NAV Group Projects Methodology ensures efficient implementation.
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NAV Group Projects Methodology

the methodology for global NAV projects

In most of its implementation projects, IT.integro uses the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology. However, international projects are specific. The ones which we have completed so far have provided us with a wealth of significant experience. With new projects on the horizon, we have amassed our experience in order to develop our own methodology for our international customers. NAV Group Projects Methodology streamlines the delivery of global projects and ensures efficient and cost-effective implementation.

Main objective of NAV Group Projects Methodology- IT.integro’s global methodology

The main objective of NAV Group Projects Methodology is to benefit from Microsoft Dynamics NAV standardization. This can be achieved by means of process and data standardization. You can read more about the key benefits at: Benefits of global Microsoft Dynamics NAV standardization.

Project phases

Phase 1.
Strategy – set project assumptions

Many companies understand the need for using Global Template (the core solution). However, creating a transparent project concept requires some effort. Thus, a strategy is needed to streamline the process. The Strategy phase brings clear answers in the three following project areas:

  • project objectives
  • main requirements
  • project scope

 

The most important activities in the strategy phase focus on the following issues:

  • High-level analysis of group processes,
  • Create schedules and budgets for the following implementation phases,
  • Develop the architecture of the target solution (servers, databases, licenses, etc.)
  • Define project communication processes,
  • Define user management processes,
  • Specify the scope of data migration.

One of the most important tasks in the Strategy phase is the High-Level Gap-Fit Analysis, which is to help IT.integro not only to get a deeper insight into customer’s business and create an accurate budget, but also to classify processes into global (group) ones, i.e. the processes which are common to all company subsidiaries and are not subject to any modifications, and the local ones which can be freely modified by subsidiaries based on their specific requirements.

Phase 2.
Global Template – develop a global solution

This phase is initiated by a detailed requirement analysis. The analysis is a follow-up of the High-Level Analysis which was delivered at the Strategy phase. It focuses only on global processes and in many respects it corresponds to the Analysis phase in the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology. In some cases, international customers prefer to combine the Strategy phase with the first Global Template phase, which is Analysis.

Phase deliverables can be classified into three elements:

 

Global NAV database

The global database is a Microsoft Dynamics NAV database template which is implemented into Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The database is developed based on the international Microsoft Dynamics NAV W1 version which means it does not contain any local functionalities. Within the global database, we develop modifications, implement add-on solutions (such as ISV software) and IT.integro’s solutions which are designed for international companies (such as Master Data Management System or Intercompany), create reporting environment and data migration tools (if at least a part of subsidiaries in the group, uses former Microsoft Dynamics NAV versions).

 

Global NAV settings

Database setup enables the user to substantially customize the processes within the system. Therefore, not only the setup but also functionality should be developed at the group level in order to make all subsidiaries aware which charts of account, dimensions, posting groups, Intrastat settings, roles, user rights are valid. Otherwise, setup will become an area which differentiates system installations in various countries.

 

Global NAV documentation

Project documentation is a third element of the Global Template. Each subsidiary will use a variety of documents, therefore it is worth preparing them as early as at the project kick-off. For example, the User Acceptance Tests and Standard Operating Procedures documents are used for testing and training purposes for each rollout.

For more information on Global Template as a second-phase deliverable, please view: Global Template (System Core) for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Phase 3.
Pilot – implement the solution in the first subsidiary

When the Global Template is developed, the solution is implemented in the first subsidiary. The NAV Group Projects Methodology provides guidelines on which subsidiary should be selected as the pilot one. The aim is to validate the assumptions of Global Template. Therefore a subsidiary selected to become the Pilot has to be mature, stabilized and representative for the whole group with its business processes. It is essential, because, due to time pressure, customers relatively frequently expect to have system implemented in a newly purchased or opened subsidiary. Our experience shows that the Pilot which is a more difficult project than Roll-out should not be delivered in a subsidiary which has not been stabilized yet.

Phase 4.
Re-Work – improve the global solution

It is a short phase with a focus on collecting experiences and results from the pilot implementation phase. The objective is to determine whether Global Template requires some modifications and to implement such changes. This ensures a smooth roll-out. Our experience in the delivery of global rollouts of Microsoft Dynamics NAV shows that the assumptions adopted within the Strategy phase which have been translated into a solution within the Global Template phase, and then verified within the Re-Work phase, require practically no modifications. In theory, subsidiaries which implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV can submit their request for a functionality which has not been developed within the Global Template and which is likely to be used by all subsidiaries and for this reason it should be incorporated within the Global Template. However the experience shows that it is very unlikely that a similar requirement appears at the Re-Work phase.

Phase 5.
Global Roll-out – roll-out the solution in other subsidiaries

Following the required modifications of the Global Template, the solution is implemented in other subsidiaries. Compared to a typical ERP system implementation process the Analysis phase is shorter. It involves introduction training on the system, which is generally ready-to use and provides an overview of functionalities incorporated into the Global Template based on the requirements of a subsidiary, in particular local legal requirements. The Design and Development phases are very short in the roll-out phase. The Design and Development tasks are limited to specific local functionalities which cannot be incorporated into the Global Template.

 

The duration of Global Roll-out which is delivered based on the NAV Group Projects Methodology is one of its most prominent features. Each roll-out project requires substantial engagement from IT.integro at the kick-off and end of the project. When the roll-out is started, subsidiary staff is expected to get involved in the tedious process of data cleansing the purpose of which is to customize data to standards adopted within the group. For this reason, our company manages several implementation projects simultaneously at the Global Roll-out Phase and is able to complete 1 Microsoft Dynamics NAV deployment per month, even in manufacturing companies! Additionally, our company ensures savings in the course of project delivery. Generally, if the same team works on multiple projects in an organization, it is able to perform faster. Owing to this, actual roll-out budgets are usually lower than the ones planned during the project estimate at the Strategy phase.

Phase time-consumption

Each phase has different time-consumption. Phase 1. Strategy and 4. Verification are the shortest, whereas Phase 2. Global Template and 5. Global Roll-out are the most time consuming. Cross Phase Activities which are a characteristic feature of Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology appear also in the NAV Group Projects Methodology.

 

The most important activities include:

  • Change Management – which starts as early as the Global Template phase and continues beyond the Global Roll-out phase. A company which implements and standardizes Microsoft Dynamics NAV within the group has to execute the change management process due to a large number of requests for modifications which subsidiaries submit.
  • Data Cleansing – as a very time-consuming task, data cleansing should be initiated as early as possible. The process is completed shortly before system kick-off in the last subsidiary.
  • Support – support services under SLA are initiated after Microsoft Dynamics NAV is deployed in the first subsidiary, i.e. after the Pilot phase is completed.

 

In regard of time consumption, Cross Phase Activities which are not ceased after the last subsidiary is put into operation, are also significant. Each ERP system, particularly the one that is as developed as Microsoft Dynamics NAV and used in a global organization require continued development after the 5 phase global project is completed. Therefore Project Management, Change Management and Support are continued.

Enterprise Project Type in the Sure Step Methodology and IT.integro’s assumptions for group projects 

The Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology offers the following project types: 

  • Standard, 
  • Rapid, 
  • Enterprise, 
  • Agile, 
  • Upgrade.

 

For the last few years, Microsoft Sure Step has been extensively implemented in IT.integro which resulted in the standardization of methods used by its project team for Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation an increased service quality. 

 

Most projects which IT.integro has completed in Poland, were based on the Standard Project Type assumptions. The Rapid Project Type assumptions were applied to create NAVex, a product which incorporates system setup developed based on many year experience in system implementation in Poland to streamline projects in companies with specific non-standard requirements. The Upgrade Project Type approach is obviously used for upgrades. 

 

Enterprise Project Type is a methodological basis for the development of another project group which are IT.integro’s focus, namely group projects. As defined in Sure Step: the Enterprise project type represents a standardized approach for implementing Microsoft Dynamics solutions in complex single-site deployments or in a global/multi-site organization wherein country/site specific unique business needs have to be factored on top of a core solution.

 

NAV Group Projects Methodology is IT.integro’s concept for Microsoft Dynamics NAV in an international company. It is based on our experience gained in previous projects. It is a know-how intended for a specific niche, within which we feel very effective as a Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner. On one side, Enterprise Project Type within Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology validates this know-how, and on the other it provides resources for a rich project documentation which is made available to partners.