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2013/11/28

New Advanced Project Features

Here is a description of some of the new features that have been added to the Advanced Project module in NetSuite version 2013.2.

"Finish No Later Than" date field on the project task



The "Finish No Later Than" date can be used to define a cutoff date and will not be changed by the system even if time is added to the task. When the date entered in this field is before the calculated end date, it becomes the new end date of the project task and has an impact on all of the following tasks.

Let's say we have task A that is a predecessor of task B which is a predecessor of task C. Finish No Later Than date of task A is changed to a date that is before the original end date. The end date of task A will be changed to the Finish No Later Than Date and task B and C will also have their start and end dates changed automatically.

Before changing the 'Finish No Later Than' field:


After:


Predecessor Relationships

When a project task is created, it is possible to define when it is supposed to start or end depending on other tasks. There were two predecessor relationships that already existed in NetSuite: Finish-to-Start and Start-to-Start. In other words, it was possible to make a project task begin only after another one was finished or only after another was started. Now, there are two more predecessor relationships: Finish-to-Finish and Start-to-Finish. A task may now only finish once another task is finished or finish only when another task has been started.

Finish-to-Start (not a new feature)

Start-to-Start (not a new feature)

Finish-to-Finish

Start-to-Finish

It is also possible now to add a delay (in number of days) between two tasks:




Milestones

A milestone is a project task that has a start date, an end date, a status, a parent task (optional), a predecessor (optional) but no assignee. It may be used to schedule invoices by using Fix Bid,  or Milestones in the Billing Schedule field on the project record. They appear as a diamond shape in the Gantt Chart. They can be created from the New Project Task button if no assignee is defined and they can also be converted into tasks if at least one assignee is added. It is also possible to convert a project task to a milestone by removing the assignees.


Billing Classes

A billing class is used to define the price of a resource on a project.

The first step is to create a billing class by going under Setup > Accounting > Billing Classes


Then, it is possible to select the billing class on the employee record:


Or on the project task resource:



Once time is entered by an employee with a billing class or on a project where the billing class has been defined, the rate is automatically filled with the amount defined in the billing class.


Gantt Chart

The Gantt Chart is a powerful tool to help manage a project. It is possible to highlight the critical path (in the menu above the chart), highlight tasks that are longer than 40 hours, filter tasks with a progress that is less than 30%, etc. It gives a better view for the project follow-up.

It is accessible from the project record, in the Schedule sub-tab (Gantt Chart button).

Project Center

NetSuite has created a new center type which is the Project Center. It can be selected in the role configuration and it is possible to customize it like other centers (e.g. Classic Center).The consultant role (which is a standard role in NetSuite) is associated with this center. It contains information related to projects, time entries, and has a dashboard.




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