Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV will create change throughout your business, in a positive way of course! We’ve implemented Microsoft Dynamics NAV for a number of different companies, each with differing needs and requirements, so from experience we’ve put together 8 top tips for implementing Dynamics NAV.
1. Clearly define your success criteria
Clearly define and document what the key success criteria for your implementation are. Ask yourself which items need to be ticked – this could be to have full visibility of all information sent and received from a supplier or reduce stock take variances to below 10%. Consider whatever is right for your business and document it.
2. Allocate time for key users to spend on the project
Make provision for your key users to commit time to the project. If not factored in at the beginning these users will continue to do their day job and will not find the time to complete the project work successfully. On average allocate them between 15 to 20 extra project days across a 4 to 6 month project period.
3. Make sure your IT partner knows your business
The team put forward by your IT partner needs to understand your business. Validate that proposed team members truly understand the language and processes in your business. A lack of understanding will lead to a poor implementation and a lack of credibility of the IT partner with your users.
4. Know the solution before changing it
Microsoft Dynamics NAV has much of the functionality you need out of the box – if only your users knew how to use it. Insist that your key users are trained on the core functionality before any gap analysis is undertaken. It is only by doing this that you can take advantage of all the software has to offer and stop unnecessary and costly development being made.
5. Involve your most knowledgeable and influential staff
Make sure you involve your most knowledgeable and influential staff. Ensure everyone in the business understands the reason why you are making the changes. Have a communication plan that tells the whole company what to expect, when and then keeps them updated throughout the process.
6. Prepare for the unexpected
It does not matter how thoroughly you have planned or what a fantastic IT partner you have chosen there will still be things that arise that were not anticipated. Build contingency into the timeline. Plan to go live a few weeks ahead of when you really need to, this way, if you are hit by the unexpected you will still go live within the business imperative.
7. Keep it in scope
Once you have defined the scope make sure you stick to it. This will only happen if your IT partner has strong project management and a robust change control process. Dynamics NAV is endlessly flexible and your users demanding. Make sure everyone understands the 80:20 rule and considers it every time they ask for a change.
8. One step at a time
If your requirements are complex take a phased approach. This way the project can be broken down into ‘bite sized’ chunks. As small phases go live quickly the project team feels the success and the quick wins help to build momentum.