A key to getting a Dynamics project, or any ERP project for that matter, started is setting expectations and ownership. Far too often I see companies that have decided to purchase and Dynamics rely on the consulting firm to kick-off the project. Though there is much value in the consultants experience, putting the contracted Project Manager, led Architect or other consultant in front of the group at day “0” is exactly the wrong step.
The project needs to be led internally, there are going to be many bumps along the way, and it becomes too easy for the users to give up and blame failure to change on the consultants. Each member of the company assigned to work on the project needs to feel that it is THEIR project, not Microsoft, not anyone elses, THEIRS.
Why? Dynamics is a tool that allows your business to work more efficiently and gain understanding into that efficiency. It’s a tool that can drive significant organizational change, both during implementation and later on. If the project “belongs” to the consulting company, then it will be setup based on their idea of what is best for your company. A much better position is for you, the company implementing Dynamics, to be in the driver seat from day one.
A successful Kick-off:
- Team members were brought in from all over the world.
- Each was given individual attention by the CEO and the corporate VP in charge of the project as they arrived at the kickoff event.
- The first two hours were dedicated to why the company chose this route, expected benefits and challenges
- Each team member was introduced, with a short explanation of their role and expected contribution to the success of the implementation.
- Then we took a break
- Then the VP introduced me, the Microsoft Project Sponsor and the Functional Consultants that will be working with them.
No magic, but the emphasis was placed squarely inside the company, that was a successful kickoff, creating an energized team that feels ownership.