The process of business analysis and design is similar to many software implementations. Experts in the business meet with experts of the technology and they collaborate on the best design of a system to support business processes.
Below are the steps to successful implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365. Depending on the size of your organization and project, you may go through these steps quickly, or you may have a lengthier review process at each stage.
1. Identify Critical Success Factors. Often phrased like, “This project will be successful if…,” critical success factors are goals that guide the project along. During the design phase, they help determine whether something should be included or not. At the end of the project, critical success factors are used to determine whether the project was a success. Organizations may identify long-term success factors that can be measured some duration after deployment.
2. Determine Scope. Scope may be most easily understood in terms of teams and processes. Which teams will be using Dynamics 365? Which processes (within a team and across teams) will be supported by Dynamics 365. At the onset, you may also know that certain sub-processes may be completed inside or outside of Dynamics 365, as well.
Many organizations might also call the scoping of a project “requirements gathering” because the scope is phrased in terms of what the application must do in the short-term, and what the eventual functionalities must be in the long-term.
Since the implementation of Dynamics 365 is focused on the design for future-state processes, it is common for organizations to have a business analyst document current processes and pain points before the scoping of a project.
3. Conduct Future-State Analysis. Comparison of current-state to future-state processes is helpful for incorporating change management into the implementation process. However, the design of Dynamics 365 is focused heavily on the future state processes—what the application will do. Process analysis has three elements to it:
- Measurement. First and foremost, Dynamics 365 must be a system that produces actionable business analysis. Leaders must be able to make decisions based on critical business data coming out of Dynamics 365. Analytics must be surfaced for end-users to help them prioritize customer-facing activities and plan out their next actions. Therefore, the process analysis should drive towards how to best surface this information, as well as how and when it will be consumed.
- Processes. Dynamics 365 must help users complete their jobs. It creates efficiency by centralizing information and providing visibility of the right information at right times. It must automate processes that can be automated. In order to design Dynamics 365 to do this, you must determine and discuss the future state processes. This is done by discussing the process from the beginning to end and possibly returning to discuss sub-processes in more detail. You must also understand the day in the life of users and how their work flows.
- Data. A big part of designing Dynamics 365 is understanding the specific data elements needed to support processes. The process analysis looks at where data is coming from, how and when it is updated, and if and when it flows to other business applications.
4. Gap Analysis. After processes have been analyzed and documented, a gap analysis is done to determine what can be done with Dynamics 365 out-of-the-box and what may involve custom code or add-ons. Much of this might be visible at the onset from just doing scoping; however, until the detailed process analysis is complete, the final gap analysis can’t be done. The gap analysis can be documented or simply reflected in the design and architecture.
5. Architecture and Design. Based on the process analysis, a system design is created demonstrating what build-in features will be configured, as well as how Dynamics 365 will be extended. This will include
- Users and security
- Configuration of CRM entities (fields, forms, and views)
- Configuration of processes (workflows, dialogs, and processes)
- Reports and dashboards
- Data migrations and integrations
- Custom development
This chart explains the process of designing the Dynamics 365 system to match your organizational processes.
PowerObjects uses our Proven Process to help organizations successfully scope, design, and implement Dynamics 365 as part of our implementation services.