Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE can be implemented using different project management methodologies such as Sure Step, Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, and DevOps, which we discussed in the project management methodology section. The project manager plays a key role in selecting the right implementation methodology for your organization. Which methodology the project manager picks depends on their past project experience and sometimes it is a decision for the Microsoft Partner Company that implements Dynamics 365 CE for you. But before selecting the right methodology for your company, let's first understand why it is very important to use project management methodology while implementing Dynamics 365 CE for your organization.
The most common reasons for using project management methodologies for implementing Dynamics 365 CE include the following:
- For managing project timelines efficiently
- For better project management
- For using predefined tools and templates
- For reducing project failure risks
- For team collaboration and skills development
- To ensure stakeholders for return on investments
Now that we know the main reasons for using project management methodology, the next question comes to mind: which methodology is best suited for Dynamics 365 CE implementation? Before discussing a suitable methodology, we should try to get answers to the following questions:
- Is the project objective clear? This question is important for selecting methodologies. For example, we can use the Waterfall model if the project goal is clearly defined; otherwise, using Agile methodologies will be helpful for Dynamics 365 CE implementation.
- Are all of the requirements known? Requirements play a critical role in the selection of methodologies because some methodologies require all project requirements to be clearly defined before starting implementation planning. On the other hand, some methodologies only require that the high-level goal of the project should be known and detailed requirements can be captured once the project begins.
- Are requirements complex or simple? This is another important question. Simple requirements will take less time and can be mostly achieved using out-of-the-box Dynamics 365 CE features or with minimal customization. On the other hand, if requirements are complex, they require a good amount of development efforts, which can increase project release timelines.
- Can the requirements be changed? Some methodologies, such as the Waterfall model, do not allow changing requirements once Dynamics 365 CE implementation is initiated. In contrast, other methodologies, such as Spiral, Agile, and Scrum, accept changes in every iteration.
- Will the customer be available for project meetings? During Dynamics 365 CE, customer involvement plays a critical role. Some methodologies require minimal interaction with the customer during the initial phases of the implementation. However, some methodologies require continuous interaction with the customer to get their feedback after every iteration. Client feedback plays a crucial role in Dynamics 365 CE, ensuring minimal risk of project failure.
- What are project release timelines? Some customers require Dynamics 365 CE implementation to be completed in a short timeframe depending on their business requirements. Customers want to provide a new system to their end users as soon as possible, especially when end users are waiting for a long time to access new functionality. This is also the case when they want a resolution for issues in an existing system. We can use methodologies such as DevOps to allow quick production release, allowing for the automating of the release process with efficiency.
- Can a project be divided into modules? Some Dynamics 365 CE project requirements can be divided into multiple individual modules that can be developed independently without any dependency. Sometimes, a team can work on modules in parallel, whereas sometimes it's not possible to break down requirements into multiple modules.
- Is the customer expecting a single release for their project? Sometimes, a Dynamics 365 CE customer requires a single production release for all departments. They want a new system to be applied in one go. However, some clients want to implement Dynamics 365 CE department by department, which requires multiple releases of the project. The Waterfall model is best suited for the single production release, whereas Agile family methodologies can be used for multiple releases. Every sprint can release specific functionality to a specific department.
- How many resources are required for implementation? The project member team size for Dynamics 365 CE implementation is based on the project requirements, whether these are simple or complex. Some project management methodologies are best suited for small team sizes because it is difficult to handle a large team. For example, in a Scrum, team size is always recommended as being from 3 to 9 for better management. In contrast, the Waterfall model can comfortably support large team sizes.
- Is the project documentation required? Documentation is very important for any project for later referral. It is very helpful when a new resource is added to the Dynamics 365 CE implementation team or any resource is replaced with existing resources based on their availability. Some project management methodologies put less stress on maintaining project documentation. However, some methodologies produce documentation after every implementation phase. Some methodologies, such as Microsoft Sure Steps, provide out-of-the-box templates to prepare project documentation.
Once we have answers to all of the preceding questions, it is easy to select the appropriate Dynamics 365 CE implementation methodology. In conclusion, the Waterfall model can be selected for your Dynamics 365 CE implementation if all of the project requirements are known, the client is not available for day-to-day communication, and they are looking for a single release for the organization. But keep in mind that the Waterfall model adds a high risk of project failure as the client needs to wait to see the product only after all of the phases are over for the Waterfall methodology. While using the Waterfall model, there are chances that the final solution is not based on client expectations as a client has minimal involvement in the Waterfall model.
Agile family methodologies are best suited based on current market trends. Customers want to bring their product into the market as soon as possible with high efficiency. In Agile, it is also normal practice to not change the whole system at once, which can also introduce integration issues, especially if a customer is using multiple software applications.
Using DevOps methodology can help release automation, and integration can be performed easily. Nowadays, Scrum is also very popular for Dynamics 365 CE implementation where everyone has clear visibility of the ongoing process throughout sprints. New change requests from clients can be easily and quickly adjusted. Scrum adds a high success rate in Dynamics 365 CE implementation as a customer is involved from the initial start to the release of every sprint. Daily standups can help us to identify any potential future issues with ease and they can be resolved in time.