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Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step

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Sure Step is a structured development methodology from Microsoft, which has evolved through real life experience from partners such as C2. It is an established methodology for implementing Dynamics CRM and it aims to reduce deployment time, cost, risk, and to accelerate client return on investment. 

This is achieved through:

  • Focusing on client needs from the very first conversation 
  • Using established, processes, assets, tools, and checklists that are specific to Dynamics CRM 
  • Ensuring effective project communication, collaboration, and understanding of: 
    -scope, requirements, roles, responsibilities, milestones, and goals
  • Resolution of project challenges, and finding solutions from lessons learnt
  • Targeting user adoption and appreciation of change management issues
  • Predictability and management of deployment

Dynamics Sure Step is a repeatable and scalable methodology that covers all phases of a project, from the Sales phase (Diagnostic) right through to Operational use. There are six phases to Sure Step – Diagnostic, Analysis, Design, Development, Deployment and Operation.

Sure Step - End to end service offerings 2

Diagnostic: this phase captures scope and commences at the earliest possible stage, usually pre-award of a contract

Analysis: once the project is commissioned functional analysis based on the scope of work is followed through to completion

Design: this phase embarks upon a technical design for the solution build, to define:

  • Entities, forms, processes, workflows, roles & permissions, reports, data migration, and integration touch points.
  • Custom feature designs (these are identified through the Sure Step Fit Gap process)

Development: if design is sufficiently detailed a traditional waterfall process would follow:

  • An alternative would be to consider an agile approach (this adds value when requirements are not fully appreciated and further exploration / visualisation is needed)
  • Tollgate reviews involving project team members provide quality and momentum assurance

Deployment: deployment planning prepares for go live, and covers elements such as:

  • End User Training, Train the Trainer, Operational Guides
  • Change Management Considerations
  • Final Data Migration
  • System Testing (Processes, Integration, Data Acceptance, etc.)
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Cutover to Production Plan
  • Post Production Support Plan

Operation: on release to live the project team would normally provide Post Go Live support and resolve, questions, issues, or skills transfer requirements. Thereafter there would be a:

  • Transition to Support
  • Formal Project Closure Complete (includes lessons learnt)
  • System Acceptance and Sign Off    

     

C2 Conclusion

As an organisation we have 20 years’ development experience and our Project Managers have used various methodologies to deliver numerous complex Dynamics CRM solutions.

We assessed Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step thoroughly prior to embracing this framework to assure ourselves of its value prior to gaining formal Dynamics Sure Step Accreditation. Dynamics Sure Step is a comprehensive implementation methodology and we found it mirrored many aspects of what we already do.

In our opinion the most useful elements of Dynamics Sure Step are the tools and templates for project management of Dynamics CRM solutions that incorporate both standard and custom feature requirements.

C2 aims for continuous improvement in the quality of our Dynamics CRM projects, to also increase our efficiency, and to improve customer excellence standards and value. In our opinion Dynamics Sure Step “does what is says on the tin” - we have proven that it contributes towards our mission and is reflective of our commitment to ISO 9001 Quality Management Accreditation.


About the Author

James CTwo is our blogging alter ego for the Dynamics CRM and Web experts here at C2. We have a passion for anything CRM, Web Design or Social Media. We love writing about it! Find us on YouTube & Twitter.

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