Dynamics NAV is a unique solution; it’s the only ERP solution we know that’s designed to be changed quickly and easily to meet customers’ different needs, which is why we created a new approach of doing projects – over and above the standard approaches used by other resellers.
We refer to our approach as the ‘Day in the Life’. We know that sitting in rooms for days-on-end, having isolated and tricky conversations with each department can result in customers and consultants having completely different perceptions, without even knowing. We talk to your business as a whole, discussing your typical day processes in simple terms. For example processes such as purchase-to-pay and sales-to-cash. Every business has a Day in the Life, and in our experience that’s a commonality to all. We make sure we understand each normal day process, as well as those unique ways of working. Instead of writing a massive document to capture all of these processes, we use NAV’s unique environment to develop a Day in the Life model. Why? Well the usual document you’d normally receive doesn’t really give you a context from which to understand the scope. Let’s be honest – it’s a document that most users won’t even read through, even though they’ll be signing the project off! With our Day in the Life model we’ll use your real data in NAV so you’ll get to see exactly what you’ll be getting. Of course we do write some stuff down, but we let the software be the scope.
That finished, we replay to you how we think your Day in the Life, including any unique processes, would look like in NAV. At this stage you will point things out that we will need to tweak and tailor in order to make it work. All of this forms the basis of the solution that we will deliver. It’s a solution you have seen working in context, with items, suppliers and customers you know, not just a big old document with lots of caveats and clauses.
From here-on-in we build the live solution, testing it all the way. Again, based around those Day in the Life processes, we build user test scripts so that we are testing real-life scenarios, which for the basis of the end-user training. Once built we test, test, test, refine and tweak, ending up with a solution read to go live. This could be all in one go, or it could be in phases. We train your users and hang round for go live to support, assist and address any issues. Far better than the regular documented approach, eh?
Hopefully you now have a top-level understanding of what a Day in the Life is and why we do it. So let’s get into the detail of what it looks like for a project, step-by-step!
We generally demonstrate end-to-end processes in our initial meetings with you. We will often find areas that NAV doesn’t currently have as standard and do initial ‘development to show’ work to be able to playback a process that would otherwise be a big hole and would otherwise not give you a good picture of what it would look like in your business! Real data is important in demonstrating what the system can do. If your business sells cheese, we will show you the system selling cheese not bikes!
2. DAY IN THE LIFE WORKSHOPS
Here we will go through how you would use NAV and its processes. Again some configuration and development will help the process along to show the flow. Of course, here too we use real data to help you understand and visualise within the context of your business. Processes are end-to-end flows to help your different departments understand how the pieces fit together.
3. IMPLEMENTATION PHASE
Here we really get to work - we go through the Day in the Life processes that we ran through with you in the previous stages and build what’s been imagined!
4. DAY IN THE LIFE PLAYBACKS
Next we use playbacks to clarify and communicate the project progress as we move forward with implementation. These playbacks help you and the project teams on both sides (yours and The NAV People’s) gain confidence in the progression of the project as well as providing an opportunity to sanity check decisions and discuss the visibility of interdepartmental communication needs (e.g. when I receive stock it appears on your screen (role centre) so you know we have had a receipt).
5. UAT TRAINING AND TESTING
At this point it’s all about training and testing. (UAT stands for ‘User Acceptance Testing’ by the way!) Training and testing follow the same Day in the Life scripts developed in stages 1-4 meaning that at the testing stage you really are using the system in the same way that you will when it’s live.
6. PRE-LIVE PLAYBACK
Hurrah – we are now at the final ‘Are we ready?’ playback! This allows us all, including your management and project teams, to assess readiness. This is a key user driven playback (not driven by us at The NAV People). This is because, at this stage the key users should be able to demonstrate their capability to process all Day in the Life scenarios. Basically – if you can’t work through a Day in the Life scenario with the system at this stage then it isn’t ready to go live! All your live data will be imported so you can assess it too. Provided you are happy all your scenarios can be worked through without a hitch then we are ready to GO LIVE! Pop the champagne, sit back and enjoy your seamless ERP do all the hard work for you!
So there you have it – A ‘Day in the Life’ – The ultimate way to implement an ERP system! Obviously we think that our Day in the Life approach is the bees-knees but don't take it from us - here's what those who have experienced it first-hand have to say about it!
The difference with The NAV People was their approach; they wanted to understand how we worked so they could augment the solution to our needs rather than the other way around. It was a refreshing difference.' - Russ Melrose, Interim MD & IT Director at Wilkinson Healthcare
The approach was straightforward and transparent; we knew exactly what needed to be done and how much it would cost, we felt we could move forward with confidence. Rob Goodair, IT Director at Europlus Direct
They listened to our needs and didn’t try to fit us into some predefined mould. - Caroline Aylward, Operations Manager at Altfield
The NAV People took a forensic approach to understanding our business, they asked questions and really listened to our requirements. They delivered a solution tailored to us and were unfazed by any of our questions or requests. - Gary Lord, Trago Mills
We were incredibly impressed with their approach and it is a decision we have never regretted. - Nigel Cudlipp, Finance Director, The Foundling Museum