Dynamics implementation as beer tasting

By | July 12, 2018


Ryan Maclean made an interesting analogy in his recent post: https://ryannipper.com/2018/07/12/crm-development-as-easy-as-making-a-cup-of-tea/

I’d really recommend reading it; though I’d like to warn you right here.. after reading Ryan’s post, you may find that making tea is not ever going to be simple again.  Actually, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the potential complexity of the tea-making processSmile

But what if, instead of documenting the process upfront, we tried a more agile/scrum approach. Try something, see if you like it, try something else, choose the best options, use what you’ve learned, and so on.

In other words, why don’t we do “Dynamics” beer tasting?

Image result for small beer tasters

(The image above was borrowed from https://hoppedla.com/blog/alhambra-hop-hunt )

Beer tasting is simple and enjoyable:

  • Order a set of testers
  • Try them one after another
  • Make a note of those you liked
  • Next time you come there, you can continue testing or you can simply order the beer you now know you’d like


Now imagine how something similar could be done on a Dynamics project. You are starting the project, so there is nothing certain. Nobody on the client side knows for sure what Dynamics can do, yet nobody even knows what they really want to do.. at best, there are some high-level requirements and the rest is just ideas. It’s close to a complete chaos, yet you are supposed to do something.

You are not starting from scratch, though. Dynamics comes as a product with a certain set of features. Some of them can be extremely helpful, and some of them can be.. well, counter-productive, if you just use them as is. So, start introducing those features to the client and see how the client responds, just don’t overcommit to anything.

Ask the client for a few small user stories, choose one, implement it in Dynamics, explain how it works. Pick another small story, implement it in Dynamics (try to introduce an additional feature), explain how that works. Don’t put too much time into it initially, don’t create large new entities and/or complicated workflows. Be prepared that everything you do in these first iterations will, most likely, change. Still, what you’ll be doing is extremely valuable, since you’ll be learning the business, and the client will be learning Dynamics.

A few weeks into this process, and both sides will start getting a much better idea of what and how needs to be done. Eventually, through this kind of iterative approach, you and the client, together, will find the perfect balance.. just like you will find the beer you like:


Image result for beer pint

(And this one is from here https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/michigan-pint-bill-pour-beer-_n_4057939.html )

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