Dynamics 365 Implementations
Customize the solution for the unique business needs
Our implementation methodology combined with project management discipline along with field-tested best practices and user friendly tools, enable deployment, migration configuration and upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics solutions. It is designed to help drive our customers’ productivity by providing with a consistent approach and standard of tools and templates. This helps ensure that our customers’ projects are completed efficiently, driving business value right away, while helping them experience reduced risk to their business and high levels of satisfaction.
THE BENEFITS OF THE METHODOLOGY
- Faster implementation time: The tools, templates and best practices which we provide cover all aspects of projects to increase consistency, timeframes, quality and success of projects.
- Repeatable model: Flexible and repeatable model that fits any business or project type, assuring customers that they are following the same consistent approach and correct procedures during a Dynamics integration.
- Increased customer satisfaction: Allows for a faster project completion with minimal risk and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), which can all lead to increased customer satisfaction.
- Resources: A standard set of tools and templates are used to guide through the implementation process to projects of any size, type or industry to ensure efficient and on-time project delivery.
Our Methodology Phases
Requirements Gathering and Analysis
This is done to meet all the required stakeholders, help the customer find the right solution and obtain a key understanding of the solution requirements. The analysis activities identify actions to initiate and effectively plan the entire project.
The design phase includes configuration of the overall Microsoft Dynamics solution and the design of specific customizations needed to satisfy business requirements identified during the Analysis phase.
The goal of the development phase is to build and test the system components defined and approved in the design specifications, including developing the customizations, integrations and interfaces and data migration processes.
The testing phases comprises of the Partner as well as User Acceptance Testing. Key activities in this phase include creating Test Plan, Test Scripts and Test Cases, executing the same, fixing bugs, Training Users and conducting User Acceptance Testing.
The deployment phase is where all the efforts of the project team come together for a successful transition to the new Microsoft Dynamics solution. Key activities in this phase include migrating solution/s to the Production environment, migrating final data and doing the cutover.
The Operation phase defines the activities required to close the project, provide post-production support and transition the solution and knowledge to the customer.
Best Practices for Dynamics 365 Implementation
Involve Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
It needs to be ensured that SMEs are able to allocate time towards both work streams. An SME’s expert knowledge is indispensable to a project as they can provide crucial feedback on the solutions, the implementation, and how the solutions will support the organization thus reducing the project risk and support user adoption post-implementation.
Encourage Cross-Practice Collaboration
Collaborative workshops need to be conducted for solutions that might cross one or more practices. (e.g. Finance and Operations, Sales, and Marketing). One has to be mindful and resourceful in planning ahead with workshops and eliminate duplicate meetings with different consultants by anticipating cross-functional needs. This helps with pre-design and solution plans that are expected to come up further along in the process, and it ensures that appropriate questions are discussed with the SMEs.
Finish Customization Before Integration
Any integrations, such as data mapping or data script creation, between Dynamics 365 and other applications including other Dynamics 365 Applications, should wait until all customizations and migrations are complete, and the all systems are up and running. This helps lay the foundation for a smooth integration process. This is because some departments such as Sales typically does not take as much time to implement as others e.g. Finance and Operations, due to application complexities and requirements.
Determine the “System of Record”
During integration discussions, it is important to determine which system will be the “System of Record” or hold the “Master Data.” Dynamics ERP Application such as Finance and Operations could typically be chosen for this role, but Dynamics 365 for Sales can sometimes be chosen as the “System of Record,” as well depending on the data it will need to store. Some businesses may require that when these prospects are converted to “customers,” they are “sent” over to the ERP system, with their information now residing in the ERP system. Making these decisions around a “System of Record” during integration discussions can help with design options, as well as security requirements.
Make Sure the IT Team is Involved in Decisions
Since most complex integrations are done by partners and consultants, it is important that the IT department of the organization implementing the applications be included in the decision-making process. The reason for this is that the organization is enabled to support the integrated solution and make future updates and modifications. There are many different tools to accomplish integration needs, so it is extra important to make sure that the IT team determines which tools it will be using and that the team will be comfortable using them.
Align Important Implementation and Business Timelines
Another important factor to consider when planning and deciding on an implementation timeline will be the “year-end closing” month for the company. Use this time to back into an agreeable and attainable deployment plan. The year-end closing month is probably the single most important date that can be easily overlooked during initial planning and can cause delays in Dynamics 365 “go live” plans.
Keep Cross-Functional Teams on the Same Page
Dynamics 365 now brings together the two former product lines (CRM and AX); the same needs to be done with implementation teams. One important role that many software providers now use to ensure team alignment is the Enterprise Architect. The Enterprise Architect offers cross-functional team guidance to both the software provider’s team and your team, guiding all team members toward a common goal. Whether or not your organization uses an Enterprise Architect, keep in mind that the most successful implementations occur when cross-functional teams are on the same page at each step of the project.