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.
In on of my earlier posts here on this blog, where I was merely testing out my theories, I said that user interface is one of the biggest drivers of return on investment: a familiar, easy to navigate, non-cluttered user interface that truly allows you to focus on your work, and not spend too much time meddling with hundreds of options, never being really sure which one to click (okay, I exaggerate, but don’t worry, that’s on purpose)—wouldn’t something like that cut down employee ramp-up time significantly and boost the productivity?
Well, now it’s here, and it’s called the RoleTailored user interface. Or experience, whichever you prefer.
Some time back, as I was riding a taxi from Prague airport to Holiday Inn hotel, I wondered about the fixed price I was about to pay for the ride.
– “Airport to city is 700 flat.” – said the driver when I asked how much approximately will it cost.
Common wisdom goes that flat rates mean you get it worse than if it wasn’t flat. Indeed, if it was on meter, and if the driver took the shortest route (I had a GPS device on me, I could’ve easily checked it!), the fare would’ve been lower. And yet, I decided I loved the flat rate.
Each phase of Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology is equally important in an implementation project. You could argue that analysis is the most important, or that design is the most important, or that operation is less important. I’ll paraphrase Scott Adams here and ask: how one phase can be more important if each of them is completely necessary? Well, except for Diagnostic phase.
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.