Implementation of the ERP system

The implementation of the ERP system is a complicated process that absorbs hundreds of people in the company and the implementing partner. Experts believe that this could be one of the most difficult projects, run in an enterprise, comparable to constructing a new production plant. Therefore, implementation should be carried out in an organized manner and in accordance with established rules, preferably using standard documentation templates. This method is called the methodology of implementing the ERP system. It is recommended by Microsoft to follow the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology with every implementation. This methodology uses standards set by the largest organizations associating hundreds of thousands of project managers from around the world, like PMI (Project Management Institute). It can also be easily used by people familiar with PRINCE2 standards.

Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology

Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step is a system implementation methodology, which was developed through the collection of experience in the implementation of ERP systems from the Microsoft Dynamics family around the world. Microsoft Sure Step therefore contains the best, proven practices of implementing ERP systems. The main purpose of the Microsoft Sure Step methodology is to improve the quality of services offered to clients and consequently, to reduce the costs of implementation and subsequent use of a system such as Microsoft Dynamics for Finance and Operations.

This methodology contains a detailed description of the tasks and roles in the implementation. It also contains tools and proposals for document templates that can be used in various phases of the implementation project.

Variations of the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology

Both PMBOK and PRINCE2 are the methodologies for managing projects of all types and sizes. Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step is in turn a strictly specialized methodology for implementing a specific product family – ERP and CRM systems. Within its framework, there are several varieties, depending on the size of the company and the chosen approach:

  • Enterprise (waterfall) – designed mainly for large, multi-branch companies with complex processes
  • Standard (waterfall) – intended mainly for single-branch companies, where it is necessary to design and make modifications
  • Rapid (waterfall) – designed for single-branch companies that implement a standard system with a minimal number of modifications
  • Agile – agile methodology

They differ in the number of expected tasks, documents, degree of formalization etc. In the further part of the article we will present the basic tasks related to the standard implementation project of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (formerly AX)

Integris and Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step

Our company has over 20 years of experience in implementing ERP class management systems, during which it completed over 100 projects. We participated in projects of various scale, from the rollout of international implementation, where only one person worked in the Polish branch, to the implementation of multi-branch companies with dozens of manufacturing plants in Poland and outside with several hundred users working in parallel. For many years, we used our own methodology based on general standards of ERP system implementation but ever since its appearance, we now only work accordingly to Sure Step Methodology. We participated in the implementations of many of the world’s largest Microsoft Dynamics partners, from the DynamicsPact group, as well as from outside, working according to various methodologies. All this has taught us that for the success of the project it is important to base on a standard such as Sure Step on one hand but on the other select some elements that will be the most appropriate in a given situation. One should take into account both the scope of implementation, the size of the client as well as organizational culture. Therefore, the methodology presented below should be treated as a starting material for discussion at the stage of project organization.