Choosing software is a big commitment, and you want to be sure that you don't regret your choice later. One of the best ways to evaluate Microsoft Dynamics 365 and apps built on the Dynamics platform is to conduct a proof of concept.
Here are some of the keys to make your proof of concept (POC) successful:
- Set a schedule and stick to it. You need a predefined beginning and end to the proof of concept. One month has been good for InfoStrat clients, allowing for requirements gathering, training users and tackling key functional challenges. Don't let it drag out beyond the deadline.
- Involve the right users. Find users who are willing to devote the necessary time to participate. Consider who your key stakeholders are and make sure they are represented.
- Provide training and support for users. Don't turn users loose on a system without providing orientation, training and support during the POC. Most business software is sufficiently complex that it is not reasonable to expect users to learn it on their own.
- Define success criteria. The first step in the POC is to define the success criteria and write them down. Make them as objective as you can in order to simplify evaluation.
- Include time and format for evaluation. Once the POC has been running, facilitate evaluation sessions to evaluate how the solution meets business needs. Online surveys with tools such as Dynamics itself or SharePoint can help you gather feedback from users.
- Keep it a POC. A proof of concept is not a complete implementation. Help participants understand that not every requirement will be fulfilled. If you set correct expectations you are less likely to disappoint users.
Microsoft Dynamics lends itself to a POC because it is a cloud solution and you do not have to spend time installing or configuring on your servers. You can sign up for a free trial which will give you enough time to run a POC if you are prepared with user requirements.