Tag Archives: Implementation

Sure Step in action: business process change

Service Providers (or colloquially partners) often refrain from undertaking organization or process changes during implementation projects of Microsoft Dynamics solutions. And it comes as no surprise: there are many risks related to it, and customizations are taken as a more traditional approach.

Customizations are easy to predict, they do come at risk, but at least the risks are known and often easily managed entirely within service provider’s organization and reach, while organizational change is unpredictable, and often exceeds consultants’ knowledge, experience and expertise.

However, with or without intention or consent, organizational change will always happen. No solution has ever been 100% fit, and since the customer must do their business with the solution, the remainder from fit to 100% will always and without exception be satisfied with an unmanaged, unintentional, but evolutionary process change.

Instead of leaving it all to chance, Sure Step offers much better ways.

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Sure Step in action: more about Fit Gap Analysis

image Fit Gap Analysis is one of the core activities of the Sure Step. It’s in fact so important that on most projects this activity should be done twice: the first time you do it on a very high level just get a quick overview of customer’s processes and requirements, and the second time you dive deep down into details to figure out everything.

This is not the first time I blog about it. I explained the meaning of the Degree of Fit, as well as its value in determining the risks of customizing the solution, and then I shared some thoughts about how to use hourly estimates from the Fit Gap worksheet. But every time I think of Fit Gap or I teach it at a course, there seems to be so much more to it.

There are a couple of more points I’d like to address about it:

  • How (and why) to engineer the Degree of Fit?
  • Isn’t the Degree of Fit a bit too blurry?
  • Are the five fit/gap categories really all there is about it?
  • Can you inherit a Fit Gap Analysis results from another consultant?

Let’s discuss the first topic today: engineering a desirable Degree of Fit.

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ERP Implementation Strategy Survey

Software Advice Houston Neal of Software Advice is running a survey about the ERP implementation strategies, with the goal of identifying the best one. The survey is very short, it will take only a couple of minutes and is aimed at helping future customers choosing the best strategy.

Even though I don’t think that anyone should follow the results of any survey when choosing their implementation strategy, the introductory article of this survey does a nice job explaining the three common approaches of implementing ERP. If you are an existing ERP customer, or a consultant, please take a half a minute and answer the questions there, and if you are a potential ERP customer, check the article to learn more about possible approaches your organization can adopt. If you missed the link at the beginning of the post, just click here.

Requirements and Process Review – Critical vs. Non Critical

Requirements and process review is one of the decision accelerators in the Diagnostic phase of the Sure Step, aimed at gaining deeper understanding of customer’s business processes, and documenting high level requirements, as well as possible implementation issues. As such, it is an indispensable input into further decision accelerators and the implementation project itself.

One of the activities done in scope of this decision accelerator is identifying high-level implementation issues which are then classified into critical and non-critical. I’ve done some requirements and process reviews and had a chance to discuss it with consultants and project managers, and I’ve often found people to be somewhat confused with the logic behind this classification, because at the first glance it seems totally reverse: what you could call critical shooting from the hip, is in fact non-critical, and what you could say is non-critical, turns in fact to be critical. And it requires some general shift in the point of view of what consultants are generally used to in scope of typical gap analysis activities.

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My new career path – independent consultant

It’s official now, and it’s time I announce it here: after two years at Microsoft I’ve decided to take the helm of my career and venture into the realm of independent consulting. Two days into it, and all I can say about it is: what have I been waiting for this long?

While at Microsoft, I had a chance to work on some very exciting projects, I was sitting at the source of information, and the thrill of being able to know about all the news and developments before anyone else is priceless.

But the thrill of being able to work on my own, to pick my own projects, to take on completely new challenges, was even more priceless.

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