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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Moving from Interested to Doing

Last month I had the opportunity to do a guest post for the Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog in the MVP Monday Series. You can read the full posting here: – Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology Revisited.

In today’s posting on our own blog I want to pick up where I left off.

The Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Methodology can help both partners and end users realize that getting from where they are today to a decision to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a linear process. However, it is not always necessary or appropriate to pass through every step on the way to ‘Do’.

The graphic outlines the six phases that a process can go through to get to the point of actually doing the implementation. However, it is not always necessary or appropriate to pass through every step on the way to ‘Do’.

Let’s review the four key phases which can be a part of any Dynamics CRM implementation decision process.

  • Fit-Gap Analysis: The purpose of this step is to determine the “degree of fit” between the business requirements and the existing systems and the way CRM functions out of the box. It will identify how to configure and customize CRM to meet the business needs. The deliverables at the end of this engagement are a “Degree of fit” estimate and a Fit-Gap and Solution Blueprint report that describes in easy to understand business terminology how Dynamics CRM can be used to best meet the business needs.
  • Proof of Concept: In this phase a ‘functional’ implementation of the business system is implemented in the CRM system to demonstrate the how the high-level requirements can be met. It is not intended to be a production level implementation. It will be sufficient to just demonstrate the major business requirements. The deliverables will be a demonstration and an action item report.
  • Scoping Assessment: The scoping assessment follows the Fit-Gap and is designed to produce a more in-depth understanding of the business requirements to set the boundaries of the implementation and outline how to implement the recommended requirements. The deliverables will include: implementation cost model, resource plan, high-level implementation plan, and organization and role breakdowns.
  • Business Case: This phase will demonstrate the business benefits of implementing Dynamics CRM. It would typically include a Return on Investment, Total Cost of Ownership and expected payback periods for the planned implementation reports. Sometimes the business case report is prepared by the CRM Consultant and other times it is prepared by team members at the business.


Along the way the steps will answer four of the questions that are common to just about every CRM implementation which are shown in the blue circles above.

Which steps does your company need to hit and which ones can you leap frog over? Well that just depends on how you typically make business software decisions, your experience with previous CRM systems and the number of people involved and impacted by the new CRM system. In the end we find it is better to err on the side of more planning than less as the planning typically has a very high return on investment during project implementation.


Note: The graphic you see above was used in an online Microsoft sponsored sales presentation I attended for partners and end users. Author is semi-anonymous.

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