Here at IPM Global we’re gearing up for the global on-premise release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, earmarked for February 28th. In preparation, I’ve been doing some exploring to discover all the cool new features of CRM 2011 that are going to make your lives a lot easier as project managers and IPM users.

One thing that is really exciting is the new conditional formatting feature. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, conditional formatting is a set of rules that dictate how data is formatted. This means that if a piece of data fits a certain set of conditions, then it will be automatically formatted a certain way. For example, if the text in this sentence contains the words ‘conditional formatting’, it should be made bold.

So how will this feature affect the way you use IPM to manage your projects? Well, you can set a conditional formatting rule that can look at a list of documents, for example RFIs, and if there are RFIs that have not been answered by their due date they can be formatted a certain way, either by putting them in bold, making them red, etc – whatever suits you best. You may also choose to format items approaching their due date in a different way, so you can see at a glance the most important documents for you to follow up each day, followed by the next important and so on.

This really is an exciting feature that will make it easier and more efficient to follow up overdue items on your project. And as always with Microsoft, the conditional formatting rules can be customised by you, so you can choose which conditions to look for and how to format the data.

This is just one of the great new features of CRM 2011, so keep checking back to see what else is in store for you.