Typically in an implementation, there will be a lot of moving parts. A lot of things has to go right for a successful implementation. If any of the key tasks don’t go right, no matter how small the task is, will cause havoc or delays for a company trying to go live.
I can assure you that every Dynamics 365 Business Central (aka Dynamics NAV) consultant/company will tell you that they’re an expert at Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV. Whether that’s true or not and how to detect if they’re full of hot air is probably a subject for another article.
Even if you have the
most qualified and reliable NAV partner, projects may still go wrong because of
the decisions made by the company that’s implementing the software.
It’s unfortunate (or
fortunate) that we live in a society where instant gratification is the norm.
You want something? Order it on Amazon in the morning and get it delivered in
the afternoon. These type of service puts a lot of burden on the supplier on making
sure everything goes right.
When the owners of a
company is often under pressure to make the necessary changes so they can meet
the demands (realistic or not) of their customers, they often want to see the
same turnaround time (realistic or not) from the projects they initiate.
For some managers,
the idea seem to be to set a high expectation for the project. Even if the
project doesn’t get to the expectation, at least we’ll be better than the
original expectations should be.
One of these types
of decision is deciding on a live date. In an effort to make people place a
sense of urgency on the implementation, management will set an unrealistic (or
optimistic) go live date. The employees or consultants will often be too
polite, shy, scared, etc to call out this decision.
As I mentioned
earlier on this article, going live requires a lot of precise tasks to be
completed, we can hurry those tasks or skip them. But shortcuts will often come
back and haunt you. This is especially true in an ERP software implementation.
What always ends up
happening is one of the following:
Of the 2 scenarios that can happen, if #1 happens, the implementation will always lead to failure. From my personal experience, rescuing customers that went live before they’re ready never really recovers. We end up having to re-implement them to get the company back on track.
Hopefully, the management has the courage to decide on option #2 and call a stop and re-evaluate.
In either of those 2
cases, the damage would’ve already been done.
Usually, when a
company misses their first go live date, they will miss their subsequent
go-live dates as well.
Why? Because the
people are already used to failure. Their consultants or the management has
promised them that they’re going to go-live, you can almost hear the employees
say “Yeah… Right…”.
When I walk into companies that has missed their go-live date a couple of time, it’s almost like walking into a vacuum of demotivation. When you even talk about going live again, you’re just met with an overload of cynicism and doubt.
Set realistic live
dates and stick to it. It’s your responsibility to call out BS if someone tries
to talk crazy about a live date.
How we typically plan out a customer go-live is to pick a date the customer would like to go live, then work backwards to see if that’s feasible; considering holidays, vacations, buffer time, etc. If it’s not feasible, we tell them right away, even if we get scolded at.
Of you’re in charge of the implementation, be ready to say no to unrealistic requests to go live or hitting certain milestones; even in front of a team of management. Yes, they will question your expertise, your resources, your abilities, even your character.
hurting one person’s feeling is better than having the whole company suffer.