Dynamics NAV (Navision) can do anything for your business. Yep, you heard it right. Implementing Dynamics NAV (Navision) can solve all of the problems for your company. It's true! Since working with Dynamics NAV (Navision) in 1999, I have never encountered a business problem that cannot be solved in Dynamics NAV. Compliance? No problem.Reporting? No problem.Unique business processes? No problem.
AND! Implementing Dynamics NAV will solve your company's problems within a reasonable budget!
But how is that possible? We all know every software has it's limits. What if customers makes irrational requests? What if the salesperson over promised? What if the project will take 1000 hours to program?
You can probably think of a million more "what if"s. The bottom line is implementing NAV will resolve all of your client's business problems. You absolutely need to keep this mentality or you won't have a successful career in NAV.
First and foremost, you MUST believe this as well. All Navision programmers knows how quick it is to deliver on customer's request and it's unique ability to adapt to any environment. If you do not believe this is true, you're working with the wrong software.
The first step in truly believing this is remove the word NO from your vocabulary.
By being closed minded and using the word "No" too often, not only are you diminishing the potential of NAV to your clients. You are training yourself to become close minded on finding clever ways to solve difficult problems.
Do not say no to customers, instead, find alternative solutions. You should have enough experience to know if the requirements does not make sense. And you should have enough understanding of business process to give alternative solutions to address the client's pains.
Take for example the following scenerio:Client: "I want to go to the moon"You: "Why do you want to go the moon?" (while at the back of the head thinking "Oh crap, the salesperson promised the moon")Client: "I want to see the surface closely"You: "If I can get close up pictures of the moon's surface, would that be sufficient?"Client: "Ok"
Or this scenerio:Client: "I want to go to the moon"You: "Why do you want to go the moon?" (while at the back of the head thinking "Oh crap, the salesperson promised the moon")Client: "I want to feel the moon's atmosphere"You: "At the Kennedy Space center, you can feel the moon's atmosphere. Would that be ok?"Client: "Ok"
Instead of:Client: "I want to go to the moon"You: "No, you can't go to the moon, it's not possible with current technology"Client: "The salesperson said I can."You: "No. It's not possible, your request is illogical"Client: "Get your salesperson back here, I want a refund!"
I know this is a very very simple example, but you get the point. Every problem is diffcult and easy depending on how to approach it.
In an implementation, much like in sales, you need to get as many people on your side as possible. By throwing the word "no" around too often, you will be seen as an enemy trying to make their daily lives miserable. Furthermore, the client will be convinced that they have bought the wrong solution.
It's important to keep a positive attitude during an implementation. Instead of directing customers to dead ends and killing their dreams and hopes, show them the light at the end of the tunnel by addressing their problems and pains in a different way. Engage their illogical request and do the work to make it logical for them. Listen carefully to their request and dig into your experience and knowledge to provide the customer with a better way. If all else fails, ask your client to write their request logically on a piece of paper (this always works by the way).
Consider this: No business that can buy NAV operates on flawed or illogical business process. So you can safely eliminate the probability that the client request is flawed or illogical. So the solution must be on the implementor/developer. It's your job to recommend:1. A solution2. An alternative solution3. A better solution
No one in the world likes to pay for "No". And removing "NO" from your vocabulary is the first step on becoming the best implementor and developer in the world.
I know there are experts in the community that feel very strong about this. All comments (flame or non-flame) welcome!
And I didn't think that americans understood irony! Even though you basically write the complete opposite of Davids post where he claims that "no" is the most important word a NAV consultant can use(dynamicsuser.net/.../the-most-powerful-tool-that-a-dynamics-nav-consultant-can-use.aspx) then when reading your post again, then you're really write almost the same. Just seen from a different point of view.
I agree that the word "NO" is not a good thing. Instead based on the request from the customer you should come up with:
1. A solution
2. An alternative solution
3. A better solution
Just as you write. I have used this approch many times, and always writing the pro/cons in each recommendation (including your estimate).
Another thing is that I don't write that "No business that can buy NAV operates on flawed or illogical business process". I surely do not agree with that. Many businesses run with "flawed or illogical business process". Not because they are stupid, but often because these business process have been the only way and proberly a logical way they could it with their previous system, or sometimes just based upon - this is how we have always done it.
But that's when your recommendation for "an alternative" and "a better solution" becomes even more important.
Excellent post. 5 stars :)
Unfortunately, in real life, we don't always have the time to come up with alternatives, and customers don't always listen to reason.
If the customer insists they HAVE to actually be on the moon, because the salesperson promised that was out-of-the-box functionality, there's no way you can deliver, and 'no' is the only alternative.
Perhaps it's my experience, but I haven't implemented a NAV project with a company that had a flawed business process. I do agree that a lot of company has very incredibly unique business process that gives them the competitive edge. The owners of the company knows if they have a flawed business process, like Erik said, the solution you provide will eliminate the flawed business process.
Not many company will force you to implement the flawed business process if you can provide a better one.
In reply to Erik, "they" say that plagiarism is the highest form of flattery, so I must say thank you to Alex, for this compliment.
And absolutely, you word it differently to me, but in principle its good to see that we agree.
I really felt compelled to write a blog about this since I read David blog on the most powerful tool, I don't agree that it's the most powerful tool. When used improperly, it creates misunderstanding betwen you can the customer. My concern is that when people read David's blog, they will start using the world NO liberally and cause much more damage to NAV's reputation and their personal career.
Plus, my comments got deleted on his blog so I had to write a separate blog about it. By bolding the world NO on his blog, it's really delivering the wrong message on how to implement NAV, IMHO.
In principle, we're all here to make a living. But how we approach it is different.
I have a similar approach in that when a client asks, "Can Navision do"? I always answer yes before they even finish the question.
Then we can deal with the real question which is "how much will it cost and how long will it take to do" whatever it is they're looking for.
This turns the question from a discussion on Navision's merits or shortcomings to a discussion on cost/benefit which is a much better discussion to have, in my opinion.
Great post, Alex. Of course, people usually start saying "No." because they have said "Yes" too often without thinking the full cost of their solution, let along thinking of a better solution.
There are a lot of folks out there who here, "I want to go to the moon" and think, "well, I've got a plane; surely I can make it go faster enough to break the atmosphere" and say "sure we can do that we bit of work".
So, I would that while we should say "No.", saying "Yes" without generating several alternatives is worse.
That was a very good post. I have been becoming a "NO" person lately and this post changed changed/refreshed my mindset.
It is the illogical requests from customers that make us to say "NO" sometime. I have also seen clients who tried to do a trial and error method on business processes (and not willing to pay for our time, ofcourse) ;-)