Figure 1 – Sure Step phases
The implementation will begin with analysis to determine the order in which we will implement the solution at your different locations. Once the order of deployment is determined and the Analysis phase is complete, we will design and configure the solution which will be deployed throughout your company. Once we have completed the Sure Step phases of Analysis through Development, we will proceed with the Deployment and Operation phases to implement the solution at each of your locations based on the order determined during the planning activities in the Analysis phase.
The following sections provide more detail on how we will execute each of the five Sure Step phases and the activities that are the responsibility of Microsoft Partner Organization and Customer Name.
The Analysis phase represents the official start of the implementation. This phase defines the activities required to initiate and effectively plan the entire project. The Analysis phase is initiated with the executive kick off meeting designed to provide executives with an overview of the project vision, scope, objectives, key performance indicators (KPI's) and benefits. In addition, the meeting covers the schedule, milestone, resources, roles and responsibilities and deliverables.
Kick off meetings with similar agendas are also conducted with the internal project team and with the customer project team members.
Following the project kickoff, the project planning team begins the finalization of the project charter and the project plan. This is approved by the customer and forms the basis of the entire project.
The functional consultants conduct business process workshops to document and model the future state business processes. During the Analysis phase, gathering and documenting the customer's business requirements is the most important set of activities that must be undertaken when implementing Microsoft Dynamics. These requirements are documented in the Functional Requirements Document (FRD) which is an input to the Fit Gap Workshop. The Fit Gap Workshop produces the Fit Gap Spreadsheet which is used to determine the business requirements that are a "Fit" for either the Microsoft Dynamics or the ISV(s) solutions, and the ones that are "Gaps" that will need customization.
The training team conducts the solution overview, captures the training requirements and creates the core team training plan, while the consulting team captures the development standards, quality and testing standards, interface and integration requirements and the data migration requirements. The technology team captures the non functional requirements, and assesses the infrastructure and provides recommendations on the environments to be setup and the configuration of these environments.
After the requirements are documented, they are analyzed and reviewed with the customer to obtain final approval. This forms the basis of the scope for the implementation.
The goal of the Design phase is to define how to implement the business requirements. The phase includes configuration of the overall Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 solution and the design of specific customizations that are necessary to satisfy business requirements identified during the Analysis phase. The customizations can range from simple user interface or report modifications to complex functionality additions or modifications. This phase also includes activities to design the integrations and interfaces and data migration elements that are required to support the requirements. The Design phase builds on the previous Analysis phase by acting on the deliverables that result from the requirements workshops conducted for each cross phase.
In the Design phase, non-production environments such as DEV and TEST are established to support the system configurations and prepare for the development effort required for integration and interfaces, data migration, and custom code development. The Non-Production Environment Specification lists these environments.
Risk management continues to play an important role in the management of the project. To properly create mitigation plans, confirm existing risks and identify new ones risks weekly. Update the project accordingly.
The Design phase culminates with the completion of the Functional Design Document (FDD) and Technical Design Documents (TDD). Based on the FDDs, TDDs and Solution Design (SDD), the project scope is finalized, with all requirements considered in scope cross-referenced to one of these documents. Customer sign-off is obtained on all the design elements and the final estimates, and the development team is readied for the custom code development effort.
The goal of the Development phase is to build and test the system components that are defined and approved in the design specifications, including developing the customizations, integrations and interfaces, and data migration processes. The major deliverables include the complete system configuration, completion and freezing of code for customizations, integrations and interfaces, and data migration. Other key deliverables include finalization of the Solution Design Document, and the completion of Data Acceptance, Process, and Integration Testing.
The Development phase involves ongoing project management activities to manage risks and issues, communications, change requests, and project plan updates. The deployment and knowledge transfer plans that were initiated in the Design phase are updated. The future state business process model is updated and finalized in this phase. The development of the training guides is completed and presented to the customer for review.
The consulting team completes the security role setup and required configurations based upon the design. Custom code development defined in the design specifications is also completed and tested, as is the development effort for integration and interfaces and data migration. Upon completion of all coding efforts, the solution design document is updated to reflect the current design.
Testing completed in this phase includes data acceptance, process, and end-to-end integration testing to ensure that all components of the solution are working together per the design specification. Test scripts for performance test and user acceptance test are also created and finalized.
The infrastructure team completes and provides the customer with the Production Environment Specification document, so that the customer can start the procurement process for the required hardware and software components. Also, the setup of all non-production environments are completed, and the environments are handed off to the customer. Finally, all deliverables that are produced in this phase are checked for quality and the phase tollgate review is conducted to ensure that the phase is completed per the quality requirements of the customer.
The Deployment phase is where all the efforts of the project team come together for a successful transition to the new Microsoft Dynamics solution. Key activities in this phase include End User Training, Performance Testing and User Acceptance Testing, and the actual move to the new production environment.
The Deployment phase involves ongoing project management activities to manage risks and issues, communications, change requests, and project plan updates. The Deployment Plan that was initiated in the Design phase is finalized and approved by the customer. This plan forms the basis of the deployment or cutover tasks that need to be well managed before go-live.
The training team finalizes the training guides and conducts the end-user training sessions. In the Quality and Testing cross phase, key activities include the execution of Performance Testing and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Upon successful completion of UAT by Key Users, a business go/no-go decision is made on whether to proceed with the go-live or to defer until any critical issues are resolved.
The infrastructure and technical teams prepare the production environment for the cutover tasks that lead to the go-live state. Required configurations and tweaks may be made, and performance tuning may be performed if necessary.
Another parallel activity that is performed upon completion of UAT is the initial data load into production by the data migration team. If necessary, after the initial load is complete, periodic batch loads may be executed to load ongoing data from legacy systems.
The team performs a production environment audit and obtains final system approval from the customer. The system is now ready for go-live and any subsequent environment changes are placed under the change control process.
Another key activity in this phase is the knowledge transfer by the consulting team to the customer. This is based on the knowledge transfer plan created during the Design phase that outlines the method and timeline for the transfer of knowledge. As detailed in the plan, you will conduct corresponding knowledge transfer meetings with the customer to cover any items that are pending or need further clarification.
The Operation phase defines the activities that are required to close the project, provide post production support, and transition the solution and knowledge to the customer. Key objectives of this phase include providing post go-live support, transitioning the solution to support, performing a final quality audit, and providing project closure.
The Operation phase involves the final activities that are required to close out the project and transition the solution and knowledge to the customer. The Program Management team prepares the final invoices, lessons learned, and the project closure report. The team also prepares a folder with all the project deliverable documents with their acceptance forms. These documents are reviewed with the customer to obtain final approval and acceptance.
The functional and technical team hands off the resources that are required to provide post go-live support and resolve any issues that arise out of deployment to the user base. At this point, the support teams are also involved to resolve issues, so that the transition of the solution to the customer and support (per the appropriate support contract) occur smoothly.
Any remaining items that were not covered during the previous phases are completed in this phase are explained in this phase. Upon completion of the post go-live support activities, the team completes all necessary logistical activities, and obtains final signoff on the project.