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Dynamics GP Sure Step Project management Analysis Phase Notes

Microsoft Sure Step is Project Management tool with its methodology, project types, phases, decision accelerators, Cross Phase processes, Optimization Offering, Project Management Library and Roles.

It has ready for use templates, dedicated to Microsoft ERP applications: AX, GP, NAV, SL and CRM.  The first phase is Diagnostic, typically associated with Sales cycle.  Analysis is the second phase, where the project is considered to be sold and approved (at the end of the Diagnostic phase).  Let’s review Analysis phase in some details:

1. Objectives: Project Charter and Project plan document final version; Executive and Project Team Kick Off meetings; Documenting and approving Functional Requirements; Working out Future Business Processes documents; Detailed documentation of the Fit Gap Analysis (it might be already created in summary if you decided to use Fit Gap and Blueprint decision accelerator in the Diagnostic phase – so use that one to add details)

2. Time line for Analysis phase may include the following events: Kick Off meeting (where so-called Project Charter document should be presented), Solution Overview, Functional Requirement Document (it might be created as the result of so-called Detailed Business Processes Analysis Workshop, where consulting team is meeting customer department managers and key executives one by one in separate sessions to create detailed information about current processes and their future expectations).  Next is detailed business analysis, which should result in FRD (Functional Requirements Document), Updated Fit Gap Analysis Worksheet.  And two final events might be Review Changes and Tollgate Review

3. Project Charter – this document describes the purpose of the venture and how it should be executed (sometimes people say “will be”, but it is often difficult to predict in complete details especially such projects, as Agile in Sure Step classification).  PC may include such statements as Opportunity Overview, Objectives from the business standpoint, technical objectives, analysis of the stakeholders, project scope, timeline, deliverables, team structure and responsibilities, communication channels, reporting, KPI, Exit criteria, business benefits.  As we already mentioned Project Charter might be used on the Kick Off meeting as the base for the presentation

4. Project Status Reporting.  This is recommended as weekly routine, where Project Manager compose PSR, based on the consultant status reports.  It is recommended to review the report on the team meeting, before submitting it to the customer

5. Issue Management.  Corporate ERP application implementation, customization or upgrade is typically the unique activity per each project, where only ERP or CRM platform is the same.  Each customer has certain percentage of unique business requirements, allowing it to compete on the marketplace.  The issue is normal accident and it should be managed accordingly to avoid mid-term unpleasant consequences.  In Sure Step you have Implementation Issue Entry Form (available for consultants or project team members from the customer side).  Project Manager maintains and updates Issue List document.  If the issue is important, there is Issue Work Form.  Suggested issue managing process is: document, list analyze, assign priority level, plan and coordinate resolution activities, assign consultants, follow up, get the proofs of the resolution and communicate it to the team members, mark it as resolved\

6. Additional highlights on SS, below are the paragraphs, dedicated to specific product recommendation, plus international highlights

7. Sure Step and Dynamics GP.  It is recommended as an option for such project types as Rapid (1 to 25 users, no customization, no ISV products), Agile (from 25 to 250 users, extensive customization, more than 250 hours), Standard (where customization hours are expected to be below 250, less than or equal to three sites to be implemented)

8. What is my project includes more than three sites, international environment with the subsidiaries in such countries as China, Brazil, Russia?  Consider Dynamics AX and CRM – both are localized for the majority of the countries and are recommended for Enterprise project type in Sure Step

9. Sure Step and Microsoft CRM.  This application is recommended for all types of projects: Rapid, Agile, Standard, Enterprise.  It is web based and could be installed centrally on your headquarters server in USA and exposed to your users worldwide or regionally (they should use MS Internet Explorer to work with CRM)

10. Customization Projects.  They could be considered as Upgrade type, if you are reviewing with the customer the situation to make historical customization to be compatible with the targeted new version of Great Plains.  Popular customization tools are Dexterity, eConnect, VBA with Modifier, Extender, Integration Manager with VBA Scripting, Web Services for GP, Microsoft Visual Studio SDK

11. Reports Design Projects.  Here we need to remind you that MBS is recommending Dynamics GP ERP Management Reporter as replacement to FRx if you are on current version 2010/11.0 or 10.0.  The conversion from FRx Sysdata to MMR seems to be smooth.  Microsoft Reporter is client server application, where you submit report to be executed on the server, so your user workstation performance is not critical.  MMR  client works via http URL, meaning that you can generate Balance Sheet, P&L, Statement of Cash flow via internet connection, while travelling nationwide or internationally.  GP is also offering your Word Templates for such reports, as Sales Order Processing Invoice, Return, Quote, Sales Order.  Plus in Purchase Order Processing module templates are available for PO, Purchase Receipt and other docs.  Using Word Templates you can specify company logo for each GP company (in contrast in Report Writer you had only four SOP Invoice forms to modify and place logo on).  There are also Excel reports for GP, plus selection of SSRS (Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services) reports, that could be placed on your Home Page as Metrics

12. Cross Platform Integrations.  It is possible to implement GP as back office integrated to your front end eCommerce, Sales Order Processing, EDI system, even if it is hosted in the non Microsoft platform (Unix, Linux/PHP/MySQL, Oracle, IBM DB 2, Progress)

13. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904.  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas.  We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed).  Our consultants speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, RussianArticle Submission, Chinese

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Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904.  He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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