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User Stories for Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors

[COVID-19 Note: When the COVID-19 crisis took hold over the United States, I stopped blogging.  Now that we have become more accustomed to our current social distancing and have a clearer forecast of the end of the crisis, I am back.]

One of our most popular InfoStrat solutions is Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors.  At some point, most government contractors reach a point where they are no longer content to track their sales pipeline in a spreadsheet and the adopt a customer relationship management (CRM) product to manage the capture process.

Unfortunately, the most popular CRM products such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 do not contain the opportunity fields, capture processes or reporting that a government contractor needs. They do not reflect all the stages for a government sale such as presolicitation, request for information, request for quote, best and final offer, oral presentations, downselecting and more.

User stories which describe your sales processes are essential to determine the scope of the project and create a roadmap for an implementation.  User stories are descriptions of a process from the point of view of a user role.  They do not include technical details of the implementation but they capture business rules and data elements that are tracked for a specific scenario.

To create user stories for Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors, first identify how many capture processes you follow.  Do different programs have distinct business processes or track different data?  If they use the same processes and data, you can create fewer user stories.  Often our clients have some variation among programs which change the ways that they interact with grantees.

Here are some user stories that you are likely to need:
  1. Opportunity creation.  When do you create an opportunity and start tracking it?  Who creates opportunities?  Should any opportunities be created automatically, such as when a solicitation is posted by a customer? Is there more than one kind of opportunity that you track which requires substantially different fields and forms, such as the difference between a task order and a blanket purchase agreement?
  2. Opportunity process. What are the stages for an opportunity?  Do you have gate reviews, such as a bid/no bid meeting? Do different types of opportunities require different processes?
  3. Opportunity closing. When do you move an opportunity from Active to Closed? Which users can close an opportunity?  Do you want to automatically close opportunities based on events such as not bidding when an RFP due date passes?
  4. Project or order creation. After you win an opportunity, what do you want to happen?  Create new project codes in your timesheets? Create an order in your ERP system?  Both?
  5. Sales quotas. Do you assign sales representatives quotas?  How are territories defined?  When is quota retired?  How are option years and future contract modifications handled in terms of sales recognition?
Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors plus contains standard data elements and workflows which meet substantially all of typical government contractor requirements, but you are likely to want to customize them to match your business rules as closely as possible. 

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