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Deployment methodologies, Part 2: Is agile, waterfall, or another best for Microsoft Dynamics projects?

by Alan R. Earls
Contributing Writer, a
July 26 2017

Following is the second in a four-part exploration of deployment methodologies used by Microsoft Dynamics partners. Part 1 explores the promise of proprietary methodologies. Part 3 focuses on defining project success.

Whether project management is driven by proprietary or generic methodologies, Microsoft Dynamics implementers rely on a host of approaches and tools to focus and manage each engagement and ultimately to deliver a working solution.

"I suspect almost every company I have ever talked to wants to implement a vanilla phase one, at least initially," says Tim Hourigan, partner, consulting, Armanino LLP of San Ramon, Calif. That is true "whether they are coming from QuickBooks and adopting something a little more sophisticated, or coming from [something] super-customized that they believe is too hard to maintain."

The CEO and the CIO say they are on board with that approach, and everyone believes this will be the one implementation that goes exactly as planned. But as you peel the onion of the project, you discover constraints. Maybe something in a legacy system simply can't be changed, or you find Salesforce has one way to do it and Dynamics AX does it in a different way. "Inevitably, the answer comes back that it is the new system that needs to adapt," says Hourigan.

And that's where the nitty gritty of methods and approaches comes into play. For example, Hourigan says that as a Microsoft partner his organization has leveraged

About Alan R. Earls
Alan R. Earls is a technology writer based near Boston. He has covered all facets of IT, including ERP and CRM for many years and wrote regularly on Dynamics for Microsoft's 'Momentum' midsize business website. He is the author of several books on tech and business history, including Digital Equipment Corporation and Route 128 and the Birth of the Age of High Tech.
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Submitted by Peter Lomman on Sun, 07/30/2017 - 20:46 Permalink

I always enjoy reading alternative perspectives for application deployment, but having been in the front line of quite a few system implementations I have discovered that it is more about involvement and engagement with the people that will manage the outcomes and use the system. Sometimes this requires some considerable education to enable these key resources to understand the importance of process integration across the functional areas of the business. This elevates the focus to the best outcome for the business rather than the simplistic efficiency gains in a series of functional departments. Any methodology is just another perspective, and set of tools and guidelines available for the Deployment Leader. Recognizing what fits the objectives and culture, and what will deliver the best outcomes remains the responsibility of the Project Leader. Being aware of alternatives and blending them to suit individual projects is what makes deployment management more art than science. I cant wait for the next installment to see how others blend the available methodologies. Peter NAV Project Manager

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)