Dynamics CRM 2011 – Solution Rollout

Jaime Smith, 28 June 2012

Over the last few weeks I have delved into the different types of projects and templates that SureStep provides with consideration as to how and when you would decide to use each one.  This week I am going to elaborate on how you can combine approaches to deliver a quality solution to you customer.

A while ago I was reflecting on a project we were developing where the agreed approach had been to undertake it in two phases.  In the first phase it was appropriate for me to use the Upgrade Project type, however, this would not have been appropriate for the second phase where I chose to adopt a bit of a hybrid approach using elements of the standard project type and agile project type – unconventional, probably!  It is what suited the project and the client; given that we went into weekly sprints I needed to draw on the agile methodology as required.  Anyway, not to get off topic, the point I am trying to make is that we don’t have to be sticklers for one way of rolling out a solution, we must always think of what is the best fit for the project and our customers.

 Dynamics CRM 2011 Solution Rollout 

Why consider a phased roll out?

Does your client have multiple sites that may all have slightly different needs but a core set of functionality? 

Is your client unsure of their overall roadmap?

Does the customer want to implement one change (multiple subprojects) at a time to minimise the level of change to which the users have to adjust?

Averse to BIG BANG approach?

How does it look in reality?

Let’s say we have a client who wants to implement CRM across their organisation in order to standardise some company-wide practices (sales process, inventory management, and contractor management) and have a central database.  They also have sites in various locations where some have very specific business functions and will require some site specific functionality.  So how do we go about this….

• Phased Rollout

Release One = Sales Operations using the rapid project type

Release Two = Inventory Management this time we might choose to use the agile project type

Release Three = Contractor Management and this subproject requires the standard approach due to amount of custom work required

All of these releases go through all the stages – Analysis, Design, Development, Deployment and Operations and are complete projects in themselves.

• Multisite Rollout: CORE-SITE BUILD

Release One = CORE BUILD, in this stage we will be developing all three elements as these are the core operations across all sites and will be released across all sites.  This is likely to require the use of the Enterprise Project Type which provides the tools to adequately plan a CORE-SITE build.

The Core Build must be developed in tandem with the requirements for the site specific functionality to ensure that each site receives a working system that meets their overall business needs.

Release One (b) = SITE BUILD, you can use whatever project type suits chosen based on the complexity of the solution.

It must be noted that within a multisite rollout that uses the CORE-SITE approach the core cannot be delivered as a standalone solution due to the relationships with the site specific solution.  In essence you could be building a core PLUS multiple site specific solutions all in conjunction.

• Multisite Rollout: Site Build Rollout

This option is good when a customer has a number of businesses under its umbrella but they all have unique portfolios and therefore it may be more appropriate to consider these businesses individually as independent projects.  So we find that we return to what looks like a phased approach and the methodology chosen is relative the scope of work for each project; the releases and project approaches could be carried out in tandem if necessary.

Release One = Site One

Release Two = Site Two

Release Three = Site Three

Hopefully it has become clear over the past weeks how much versatility is available to enable you to choose an appropriate project pathway for your customer’s solutions to ensure you confidently deliver on all your promises – a quality, working solution….ON TIME, ON SCOPE, ON THE MONEY 

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