Tag Archives: Standard

Solution overview: hablamos tutti die gleiche language?

One of the biggest obstacles of the ERP projects is the language. Not the spoken language, such as Spanish or German, but the lingo of the business, of the branch, of the company. The consultants speak their lingo. The customer speaks theirs. Especially in the early stages, the projects can fall apart on understanding each other.

If there is one profound risk that all ERP projects share, it’s that during requirement analysis and early stages of design the consultant won’t understand the customer’s need, and that the customer won’t really understand what consultant is proposing. A bad choice, and there goes another failed project.

Luckily, there is a tool in Sure Step which is used specifically to eliminate this risk of misunderstanding: the Solution Overview.

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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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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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Default database approach

Last Friday, while enjoying a not-at-all healthy Salisbury steak with cheese, I had an interesting discussion with a partner: should NAV consultancies create default databases?

A default database (in this context) is a packaged solution built upon standard Microsoft Dynamics NAV, where a consultancy has introduced a number of features that they sell to all their customers as the standard solution, instead of standard NAV. The modifications to standard NAV can range from simple report adornments to minor feature improvements  to full-scale horizontal or vertical functionalities.

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