Analysis: How to improve your Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation

This is a high-level guide to how to plan to improve your D365 implementation. It is intended to be of practical help to anyone who has been given this task within their organisation and is unsure what a structured approach would look like. Because each implementation is unique and has its own issues and successes, this guide will not talk about specific technologies.

The Steps:

Review original goals:

There will have been a set of benefits identified as part of the business case that led your organisation
to implement D365 in the first place. You need to find these and go through them. For each one, make
an honest assessment, have they been met or not met – give them a percentage complete. Socialise
your thinking and make sure everyone agrees. This gives you the size of the problem, how far away are
you from where you wanted to be? Note, at this point, don’t allow any new goals to be created – they
can come later

Investigate adoption:

Time to talk to your colleagues! You need to talk honestly about their experience of the new system
and processes. A whiteboard session will work well here, especially in person but online using a tool like
Mural if that’s not possible. Get them to get a post it and write specific, fine grained functional areas on
them, e.g. Bank Reconciliation, or Warehouse Picking. Now put those on a board in one of 4 categories:
Not working; Not understood; Work to do; It’s fine. This exercise will tell you where the problem lies.
You will find that most items will drift left, it’s always easier to blame the functionality than to admit to
a knowledge gap. Your role here is to challenge that thinking (nicely).

Management review:

Now talk to the management team, from team leaders to the department head. What are they now
looking for from the new system? What blockers can they identify that are stopping them from
achieving that, what do they think are the problems. At this point, some new goals might creep in
compared to the original business case. Be strong here and say that you will record this as a new goal.
Retrospective expectations are easy to say, but not fair!

Thinking time:

You now have all the information you need! The job here is to synthesise everything you have learned
and establish what to do about it. Don’t feel it has to be a desk exercise – write stuff on paper, use a
whiteboard, go for a walk, talk to the postman about it. You will find that there are recurring themes,
obvious gaps and misaligned expectations. Get them all down on paper and you will see a path
emerging. Where you have missing knowledge, go back and ask again. Don’t be afraid to go right back
to the beginning, involve other groups, run another workshop.

Capability and capacity review:

Now you know what you need to do, more honest reflection is needed. Does the team have the
capability? Do they have the skills, knowledge and tools to bridge the gap to success? The next
question is just as important; do they have capacity or are they already stretched with their day-to-day jobs?


Your playback needs to go to everyone who gave you input. This is not just for the management, you
have to let everyone know that their voice was heard. Restate the original implementation objectives
so that everyone is clear; show the distance that you currently are from those objectives; set out a path to
fix any blockers stopping your company from achieving that and finally set out any new goals that
have been identified.


The easy bit, just make it all happen! Once the path to success is laid out, the actual project to make it
happen should be easier and maybe something you can delegate to team leads. Just remember to
build in time to go back through the process above and check in with everyone again on how things
are going against the original and new goals.


Your behaviour matters! Your role in this whole process is facilitator, conductor, servant-leader. It
doesn’t work if you are only interested in finding your own opinion in others. If you cannot approach
this task humbly, it will be better for your organisation if you pass the task to someone with that


Change is hard, it is never an overnight process, and it can be easy to feel like a project was a failure
when you have lost sight of its success criteria. Going through a structured process with your whole
team will help everyone focus on an honest assessment of your current position and a shared
understanding of how to improve. Good luck; and let us know how it goes! If you’ve got any further
questions or want to share how it’s gone, please drop me a line!




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