflows can often be executed and managed by users with the appropriate security level, reducing the need for (and costs associated with) outside consultants.

If the simple configurations are not enough to suit your processes, the software can also be easily customised. In the past, we did have problems with these customisations being overridden during the upgrade process, but now with the introduction of CRM 2011 all customisations can be carried through to new versions. This means IPM can support both user defined configuration and customisation without limiting you in the future by taking the software out of the upgrade loop.

If you would like to know more about how IPM can be configured for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free demo.