March 2, 2024
Microsoft's Advice to Customers Embarking on an Implementation of D365

"Microsoft’s ideas on what customers should keep doing, whether they are embarking on an implementation of Dynamics 365 or any other business application include many of the traditional activities, such as business-process definition, quality requirements management, end-user readiness, and change management. However, Microsoft recommends against project teams that structure their engagements as massive 9-to 18-month waterfall efforts. From a cloud services perspective, this old, on-premises implementation style needs to be jettisoned in favor of agility.

The ability to start quickly in the app allows organizations to bring value to their business in an accelerated fashion. The focus of project teams should be on finding the function or area of the application that the business can start using as quickly as possible, and then expand and enhance from there. The application and the business are going to change anyway, so it is in the best interest of organizations to claim value early. More pointedly, Microsoft’s view is that being agile does not mean engaging in sprint cycles that still require a 9-to 18-month team effort to deploy part of the application to end users. Traditional business application models can no longer keep up. Long setup times, expensive and complicated customizations, and slow adoption curves make it nearly impossible to meet the needs of a changing and demanding customer base.

Think beyond the implementation and beyond the technology.

 The key question as you embark on an implementation of Dynamics 365: why are you doing it? Is it just a rip-and-replace effort, or does the implementation represent an opportunity for digital transformation, advance your business model, allow you to leapfrog over the competition, or something else? In making an investment in business applications, organizations are called upon to clearly identify the value they intend to drive toward. Will the technology get you there? Does the software or the implementation partner have the vision to get you there?

An investment in business applications requires a level of organizational maturity to think about what you and your business are after. It also requires you to think beyond just the implementation of technology. Organizations that understand the power of data and want to harness it so that they can disrupt the market are the business application projects that Microsoft wants to be a part of.

This is where we believe the world is going, and our products reflect that."