Skip to main content

User Stories for Grants Manager Plus



Updated 9/15/2021

InfoStrat offers government software solutions, and our most popular has been  Grants Manager Plus, based on Dynamics 365.  I receive inquiries on this solution from around the world, and the most common questions include how long it will take to implement and how much will it cost.

User stories which describe your grant program and business processes are essential to determine the scope of the project and create accurate estimates for an implementation.  User stories are descriptions of a process from the point of view of a user role.  They do not include technical details of the implementation but they capture business rules and data elements that are tracked for a specific scenario.

To create user stories for Grants Manager Plus, first identify how many grant programs you offer.  Do different programs have distinct business processes or track different data?  If they use the same processes and data, you can create fewer user stories.  Often our clients have some variation among programs which change the ways that they interact with grantees.

Here are some user stories that you are likely to need:
  1. Create a funding source.  Identify data elements and business processes for funding that is applied to a program.  What rules or conditions must be passed down to grantees? Can a program be funded from multiple sources?  Do you integrate with your financial management system to view balances or pass transactions to that system?
  2. Create a program.  Define attributes of a program such as schedule, budgets, evaluation criteria for applications, metrics, and others. Define the post award reporting schedule. 
  3. Create account on grant portal.  This is from the perspective of a grantee.  Can they apply for an account?  Does it require approval? Will the grantor send invitations to the prospective grantees? Will all people who access the application be from the same organization?  Do these users require different roles and permissions?  Can the grantee manage permissions for others at their organization?
  4. Create an application.  This is also from the grantee perspective.  Care should be taken to provide the best possible user experience because this may be the most complex and lengthy process. How is the application divided into sections?  When are attachments uploaded?
  5. Review and scoring.  Once an application is submitted, what are the steps to review it? Who reviews? Inside or outside reviewers?  Where do they enter remarks and scores?  Can an application be returned to the applicant for changes?
  6. Payment requests. How are payment requests made?  Through the grantee portal?  What are the business rules that govern release of payments such as milestone completion? Do payments need to be allocated across funding sources? 
  7. Post award reporting. When are reports due? When do you want to send reminders to grantees? 
  8. Closeout.  What happens at the end of a grant?  Which reports are required?  How are closeout documents executed?
Grants Manager plus contains standard data elements and workflows which meet substantially all of typical grantor requirements, but you are likely to want to customize them to match your business rules as closely as possible. 

User stories are at the heart of requirements analysis in the Agile methodology.  They also serve as the basis for your test plan.  

For more information on grant management and Grants Manager Plus, see my posts:

5 Ways to Ensure Compliance with Your Grant Management System
6 Things to Look for in Grant Management Software
Estimating the Cost of a Grants Manager Plus Implementation
Extending Grants Manager Plus
Flexible Grant Management Software: Long Term Considerations
Grant Management for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Grant Management Portal: What to Include
Grant Management with FedRAMP Certification: Microsoft Dynamics 365
Grants Manager Plus: Theme and Variations
InfoStrat Grants Manager Plus Review on FinanceOnline
InfoStrat Releases New Version of Grants Manager Plus
InfoStrat Releases New Videos on Grants Manager Plus
Grants Manager Plus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Online Resources for Grants Manager Plus
Portal Options for Grants Manager
Statewide Grant Management Systems
The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation
The Story of InfoStrat and Grant Management
Usage Scenarios for Microsoft Grants Manager
User Stories for Grants Manager Plus
Understanding Budget, Payments and Milestones in Grants Manager Plus
Understanding Grant Management Data: CDBG-DR Programs
Understanding Programs in Grants Manager Plus



Popular posts from this blog

Key Concepts for Microsoft Dynamics 365: Tenant, Instance, App and Solution

To understand Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM), you need to learn some new terms and concepts that may be a bit different from what you know from databases and solutions that are hosted on premises. This post introduces some of the key terms and how these concepts are important for planning your implementation. While Dynamics 365 is available on premises, it is most commonly deployed on the Microsoft cloud.  This blog post discusses only cloud implementations. Microsoft has multiple clouds such as commercial and government community clouds. We start with a Microsoft tenant .  A tenant is the account you create in the Microsoft Online Services environment (such as Office 365) when you sign up for a subscription. A tenant contains uniquely identified domains, users, security groups, and subscriptions.  Your tenant has a domain name of .onmicrosoft.com such as acme.onmicrosoft.com.  User accounts belong to a tenant, and subscriptions are assigned to user accoun

Understanding Dynamics 365 and Office 365 Admin Roles

Managing Dynamics 365 instances If you run Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) in the Microsoft cloud, you need to understand how your Dynamics instances relate to Office 365 and choose which of your administrators receives which roles and permissions to manage Dynamics 365. In on premises deployments, your network administrator would create and delete user accounts.  The Dynamics 365 admin would then assign permissions to users in Dynamics 365. This post explains three administrator roles: Office 365 Global Administrator Dynamics 365 System Administrator Dynamics 365 Service Administrator You may think that the Dynamics 365 system administrator would have power to do all the actions needed to manage Dynamics 365, but this is not the case. What's different in Microsoft cloud deployments is that licenses and user accounts are managed in Office 365 by an Office 365 Global Administrator.  This role is analogous to a network administrator for an on premises

Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

Source:  https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/infopath/ by James Townsend Microsoft has offered a number of forms automation products over the years, and the most long running was InfoPath which was released as part of Office 2003.  InfoPath is a powerful and flexible product that stores user data in XML while offering form features such as rules, data validation, scripting, and integration with SharePoint.  The popularity of SharePoint resulted in many organizations standardizing on InfoPath for forms, especially internal forms which are hosted on an intranet such as employee reviews, leave and payment requests, and human resources forms. Microsoft has discontinued InfoPath, with mainstream support ending July 13th, 2021, and extended support ending July 14th, 2026. Microsoft has named Power Apps as the successor to InfoPath .  Power Apps has much in common with InfoPath.  Both products include integration with SharePoint.  Both are geared toward the citizen developer and do