Gill Walker – CRM Success Catalyst, Speaker, Educator, D365 Project Manager, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Functional Consultant, Solution Architect, Advisor, Trainer, MCT, MVP, DTM


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Avoiding the costs of poor solution design in a Dynamics 365 project - and more


The simple answer to the question "how do you avoid the costs of poor solution design in your Dynamics 365 project?" is ensure that you have skilled people on your project.  However, although this is simple to say, it is not so simple to do.  It is not simple even when there is glut of people, but when there is a shortage of people, it is almost impossible.

Here are some tips to help you avoid the costs of poor solution design:

  1. Ensure that you have people from the business engaged in the project - and that those people really do understand the business problems that your project is solving.  It is also hugely beneficial if those people understand the basics of the selected technology;
  2. Check the certifications of all the technical people on the project - if you are unsure of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform certifications there is more details directly from Microsoft here - whether they are internal or external people;
  3. Check all design decisions, and ensure that the design that you are using has been considered from the perspective of
    • the users who enter the data and user who reply on that data for business reports, dashboards - now and in the future
    • testing - remember when testing to test against realistic data volumes
    • the data structure
    • how close it stays to standard, out of the box functionality
  4. Prior to implementing any configuration or customisation - and yes, configuration and customisation are different, and the line between them changes with each release - confirm that the business requirement is really needed and cannot be met more simply.  I check that a requirement cannot be met:
    • Out of the box - before considering configuration
    • Using Configuration - before considering customisation
    • Using Customisation 

Another question to ask is 'could simpler functionality work with more user training?'  User training is not always the best answer.  However, it is better than many of the design solutions that I am asked to unwind.

Sometimes I find that people believe that because a change can technically be done, it is a good way of doing it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember that the sooner a design decision is realised to be erroneous, the cheaper it is to fix.  If you spot the error when it is simply a decision, it costs almost nothing to fix.  If you leave it until it is in production, users are using it (or not!) and further development has been built on top of it it will be very costly.  A stitch in time saves nine.

Avoiding the costs of poor solution design in a Dynamics 365 projects is not easy, but with the right people on your team it can be achieved.

Please reach out to Opsis if you would like any assistance in this area.

Part one of this discussion around poor solution design is here

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Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform and CRM strategy consulting company. Our focus is your CRM success, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 / Microsoft Power Platform or any CRM technology - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal CRM Success Catalyst, Gill oversees all business operations, strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions.  We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  Gill is the creator of SuccessRM - your blueprint for CRM success.  We offer:

  • Strategy for your successful CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
    • scoping
    • implementation
    • technical support
    • training
    • consulting, advice and guidance
    • assistance with your centre of excellence
  • Mentoring for CIOs and other decision makers tasked with implementing CRM.