After successful Decisions NAV 2009 and Decisions AX 2009 virtual conferences, MSDynamicsWorld.com has went for it once again, this time expanding the conference to cover full range of Microsoft Dynamics products, and merging it into a single event.
One of the drawbacks of being a freelancer is a slight risk to learn a bit late about anything new. Once upon a time, when I was still blogging actively, I made sure I was the first to blog about something new, as long as it relates to Sure Step. This time, the news came to me through two channels: through Microsoft Dynamics UK Blog and through Chandru Shankar’s post in SureStep PM Methodology group on LinkedIn.
So, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, I’m just reposting the content from these two sources, but I’ll not miss to say that I am totally thrilled with this new release, and the new stuff it brings along.
Implementing a new Microsoft Dynamics solution doesn’t merely introduce a new piece of software into your environment. Yes, the software is an important part, you need to deploy it successfully, configure it as necessary, probably even customize it and change the business logic under the hood.
One component, however, is easily overlooked, and you wouldn’t believe how often it’s not addressed until late. Or too late. It’s the infrastructure.
Infrastructure is tough. It’s not just servers and desktops with some wires, switches and access points in between. Its a lot more. What kind of hardware do you need for your servers or desktops? What kind of performance do you really need? What kind of network layout is optimal for your transaction volume? Should you run the client on desktop machines, or would a remote desktop access be a preferred method? Do you virtualize your servers? What kind of failover capacities do you need? Can you retain any of your old hardware? How many users will use the system? Tomorrow? In five years? What about interfaces and integration to other systems or applications?
A couple of wrong answers, and down you go.
Recently, a reader, commenting on my last post about Sure Step, pointed me to an article by Karl E. Wiegers
“Read My Lips: No New Models!” I initially responded to the comment, but I figure the comments aren’t read as often as posts, so I decided to blog it.
It’s doubly funny that the reader is using Dr. Wiegers to devalue and dismiss Sure Step: firstly, the article has really nothing to do with implementation methodologies at all, and secondly, when I delivered Sure Step training at WinDays pre-conf earlier this year, I gave to each attendant a copy of Karl E. Wiegers’s latest book “Practical Project Initiation”—at the time it was the best book available that matched both the message of my training and the point of Sure Step as a methodology.
Methodology is a tough topic. There are good methodologies, there are bad methodologies, there are good methodologies gone bad. Methodology is not a silver bullet, it won’t just make any problems disappear, and is hardly ever the single source of success or failure. But a methodology can be a major contributor to success. I could put it this way: you stand much better chances of success if you apply a methodology, then if you don’t. With something as critical as an implementation of business software, methodology is a key success factor. According to Jim Johnson of Standish Group, it’s number nine on their ten identified most important success factors.