We always deliver our implementation projects in compliance with the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology. We are convinced that by working according to the best practices we are able to complete our projects faster, more efficiently and at lower costs. The use of implementation methodology is not common among implementation service providers. Such an unprofessional approach can result in drawbacks for the customer including exceeded budget limits or even project failure.
ERP system implementation is a complex project. It requires commitment, proficiency as well as an organised and methodological approach. To deliver such an important undertaking successfully, implementation methodology is required.
Przemysław Madejski, Chief Operating Officer, Cross Poland Sp. z o. o.
Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step is a set of methodology tools and good practices that secure the effective implementation of the ERP system. It has been designed based on many year experience of Microsoft consultants and partners. It incorporates proven procedures that contribute to the faster delivery of an implementation project, its increased quality and cost reduction.
The first version of the methodology was published as soon as in 2007. It was developed by Microsoft specialists. It was based on experience in worldwide Microsoft Dynamics implementation projects. The methodology provides a set of tools and templates which facilitate the implementation process substantially. In Microsoft Sure Step Methodology, the following five project types are distinguished based on their scope and complexity: Standard, Rapid, Enterprise, Agile and Upgrade. All these project types comprise 6 project phases: Diagnosis, Analysis, Design, Development, Deployment and Operation.
Cross Phases Processes include a set of activities which are performed within a few implementation phases. These activities are performed across various phases. By distinguishing cross phase processes, it is possible to define the roles and responsibilities of all project team members precisely and specify their relationship and impact on other stakeholders.
The Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology distinguishes 9 cross phase processes grouped based on the following three areas:
The Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology deals with optimisation pro-actively.
Therefore, it assumes the following activities:
audit and evaluation of the architecture
the delivered solution
The project can involve one or more of these activities.
Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step enables you to control the whole implementation process and all related expenses. It involves several phases which can be monitored by the customer. As all modifications can be validated by the customer, the customer is assured that implementation is delivered based on the assumptions agreed upon which means the customer’s budget is also under control.
Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step requires the provider to identify the customer’s needs in detail. Typically, if an organisation is implementing a system for the first time, the customer is not able to pinpoint critical issues. Therefore, the system provider should know what questions should be asked to the customer, visit its company, find out about its specific requirements and specific conditions in its industry. Specific business requirements are of critical importance. When these requirements are identified properly, the project is likely to be successful. The methodology requires that obligations of the customer and implementation partner should be defined clearly. The customer’s commitment is also critical to project success. Listing all tasks for each team is a “must” step which ensures process optimisation. The commitment of project teams also means discipline. Users (the customer’s employees) should be aware that with their disciplined approach, they can improve project efficiency, whereas the lack of discipline may cause delays or decrease the quality of project output.
Additionally, Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step supports risk and change management.
The methodology helps you to plan your tasks and duties for various project team members. If plans and task assignment is transparent, project communication is much more efficient. All points agreed upon and completed project phases should be clearly summarised in documentation. This way, the customer will have an insight into all activities preformed which means better transparency and communication.