Thursday, June 21, 2007

Microsoft’s Sure Step

The project approach is always a hot topic from very theoretical to more practical methods. Personally, I prefer to use the practical approach for (smaller) projects while implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Quickly roll-out the out of the box system and then start to customize to the customers whishes.

For the larger projects, firstly the business processes should be analyzed and the scope should be defined. Also here it’s good idea to have a pilot up and running, so the customer can see how it’s going to work and how processes will be made available in the crm application.

Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology

At my work we use in general a combination of Prince II and ITK of Microsoft. Now there is new methodology called Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step.



This methodology is created for all Microsoft Dynamics and only available for Partners with Service Plan.

The Basics

Sure Step defines 8 phases: Diagnostic, Analysis, Design, Development, Deployment, Operation, Optimization and Upgrade. Each phase has it owns activities, processes, deliverables, roles and milestones. In every phase is defined what have to be accomplished to go to the next phase. Also some ‘cross phased processes’ are defined, this are processes that need to be maintained during the project and cross the border of a phase.



Quote:

“Designed to enable you to better serve your customers by helping reduce their Microsoft Dynamics total cost of ownership, the Sure Step Methodology can be used for projects ranging from large, medium, and small end-to-end engagements as well as optimization and upgrade projects. Presented through flowchart diagrams, you can find detailed information associated with each step within an implementation, optimization or upgrade project. The content in this Sure Step Methodology provides detailed guidance on roles required to perform activities and proven best practices. Flowchart diagrams within this implementation methodology point you to tools and templates that can be used at different phases during an implementation project from diagnosis, analysis, design, development, deployment, operation, and also through an optimization or upgrade project. The content tools and best practices of this implementation methodology help you increase the quality and success of your implementations. - Source: Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step”

Interface

The methodology has a web interface and describe every step to take in detail, also template are available e.g. CRM Configuration Data Collection, Test Plan, Data Migration Design. You can easily find details you would need for each phase, activity, template etc. just by clicking through the website or use the navigation tree.

Templates

After installing Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step you get only 133 templates  These are separated in different documents (Excel, Word, Visio, Projects, PDF etc), which can be used during your project. And yes it seems a lot of templates, but it will make you work easier and more organized. Of course you’re not the only one, but your team members have to fill in the docs in different phases of the project, so everything is well documented and knowledge can be easy transferred to other team members.

In the end

You have to invest some extra time to get used to the way of working and how to fill in the templates for your project. Of course you can adjust the methodology to your own needs where necessary. Nevertheless a very good base to build your project. More information is available at PartnerSource or contact your Microsoft Client Manager.

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