MBS project approach: “Shoulders to the wheel together”
Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 within your organization doesn't happen overnight. It is a big project with a clear beginning and a clear end. A project that is not just about technology and processes. Indeed, it is mostly about people. This requires a thorough and professional approach. We at Conclusion MBS know how all about that. For years we have been working with our successful project approach that has proven itself in many projects, small and large. Marco Goris, Solution Delivery Manager and project manager, knows his stuff when it comes to project management. He likes to explain how he and his colleagues approach projects and what is involved.
July 25th, 2022 | Publication | By: Conclusion MBS
Agile with an MBS spin
The basis of Conclusion MBS' project approach is Agile. Marco explains: "Like many others, we work Agile, but tastes differ. Therefore, we put our own spin on this project methodology. As a result, our project approach aligns with our vision, complemented by our best practices based on our years of market knowledge. After all, it would be a shame to let all the knowledge and experience gained go to waste."
Many people with experience in the business work at Conclusion MBS. They know the processes better than anyone. This knowledge forms the basis for the project approach, along with the experience gained from previous projects. "A key aspect of our 'spin' is the use of templates," Marco continues. "For each phase and step, we have a blueprint that has proven itself, so we don't have to keep reinventing the wheel. Think of it as a box of tools that we take to the customer. Tools that have proven themselves and allow us to do our work in the best possible way. Of course, we tweak the templates based on the client's needs, but it does allow us to push the gas pedal down a little further at times."
Think big, start small
MBSers get especially excited about large, complex and international projects. "We like to sink our teeth into a big implementation challenge," Marco says. "We have already implemented many international projects. Different cultures and countries with their own laws and regulations add considerable complexity to Dynamics implementations. In terms of approach, we now know very well what works, and what doesn't. That's why we always start such a big project by laying down a core. Once this foundation is in place, we expand to the rest of the locations in different countries. By running a pilot first, we fine-tune the solution and can then quickly and successfully roll out internationally. So we tackle things on a large scale, but start small."
In every project, we form a team together with the client. We set the parameters for the project together.
Shoulders to the wheel together
In the project as a whole, you as customer also play a big role. Of course, you hire an expert to implement Dynamics, but this doesn't mean you can sit back while the professionals at MBS do the work, Marco explains. "In every project, we form a team together with the client. Together we set the parameters for the project. With experts from both sides, we then take a deeper look and finally proceed to implementation. It is extremely important that the client maintains ownership throughout the project, and that everyone is on the same page. After all, we are doing it for them. Therefore, it is important for us that the 'together' mentality is well established before we start."
Change management determines success
Marco emphasizes that the client has an especially important role in the collaboration when it comes to change management. "Yes, we work with technology and yes, we talk about processes. But in the end, it's all about the people. They eventually have to work with the technology. Their method and process may change. If they are not told that until we get to work, everyone will dig their heels in. Then there will be resistance, and that is only to be expected. To avoid this, it is important that the organization itself does the preliminary work. That people are informed in time about any impending change. That they find out what the change will mean and see what benefits it will bring them. I can't say it often enough, but change management really determines the success of the entire project. If clients want support in this, we enlist the help of specialized colleagues from the Conclusion network."
Fleshing out processes rather than planning them in detail
What Marco is especially proud of are the process decompositions they use for projects within wholesale and distribution: "We turned our industry experience into process decompositions. That includes, for example, translating all processes within wholesale companies to Dynamics 365. In other words, in what ways can you accommodate which processes in Dynamics? This allows us to map processes at clients much faster. We don't start from scratch with planning processes in detail, but look at the extent to which the client's processes match the process decompositions. If the recognition is there, we can take quick steps. Of course, there are always 'anomalies' that don't fit the standard. In such cases, we know the range of complementary solutions like the back of our hand. If we can't find a match among these, then we look at a tailor-made solution. But basically, we help the customer bring processes into the standard as much as possible. After all, that is the power of working with Dynamics and the ultimate goal of the project."
Marco expects process decompositions to be used more widely in the future. "Processes at companies in other industries also lend themselves to process decompositions. The knowledge is certainly there and I don't think there is any lack of internal ambition to implement this. It's wonderful when we can weave the efficiency of process decompositions throughout our services."
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