In Microsoft Dynamics AX Implementation with Sure Step, once the Sure Step client is installed, it is time to create a project for a Microsoft Dynamics Axapta implementation. For creating a project, run the Sure Step client and select the Projects tab from the opening screen. Once the Project tab is selected there will be a list of existing projects. Upon clicking the option Create New Project, a wizard guides us through the creation process.
The initial stage of the wizard asks us to enter the project data. The solution and the product are obvious and the project name is a matter of personal preference, but the engagement is worthy of an explanation and is detailed in the following sections.
Engagement types refers to the choice of : Diagnostic, Implementation, or Optimization offerings.
Diagnostic Phase Offering
Selecting a Diagnostic phase offering creates a Sure Step project, with the content and guidance exclusively covering solution envisioning (Diagnostic activities). This allows the partner and the customer to gain a high-level understanding of the fit of the solution to the customers’ needs, which in turn allows the partner to be able to define the scope, cost, and risk of the Dynamics Axapta implementation more effectively.
This type of offering is hence, intended to be used by a partner to increase their customers confidence in and commitment to an implementation of a MS Dynamics product. If a Diagnostic offering is chosen, there is a option of including one or more of the Decision Accelerators.
Decision Accelerators such as the Requirements and Process Review, Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint, the Architecture Assessment or the Scoping Assessment are often very useful in later phases of the MS Dynamics Axapta implementation, and will provide a important high-level information about the project. Each project will often require a different combination of the Decision Accelerators depending on individual circumstances.
Selecting an Implementation offering creates a project, with the content and the guidance covering the full project implementation along with the envisioning (Diagnostics) phase. This includes the key phases, namely Analysis, Design, Development, and Deployment. The Sure Step implementation project is intended to be used to help a customer to successfully implement a Dynamics project.
Selecting this option creates a Dynamics Sure Step project, with content and guidance covering the upgrade or improvement of an existing system.
Dynamics AX Implementation with Sure Step Project Types
Depending on which Engagement Type that has been chosen, Dynamics AX Implementation with Sure Step will now require entry of a project type on the next step of the wizard. Typically, we will choose an Implementation offering. The five project types are Rapid, Standard, Enterprise, Agile and the Optimization. This is a very important choice, since the content and guidance for the project types differ markedly.
The typical project types of Dynamics Sure Step are Rapid, Standard, and Enterprise, all of which are referred to as the waterfall project types, as they follow discrete sequential phases. Choosing a Dynamics Sure Step project type requires both subjective and objective evaluation of the risk and complexity of a project.
Rapid Project Type
A Rapid project type will be created using the minimum artifacts and processes of a structured project. As the Dynamics Sure Step project has less complexity and less risk, a more pragmatic approach can be taken to manage the project. Rapid project types will suit small systems with little customization and well understood business and technical requirements.
Standard Project Type
A Standard Dynamics Sure Step project type will be created with more artifacts, particularly around the business process analysis and project governance. These suit more typical AX projects. Standard projects suit typical Dynamics Axapta implementation with one or two sites, perhaps an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) solution and some customization.
Enterprise Project Type
An Enterprise project type will have the maximum number of artifacts and the content based around quality assurance, governance, communications management, and all the elements required for managing large teams delivering complicated projects.
Complexity is a bit subjective as it is influenced by all of the factors in the following list :
- Complex modifications
- Multiple ISV solutions
- Organizational Change Management
- Business Process Re-engineering
Agile Project Type
The Agile project type is based on a wholly different approach to the projects than the previous types. The previous types are all of waterfall methodologies, where one stage is completed before progressing to the next stage through a familiar model of diagnosis, analysis, design, development, and deployment.
In an Agile project, the initial Diagnostic activity will occur, followed by an Agile Preparation phase. This will then be followed by iterative cycles of Analysis, Design, and Development, known as sprint cycles. Agile projects tend to be used where the requirements are not sufficiently detailed but the project needs to get started, or where requirements are frequently changing.
Upgrade Project Type
It is slightly odd that having not chosen an Optimization Engagement Type, you are nevertheless offered an Upgrade project type even for an Dynamics Axapta implementation offering.
By putting a sound methodology in place and working hand-in-glove with a capable Microsoft Dynamics partner, you can lay the foundation for a successful implementation. Being a Microsoft Dynamics partner Locus IT provides such implementation services along with Dynamics Axapta training and Dynamics Axapta support. For more information please contact us.