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Building a Team for a Dynamics 365 (formerly CRM) Implementation



For most organizations, implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) is a team effort.  The size and composition of the team will depend on the scope of the implementation, the timetable, and related efforts such as data migration and integrations. 

Here are the roles that my company InfoStrat typically sees for a medium-sized implementation project:

  1. Project Manager. The PM and the technical lead are the most critical roles on the project.  A large project may also include a deputy project manager to cover when the PM is not available.  Prior experience with Dynamics 365 is valuable to understand how an off-the-shelf implementation is different from a custom software development project.  Most of our projects follow an Agile development methodology, so this post assumes Agile in describing the roles of the team members.  
  2. Technical Lead.  The tech lead is the senior technical team member and provides technical direction to the team.  Prior Dynamics 365 implementation is mandatory for the tech lead, and business domain knowledge is highly desirable.  Technical leads often have titles such as "software architect."
  3. Business Analyst. The BA interviews users, analyzes requirements and creates user stories which describe how business scenarios are automated. Prior experience with the Dynamics 365 version used in the project is valuable and business domain knowledge is critical. 
  4. Developers.  You may need developers for several aspects of the implementation, such as the portal, integrations, and data transformation or migration.   These developers should be proficient with the tools needed for their aspects of the project.
  5. Testers.  Experienced testers will contribute to the quality of the solution.  They should be engaged early in the project so that they are already familiar with user stories when testing starts. 
  6. Trainers.  Training is essential to successful adoption of the solution.  In Agile, the training can start early in the process for users who are participating in sprints.  You may want to record videos of training to make them available to users who cannot attend in-person training sessions.
Some roles lend themselves to be combined where team members have the right skills for more than one role.  For instance, some business analysts are also skilled as trainers, and their knowledge of requirements will make them more successful in training than a trainer brought in at the end of a project with too little preparation time.

The developer role tends to scale up more than other roles, because development tasks may be divided and run in parallel.  The technical lead can determine the optimum size for development teams and manage dependencies among modules.

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