Dynamics CRM 2011 – The Avenger Project Types

Jaime Smith, 29 May 2012

I mentioned in my previous blogs that I have been reading my way through “Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step 2010: The smart guide to the successful delivery of Microsoft Dynamics Business Solutions” and I have reached the chapter about implementation.  Chapter 5 covers a lot of ground and I want to review, reflect and summarise my thoughts on each topic. 

Let’s take a look at the project types/structures of which Sure Step provides guidance, templates and methodology: Rapid, Standard, Enterprise – there are in fact two more, Agile and the Upgrade which I will cover in my next post.  The first three are known as waterfall or traditional project types, meaning that each stage of the project must be completed and signed off before moving onto the next one as briefly outlined below:

Dynamics CRM 2011 – The Avenger Project Types


I have used the Avengers to give visual reference to each project type as I have found association is a great way to retain and recall information

Dynamics CRM 2011 – The Avenger Project Types*

Rapid Project: Black Widow & Hawkeye

Both the Black Widow and Hawkeye have no actual superpowers, they do things simply and humanly… in my opinion this defines the rapid project type well.  Some of the key characteristics and conditions for the use of a rapid project type are:

•  No or very minimal customisations to the out-of-the-box CRM Solution
•  There is no requirement to integrate to other solutions or interfaces
•  It is suitable for clients that have a small number of end users ( 1 -25) and most of them, if not all of them, will have relatively no experience with software solutions

This project structure in Sure Step has approximately 14 key steps/activities from start to finish.

 Dynamics CRM 2011 – The Avenger Project Types**

Standard Project: Captain America

This is the traditional and most often used project type.  It covers all bases, it dots the I’s and crosses the t’s…it fights the good fight like Captain America but at the same time acknowledges change, customisations and larger outcomes:

•  Typically  used for one-site implementations for medium to large businesses
•  Can be seen as quite rigid in its approach and guidance to project activities; ensures analysis captures all relevant requirements and “fits and gaps”
•  Requires attention to change management
•  Can be integrated to third party solutions and have customisations (not overly complex) to OOTB solution
•  Up to 250 users
•  Finally, migration of data from existing solutions 

 Dynamics CRM 2011 – The Avenger Project Types*** 

Ironman – Enterprise

This character in the movie is multifaceted and is the product of a large corporation, engaging many different business units and creating complex designs and products.  This project type is defined by the following:

•  Complex customisations to OOTB CRM; multiple integrations with third parties
•  Often multi-site: teams across sites as well as implementation across sites
•  250 + users and across multiple business units
•  Rigorous Analysis phase
•  Train – the – trainers  and end-user training
•  Internal project teams (customer side)

I have tried to provide a summary of the points about each project type and there is much more knowledge and resource available within the SureStep Methodology, for now though, I think this is a good starting point! I will dive into the Agile and Upgrade project Types in my next blog.

*Image from http://article.wn.com/view/2012/04/29/Avengers_Files_Getting_a_bead_on_Hawkeye/
**Image from http://filmreviewonline.com/2012/04/05/marvels-avenger-captain-america-sequel-announced-2014/
***Image from http://marvel-movies.wikia.com/wiki/Iron_Man_(armor)