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It’s All in the Preparation

Proper preparation is essential for system success

“It’s all in the preparation,” the painter told me when I wondered how long it would be before he actually started painting. And, by the look of the finished job, he was right.

Of course, this applies to most projects in life, whether they are around the home or IT systems being implemented for business.

Time spent on planning the project will save time, cost and angst later in the implementation.

In the case of a Dynamics 365 Business Central implementation, time spent on planning the project will save time, cost and angst later in the implementation. So it is important that your IT partner knows as much about project management as they do about the “techie stuff”. They should be insisting that you spend the time needed, and involve your key staff, in planning your project carefully.

The first steps in Fenwick’s implementation methodology are a Rapid Project Planning Workshop followed by the production of a Project Charter.

The purpose of the planning session and the charter is to ensure that the partner and the customer both have a clear understanding of:

  • the Problem Overview & Project Goal
  • the priorities of: Time, Cost and Functionality
  • the Project Strategy
  • the Objectives and Indicators of Success, including:
    • User Objectives
    • Critical Success Factors
    • expected Business Benefits
  • who the Stakeholders are and who is responsible for what
  • the Scope Overview
    • Solution Scope
    • Project Scope
    • Scope Variations
  • the availability and commitment of resources
  • the risks and mitigation plans
  • the Effort & Schedule Estimates

The Charter documents the outcomes from the planning session.

You might think that this is a lot of work, but the workshop can normally be done in less than a day and the Charter in a few hours work. Just think about the cleaning and sanding the painter does, without it you will get a less than pristine outcome.

In the case of an IT system, without the preparation work, at best you will suffer all manner of problems at implementation time, at worst you could damage your business.