Launching Projects from Service Cloud Cases

Zach Burcaw

Jul 11 2016 8 min read

Combining project management tools and techniques with Service Cloud case management may seem like an unusual concept, but under the right circumstances the two systems can compliment each other. In this post we discuss how Cloud Coach and Service Cloud can be integrated to launch projects from cases for better case management. (We’ll be covering how to use cases as part of your project in a future blog post.)

Treating a case as a project is best done when the case is repeatable, has multiple steps to resolve the issue or request, and requires work by more than one individual. Let’s walk through how we might go about bringing the power of Projects into your case management process.

Modifying your Case Layout

Let’s begin by establishing a relationship between cases and projects by adding a lookup from Project to Case. Not only does this make the project related list available on the Case layout, but it also allows us to easily add formula fields to pull in key project data into our case record.

The main field we’re going to add is a roll up of all Project expenses. In this example, we’ll accomplish that goal by creating a formula field that uses the value from the Total Actual Cost field of the project:

Here’s what it looks like on the Case layout:

Now any expenses or billable time entries at the Project level will be reflected on my case.

However, the expense field will remain blank until we do the following:

1. Define which cases should become projects and

2. Create project templates and map them to the cases that meet certain criteria.

To tackle the first point, we’ll create a “Project Template” field that will display the name of the template we should use based upon the Type and Case Reason fields. In the screenshot below, anytime a Case Reason of ‘Server Downtime’ or ‘New Hardware Installation’ is selected the Project Template field will display the name of the appropriate template:

Setting up your Project Template

Establishing your project templates is as easy as creating a project and selecting the Project Template checkbox on the project layout. For the Server Repair Project we created a simple waterfall project with four project tasks.

These tasks have estimated hours, duration, and work types predefined so the case manager doesn’t have to create estimates or match skills to tasks. In addition to these predefined settings, we also have the option of allocating individuals or inputting standard expenses or tickets to the project. If we include any of these records on the project, the case manager will then be able to clone those settings when creating the project:

Let’s recap what we’ve achieved so far:

  1. Created a Project related list on the case page layout
  2. Brought project finances into the case
  3. Mapped case selections to project templates
  4. Built project templates

That’s a step in the right direction, but it would be better if projects and cases were more tightly integrated. Right now they are related, but not necessarily in sync.

Integrating Cases and Projects with automation

To bring cases and projects closer together, let’s create two processes that cause changes at the project level and impact the case. That’s important, as ideally the case manager shouldn’t be inputting redundant information on either the case or the project.

The first automated process we created is actually two parts:

  1. If the Project Hours of the Project is greater than the Estimated Hours, then the Health Traffic Light will change to Red.
  2. If the Health Traffic Light changes to Red, the case Status will change to Escalated.

In essence, we are automatically updating the case based upon business rules we’ve defined at the project level. Here’s what it looks like in process builder:

1. The process begins on the Project object.

2. The entry criteria is that the Health field is Red and the Case lookup on the project is populated. This prevents the process from attempting to execute on all of our projects – not just the ones launched from cases.

3. If the criteria is met, the Status field on the case will be changed to Escalated.

With that process complete, let’s take a look at the second one we mentioned.

Since our case is a project, it makes sense that completing one record should complete the other. The next process does just that: when the project is complete, the case will be closed.

Once again, the process begins on the Project object.

Just as before, the process won’t execute unless the case lookup field is populated.

When the project is completed, the case Status is changed to Closed.

And that’s it! Over the course of this post we’ve created a relationship between Case and Project, setup project templates that will be launched based upon business rules, and tied our Case and Project records together with some simple automation. There’s a lot more that can be done when integrating Cloud Coach with Service Cloud, but it’s simply a matter of defining your business rules. Once done, you too can bring the Power of Projects into your case management system.


Zach Burcaw

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