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Deployment methodologies, Part 3: What does project success look like?

by Alan R. Earls
Contributing Writer, a
July 28 2017

Following is the third in a four-part exploration of deployment methodologies used by Microsoft Dynamics partners. Part 1 explores the promise of proprietary methodologies, and Part 2, classic and modern project management.

Beware declaring victory on a Microsoft Dynamics ERP or CRM solution deployment too early.

That's because there are two kinds of success in real world implementation: technical and business. "You can implement a solution, get it live with all the lights green, and you can say ‘it is a success, we met our goals' - the technical goals," says Elliot Fishman, CEO Catapult ERP, Vancouver, BC. However, if your users aren't happy, if they don't know how to use it, if life feels like it has been disrupted, if the solution doesn't reflect business need, then it is a business failure. Sometimes, Fishman notes, "an implementation can solve one problem but create new ones."

There could be many reasons for a business-side failure, says Fishman, including not having access to the right information or analytics, or simply not investigating the real customer pain points. "No one implements an ERP or CRM because they think it will be nice to do so; there is usually some substantial problem or pain," he notes. Perhaps the customer was putting it off because of budget constraints, but has reached a point where they can't grow without an update.

Whatever the situation, the implementer needs to ferret out the facts and the motivations, then build a partnership ...

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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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