Manage jobs

 

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics Marketing

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Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is scheduled to be retired on May 15, 2018. After that date the service will no longer be available. Please plan accordingly. For details, see the blog post Microsoft Dynamics Marketing service will be discontinued, and learn what’s coming next.

Use jobs to track projects such as designing creative, copywriting, etc. that result in the creation of a component or digital asset. The work needed to complete a job is typically assigned using tasks. More information: Manage tasks. Job requests enable users to fill out forms that collect information used to create jobs.

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To work with Jobs, you must have Edit/View Jobs privileges. Required privileges for related features include Job Templates, Job Requests and Job Request Templates. More information: Work with user accounts and staff contacts.

Notes panel and notes tab

Some users rely heavily on notes when working with jobs. If you do, you may find the Notes panel to be a useful way to provide more 'visibility' to notes. The Notes panel provides the same functions as the Notes tab, but is always visible when the Job dashboard is displayed. More information: Notes

The Notes panel displays notes in a panel to the right of the main data entry fields on the Job dashboard. To view the Notes panel, choose the Notes button Notes button at the top right corner of the Job dashboard. To hide, choose the Notes button again.

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Web portal users have restricted Read-only access to some of the information that is available on the Job dashboard. Users can view just the Files and Details tabs.

  1. Go to Settings > Administration > Users.

    Select the Web Portal User that you want to grant job access to.

  2. Choose the check box on the Jobs Role to grant the user Read-only access to jobs.

    Open the job to be displayed on the web portal and choose the Show on Web Portal check box.

Go to Projects > Job Management > Jobs. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays Jobs.

  1. Choose the New job button New button. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays a blank job page. If job templates have been set up, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will prompt you to select a template.

  2. Select a template from the pull-down menu or choose Submit to display a blank job page.

  3. Enter the information:

Field

Description

Status

Select an entry from this drop-down list to specify the current status of the job. (Required.)

If a job's status is set to canceled, the job's name will no longer be available in other Microsoft Dynamics Marketing functions.

Note that you can also add and remove custom notes to the status by using the two buttons to the left of this field.

Code

Enter a custom code for the job or leave this blank. If left blank, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will generate a new, unique code for the job (starting at 10,000 and incrementing by one for each new job).

Name

Enter a name for the job. This name will appear to identify your new job in the job list and other places in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. (Required.)

Company 

Begin typing the name of the company or client for whom you are creating the job. This name must already exist in the database. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will search the database as you type and present matching names. (Required.)

Description 

Enter a description of the job.

Show on Web Portal 

Mark this box to make this job visible on the web portal.

Billable  

This check box is only visible of you have the Invoicing User role. Mark this box if you will be billing another company for this job.

If the job is for the default company, the box will default to unchecked. If the job is for a different (i.e., client) company, the check box will default to checked.

When tracking a work in process, it is important to specify which jobs are billable and which aren't. Time slips associated with billable jobs are automatically included in work in process, while time slips associated with not-billable jobs are not.

More information: Establish budgeting options

Priority 

Select a priority from the drop-down list.

Start Date 

Enter the start date of the job. Choose the calendar and/or clock buttons to quickly add a date and/or time in the correct format.

Due Date 

Enter the date when the job is due to be finished. Choose the calendar and/or clock buttons to quickly add a date and/or time in the correct format.

Completed Date 

Once the job is complete, enter date the job was actually finished here. Choose the calendar and/or clock buttons to quickly add a date and/or time in the correct format.

Category 

Choose an entry from this drop-down list to apply a category to your new job. Categories enable you to group your jobs. More information: Create custom drop-down values and folders

 

Folder 

To store your job in a folder, select a folder name here.

URL 

If there is a URL associated with the job, enter it here.

Specifications 

Enter any additional specifications for the job.

Additional tabs

Use the drop-down list at the bottom of the page to view and associate various other types of information and entities with your job, such as approvals, advertisements, purchase orders, emails, change log, etc. See the associated contextual help for details about each of these.

Use job folders to view and organize jobs in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

To view job folders:

  1. Go to Projects > Job Management > Jobs.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays jobs in folders, where each folder corresponds to a job type where:

  • The job status is not canceled or completed, and,

  • You are a member of the job's team.

Jobs are displayed in sub-folders in the job folder. Folders correspond to the job type pull-down menu. You can create as many job types/folders as you require. To create a new job folder:

  • Choose the Jobs folder and choose the New Folder button New Folder button.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing opens the new job folder page:

  • Enter the information.

  • Choose OK.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing adds a new sub folder in the jobs folder.

  1. Choose the New Item button New button.

  2. Enter the information.

  3. Choose Submit.

  • Component Pack: Type in part of the name of the component or pack you want to add to the job. A component or pack must be selected.

  • Quantity: Enter the quantity (Optional.)

  • Ship To: Select the Ship To contact. (Optional.)

  • Instructions: Enter instructions. (Optional.)

  • Packaging: Select the packaging. (Optional.)

  • Ship Via: Select the shipping method. (Optional.)

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing automatically tracks job cycle time - the amount of time jobs take and the variance between the estimated and actual cycle time. The variance is calculated by dividing the number of days between the due date (the date the job was scheduled to be completed) and the end date (the date the job was actually completed), and dividing it by the number of days between the job's start date and due date.

Use the filter to compare job actual versus estimated time for similar jobs or for jobs for a specific company, client, etc.

To view job cycle times, go to Performance > Projects > Jobs % on Time. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays the job actual versus estimated time for all completed jobs that you are allowed to see, in alphabetical order (on this page, completed means that the job has a cycle time).

Job traffic refers to managing all the tasks related to jobs. The Job Traffic folder displays all the tasks linked to jobs.

To view job traffic: 

Go to Projects > Job Management > Jobs. On the job dashboard, choose the Tasks tab.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays all the tasks associated with jobs.

The Job Distribution function enables users to document and track the distribution and shipments. More information: Components and packs 

To view job distribution:

  1. Go to Projects > Job Management > Jobs.

  2. On the Job dashboard, choose the Distribution tab.

    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays the list of components and packs and their distribution information.

You can view jobs in a listing or using the Milestone view. The Job Listing view displays information about each job on a row, including the job's overall status. While this page is very useful, when it comes to viewing job status it gives a very high level view. Alternatively you could use the Job Milestones view to view more details about the tasks associated with each job. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing enables you to designate certain tasks as milestone tasks - tasks whose status indicates the status of a stage or phase of a job.

An Example

Your team might be responsible for designing print materials. Different types of ads might have different workflows; in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing they would have different tasks. But the design an advertisement might always consist of a few stages - planning, copywriting, layout and approvals. Each stage might consist of four or five separate tasks assigned to different people. To use milestones, you could create milestones - Planning Complete, Copywriting Complete, Layout Complete and Approval Complete and associate a task in each job with each milestone. The milestone page would then display each job on a row along with the status of each milestone's task. This would make it easy to review the status of many jobs in a 'systematic' way.

A different team might be responsible for designing web materials. Different types of ads might have different workflows; in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing they would have different tasks. But the design a web advertisement might always consist of a few stages - planning, copywriting, HTML layout and approvals. Each stage might consist of four or five separate tasks assigned to different people. To use milestones, you could create milestones - Planning Done, Copywriting Done, HTML Done and Approval Done and associate a task in each job with each milestone. The milestone page would then display each job on a row along with the status of each milestone's task. This would make it easy to review the status of many jobs in a 'systematic' way.

The V.P. of Marketing wants a 'higher' level view of things. She wants to be able to see all jobs mapped against a single set of higher level milestones. For example, when she views jobs across both teams she wants to know when planning is finished, copywriting, HTML, and approvals are finished, and when the job is completed.  

Major Milestones

In the example shown above the V.P.'s milestones are the 'major' milestones; the higher level ones.

Milestones

In the example shown above each group has its own set of milestones:

  • For the print team - Planning Complete, Copywriting Complete, Layout Complete, and Approval Complete;

  • For the web team - Planning Done, Copywriting Done, HTML Done, and Approval Done.

Milestone Groups

In the example above there are two groups of milestones; one for the print team and one for the web team.

How Milestones are displayed on the Jobs dashboard page

Milestones are displayed on the Jobs page in columns; the columns are displayed in alphabetical order from left to right. To make the display as useful as possible it helps to use names such as 1. Planning Complete, 2. Copywriting Complete or A. Planning Complete, B. Copywriting Complete.

Milestone page performance

The Job Milestone page is very complex and designed to enable users to analyze lots of information. It must process lots of information to be able to display all the statuses and due dates of all the tasks for all the jobs in a cross tab. Depending upon the filter values you have specified, it may take some time for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to compile, tabulate, and download all the information.

  1. To change the status of one or more jobs without displaying the Job dashboard for each one, choose the Status Change button Update Status button.

    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays a pop-up window.

  2. Select the new job status from the pull-down menu.

  3. Choose Submit.

To add a job status comment:

  1. Choose the Comment button next to the job status. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays a pop-up window that enables you to enter the comment.

  2. Choose OK.

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    To view the comment, hover with your mouse on the Job Status Comment button. Job status comments can also be displayed in a column on the Jobs dashboard. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays the comment in a tool tip.

    Use the customize columns button to add the column to your personalized view.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing includes a number of features to help you reschedule jobs:

  • Date Shifting: When you change key job dates, such as start date and due date, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will prompt you to shift all the dates of all the tasks associated with the job. If you choose Submit, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will shift all the task dates by the same number of business days (rather than week days - as in a 7 day week) as changed the job's start or end date.

  • Workflow Compression: When you change the duration of a job, by changing the number of days between the start date and the due date, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will prompt you to compress the workflow (tasks). When the start date and/or end date of a job are changed, users are prompted to compress the overall workflow by calculating the old job duration (in business days) and the new job duration (in business days) and compressing each task by the same proportion and shifting back relative to the new start date of the job. Completed and deleted tasks are skipped.

  • Advanced Workflow Compression: The advanced workflow compression in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is designed for teams that have more sophisticated scheduling (and rescheduling) needs. Advanced workflow compression is ideal for organizations that need to optimize the utilization of their critical staff members and improve productivity.

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When applying time shift/compression to individual tasks that are part of your job, Dynamics Marketing adjusts task dates according to their status as follows:

  • Not started: adjust start date

  • In progress: adjust end date

  • Completed: no change

However, Dynamics Marketing also allows you to establish custom sates for your tasks. The time shift/compression feature treats all tasks having a custom state as if they are “in progress” and therefore adjusts their end date. If this is not what you have in mind, then you must manually adjust your tasks as needed.

The visual Workflow Tweaker appears when a job's workflow is compressed.  When you are satisfied with the schedule adjustments you’ve made, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing updates the workflow for you. To use the Visual Tweaker, adjust the duration of each task by choosing its Start or End point, holding your mouse button down, and dragging the end point to a new date or time.

Dynamics Marketing Visual Tweaker

Workflow compression refers to the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing function that helps users compress (or expand) the duration of a job without having to update the start and due dates of every task in the workflow. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing's workflow compression enables users to optimize resources to better address short term schedule adjustments limited by resource availability by providing a process that quickly and predictably addresses all the major concerns as well as providing users with the ability to 'manual' adjust a workflow once it has been compressed by Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

How Things Work

To accurately perform compression, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing factors in the following items:

  • Job Duration: The job's duration is used to calculate the amount of compression that is needed.

  • Estimated Time of each Task: The estimated duration of each task is used to ensure that it isn't compression too much; the task's estimated time is used as the 'floor' when workflow is compressed.

  • Time slips: The time actually spent doing each task is factored into the compression function (the actual time spent as analyzed by the time slips associated with work, that is).

  • Schedules: Schedules are used to determine how much work can be done by each user during a period of time.  

Compression

  • Task durations (estimated times) are proportionally reduced based on the proportional reduction of the entire job's duration.

  • Once a task has its duration reduced to match either its estimated duration or the actual time already spent (time slips linked to the task) then that task can no longer have its duration reduced and the remaining “reduce-able” tasks must absorb the remaining duration reductions proportionally.

  • Once all tasks have their durations reduced to their estimated duration or actual time already spent them then no more schedule compression can occur.

  • Tasks without estimated times or without actual time already spent can have their duration reduced to zero/nothing.

  • Once a task has its duration reduced to match either its estimated duration or the actual time booked against it then that task can no longer have its duration reduced and the remaining “reduce-able” tasks must absorb the remaining duration reductions proportionally.

  • Once all tasks have their durations reduced to their estimated duration or actual time booked against them then no more schedule compression can occur.

  • Tasks without estimated durations or actual time booked against them can have their duration reduced to zero/nothing.

Expansion

  • There are no limits on how much a job or task duration can be expanded.

Limits on Processing

  • Work hours are defined as Monday-Friday using either the site or contact’s default maximum hours, start and end time.

  • All tasks are compressed/expanded in isolation meaning that the “assigned to” contact’s workload (A contact’s workload consists of all tasks assigned to the contact) is not taken into consideration during this processing even for other tasks in the same job.

  • A task's duration cannot be compressed shorter than its estimated duration. The task timeline would be calculated based on the task’s estimated time and the contact/site daily work hours. Permit the reduction in the estimated task duration. Set a site-wide limit to how much a task’s estimated duration can be compressed. Display an error message if the compression will exceed the site-wide threshold.

  • A task cannot be compressed into a duration that is shorter than the time already spent as analyzed via time slips.

  • The relationship between the due dates of the job and its tasks with the current date isn't taken into consideration; it is possible to compress a job and place some or all of its task due dates into the past.

The following are the prerequisites to successfully perform task compression/expansion for a Job:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing's Scheduling function must be active. More information: Manage schedules

  • Scheduling information must either be specified at the site or contact level (start/end times and hours per day).

  • Jobs must have a start and due date for compression to be performed.

  • Tasks must have both start and due dates.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing's scheduling function will take into consideration the Estimated Time of each task, if it is specified. The Compression function uses the estimated time as the 'minimum' duration of a task; hence, tasks without estimated times may be compressed without restriction.

  • Tasks actual time must be analyzed using time slips.

Marketing best practices suggest using creative briefs to describe jobs and components in detail. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing provides a flexible creative brief function.  As an example, here's a sample of the elements a creative brief for display advertising could contain. You may want to create your own format:

  • Background / Overview: What's the big picture? What's going on in the market? Anything happening with the client side we should know about? Can you summarize the entire brief into one sentence, "Who are we talking to, and what do we want to say?"

  • What is the objective, the purpose of the ad? A concise statement of the effect the ad should have on consumers, typically expressed as an action. And frequently focused either on what you want them to think, to feel, or to do.

  • What do we want to say? What's the single most important thing we can say to achieve the objective? This should be a simple sentence (or sentences) expressing a specific idea (or ideas). Avoid generalities because they result in ambiguous communications.

  • What are the supporting rational and emotional “reasons to believe?” List the rational and emotional reasons for the target market to be persuaded by the ad. Include all the major copy points, in order of relative importance to the consumer.

  • Target audience: Who are we talking to? The more precise and detailed the better. Go beyond age and sex to include demographics and psycho graphics. 

  • Any other important details? Here's where you put all other details, such as information about the offer if it's a direct response ad. Perhaps a description of the brand personality. And any mandatory elements such as the client's logo, address, phone number and so forth.

  • Objectives: High-level objectives for the campaign, such as awareness, leads, recruiting, etc.

  • Goals: What are the specific targets for the component?

  • Insights: What are the key issues, concerns, and "pains"? What does our audience care about?

  • Beliefs: What are current beliefs about the product/service being promoted?

  • Differentiators: What are the features that differentiate the Product/service being promoted?

  • Benefits: What are the key benefits of the Product/service being promoted?

  • Proofs: What are proof points we can use - awards, references, testimonials, etc.

  • Tone: Should the tone be serious, irreverent, fun, or straightforward?

  • Accelerator: Is there a special offer, incentive to motivate response?

  • Call To Action: What action do we want them to take?

  • Other: Are there any other considerations, deadlines, and information to include in the campaign?

  1. Choose the Brief tab.

    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays all the sections of the brief that have already been completed.

  2. To enter a new section, choose the New button New button.

    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing opens a Details page.

  3. Make a selection from the drop-down menu.

  4. Type in the information.

  5. Choose Submit.

To set up the job brief sections, which are the entries that appear in the drop-down menus, you must be an administrator.

  1. Go to Settings > Business Administration > Categories.

  2. Select Job Brief.

  3. Enter the information.

  4. Choose Submit. More information: Create custom drop-down values and folders

The Job Performance page can help you manage your jobs more efficiently. It displays a summary of jobs grouped by category or type and tabulated by status. Use the filter to compare job cycle times for similar jobs or jobs for a specific company or client.

To view job performance

  1. Go to Performance > Projects > Job Performance.

    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays the job performance for all jobs that the user is allowed to see grouped by type and tabulated by status.

  2. To see jobs grouped by category and tabulated by status instead, choose the Toggle button.

The Job Actual Versus Estimated page can help you manage your jobs more efficiently. It displays a summary of each job's task estimated time and time slip actual time. Use the filter to compare Job Actual Versus Estimated times for similar job or for jobs for a specific company, client, etc.

To view job actual vs estimated: 

Go to Projects > Reports > Jobs Actual vs Est Time.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing displays the Job Actual Versus Estimated for all jobs that the user is allowed to see.

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