Every CRM software need implementation/deployment best practices which would reduce risk and cost, help focussing on the core competencies, ultimately leading to increase in profits and customer satisfaction. That’s where Sure step comes into picture as a structured implementation methodology to help organizations address some of the above key challenges.
Sure Step is the official Software Process from Microsoft for Dynamics Projects. Like any other Software Process, Sure Step tells you WHO shall do WHAT in WHICH ORDER and who is RESPONSIBLE for what. So, a software process can be seen as the sum of years of knowledge and best practice in software development. Sure Step defines process phases, milestones roles, artefacts, cross-phase-processes and additional project management processes. Sure Step supports a broad range of products: Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics CRM software. And different project types: Full Implementation, Rapid Implementation, Optimization and Upgrade. Products and project types can be combined
Why Is Sure Step Needed:
The key success with any software solution is how the solution is implemented and how the implementation is managed. With this as a back-ground Microsoft has developed Sure Step as the full life cycle methodology for Microsoft Dynamics Solution Portfolio.
Reasons for Failure of Solution Implementation:-Rigid Organization ProcessUnmanaged Project ExecutionLack of traceabilityNon documented activitiesLack of Formal Acceptance from Clients on our understanding
Types of Projects:
- Standard Project:is a lean approach for Implementing Dynamics Solution at a single stage.
- Rapid Project:Accelerated approach for implementation with minimal or no customizations.
- Enterprise Project:Standardized approach for implementing dynamics solutions in complex single site deployments or in global/multi site organization where in country specific unique business needs have to be factored on top of core solution.
- Agile Project:iterative approach to implementation at a single site requiring specific features and moderate to complex customizations. It uses sprint cycle approach while other project types use waterfall approach.
- Upgrade Project:describes the approach to an existing solution to a subsequent release of that solution. This approach starts with a technical upgrade to address moving existing functionality to the subsequent release.
Purpose and Key Deliverable:
There are six phases involved in the Sure Step methodology, each of these phases consist of a set of defined activities and tasks:
- Diagnostic—To help the customer determine the right solution to meet their needs and obtain a key understanding of the solution requirements. Diagnostic Offering helps pre sales team to understand and explain business requirement and mapping of customer.
- Analysis—The analysis phase defines the activities required to initiate and effectively plan the entire project.
- Design—The design phase includes configuration of the overall Microsoft Dynamics solution and the design of specific customizations needed to satisfy business requirements identified during the Analysis phase.
- Development—The goal of the development phase is to build and test the system components defined and approved in the design specifications, including developing the customizations, integrations and interfaces and data migration processes.
- Deployment—The deployment phase is where all the efforts of the project team come together for a successful transition to the new Microsoft Dynamics solution. Key activities in this phase include End User Training, User Acceptance Testing and the actual cutover to the new or upgraded production environment.
- Operation—The Operation phase defines the activities required to close the project, provide post-production support and transition the solution and knowledge to the customer.
Each stage shall be described using the following 3 points – Objective, Deliverable and their Milestones. These points shall be identified by the organization.
- Finalization and approval of project charter and project plan
- Execution of project kickoff meeting
- Documentation and approval of functional requirements
- Project charter and plan
- Gap analysis
- User training requirements
- Environment specification
- Data migration requirements
- Formal Project Kickoff meeting
- Customer Approval of Project charter and plan
- Customer approval of FRD and Gap analysis
- Infrastructure and environment definitions
- Goal to define how Business requirements will be implemented
- Design for Customization
- Identify the integration points
- Functional Design Document
- Solution Design document
- Technical design document
- Core team training at customer side
- Customer acceptance of design specifications
- Customer approves dev time and cost estimates
- Customization Development
- Development of major deliverables
- Other Key objectives like solution testing to be complete
- Final system configuration
- Final custom code development
- Solution testing
- UAT scripts
- Final production environment specifications
- Final data migration
- ISV solution upgrade complete
- Customization code upgrade complete
- Integration with other interfaces complete
- Solution testing complete
- UAT script confirmation
- Customer signoff for production environment technical architecture
- Getting ready for customer delivery and Go Live
- End user training
- UAT test results
- Final Data Migration
- Final Go Live checklist
- End user training complete
- UAT complete
- Final data migration complete
- Production environment ready
- System Go Live
- Close the Project
- Provide post production support
- Transition the solution and knowledge to the customer
- Project Closure Report
- Final delivery of the project to the customer
- Documented lessons learned
- Post go live support complete
- Transition of solution to support complete
- Formal Project closure
- System acceptance and sign off
Benefits of Sure Step:
Faster implementation time—The Sure Step model provides tools, templates and best practices which cover all aspects of projects to increase consistency, timeframes, quality and success of projects.
Repeatable model—Sure Step is a flexible and repeatable model which can fit any business or project type, this assures customers you’re using the same consistent approach and following the correct procedures during a Dynamics integration.
Increased customer satisfaction—Sure Step allows for a faster project completion with minimal risk and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), which can all lead to increased customer satisfaction.
Resources—Sure Step provides a standard set of tools and templates which can be used to guide through the implementation process and help ensure customers’ projects are completed efficiently. The methodology can be applied to projects of any size and in any industry, as well as working with multiple project types, helping fit unique business requirements.