Are current Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation methods obsolete?

Don Riggs

I'm amazed that an industry that prides itself on improving processes and controlling waste is not more introspective. Having been an implementation consulting for 25+ years, I have observed ERP project implementation methodologies and staffing plans stagnate even as the software, both its capabilities and deployment models, have evolved along with the broader business landscape. The result has been a range of mismatches for customers: in how systems are deployed, how projects are staffed, and how clients and partners foster a productive working relationship.

Here, I am attempting to write about some of these challenges, both for the Microsoft Dynamics AX or Dynamics 365 for Operations consultant and for the user.

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About Don Riggs

Don Riggs is a well-seasoned veteran with 25+ years of implementation consulting and 15+ years of Microsoft Dynamics AX experience. In his career, he has been involved in anything from helping design ERP systems, developing and marketing ISV solutions, to delivering a number of successful AX ERP implementations. As a regular participant in AXUG, he has delivered many courses and presentations. Don is considered by many to be an AX expert, particularly in the areas of inventory costing, manufacturing, AX project module, and implementation processes. Having attained APICS certification in the early 1980s, Don considerers himself a manufacturing consultant by trade and his love and enthusiasm for the industry has never waned. Always interested in new challenges, his branching out into other areas of the product has allowed him to become very knowledgeable in many areas. 

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Are implementation methods obsolete?

I just wanted to wholeheartedly agree with this article, and one very significant point in particular. I've recently been involved in requirements gathering and user stories for a system to replace legacy, disparate systems with a unified solution.

What I've been trying to get across more than anything is that the software is the software. Whichever system you choose - Dynamics, Oracle, SAP etc. what's in the "box" is the same regardless of which partner you buy it from. It's the implementation team who configure the application that make it work, or not, for your enterprise. It is, therefore, equally, or even more, vital to evaluate the implementation team as well as the functionality on display.

The problem with this is that many evaluation processes are empirical - does it "do" x,y, z... Evaluating people is less scientific

Thanks for your thoughts

Very good point. What people forget is that sales is one of the purest competitions in the world. There is only one winner and only one prize. Is it any wonder that these sales teams put their systems in the absolutely best light.

The functionality shootouts become more a question of how well the sales team does in projecting the solution. It may have little bearing on what the system truly does or what it actually costs to get there.

We must understand that sales is compensated on getting the business. .They have little responsibility after that fact. The product only represent 30% of the overall risk.