By Barhead Careers
November 11th, 2016


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Living in an era where customer experience is key to establishing, grow and retaining business, organisations are continuously looking at ways to meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations. Often this is achieved by reviewing current business processes, identifying issues and areas for improvement, and evaluating tools to help alleviate these issues and introduce more efficient processes. The end outcomes are better and more unified communications, faster turnaround of services, and increased customer satisfaction.

With the rise of cloud-based solutions and subscription-based pricing model, organisations are always searching for readily available technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM Online to enable them to rapidly implement and deploy solutions to cater for their needs around customer engagement, including in the areas of Sales, Marketing and Service. Faced with ever-present customer demands, and often IT unable to keep pace, organisations are shifting from traditionally IT-run projects to now business-sponsored models. Attracted by the premise of faster business case approvals, lower upfront investments (CapEx), quicker go-to-market (therefore ROI), and continuous improvements, more and more IT projects abandon Waterfall in favour for Agile.

In an Agile business-led project, the involvement of IT will be reduced, and vary throughout the project stages, but will never diminish completely. The role of IT is a technology enabler within the organization.

Getting the buy-in from IT early will help greatly the business in all stages of the project. During the inception or discovery phase, when the business is evaluating technology options, IT plays an advisory role on feasible options that align with the overall IT roadmap. IT can share recent successful (and not-so-successful) experiences that the business is worth noting. IT may also help assess non-functional aspects that the business may not be familiar with, such as compliance with information security and data residency policies, system uptime, and availability; all of which will contribute to the successful project outcomes.

The business may engage contractors or external consultants such as Barhead Solutions to capture product backlog and deliver in sprints. They play a role in identifying IT dependencies. The role of IT as a technology enabler is to provide resources required, such as providing licenses, enabling single sign-on, providing email connectivity with the current Microsoft Exchange infrastructure, and decommissioning any legacy systems being replaced by the new solution. In more complex scenarios requiring interactions with other IT-owned systems such as data warehouse for invoice reconciliations, IT will be required to provide the relevant Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to enable the integration. A typical Agile project usually doesn’t have dedicated resources and rely on Business as Usual (BAU), therefore planning is essential to ensure IT resources are given plenty of notice and are available at the right time to avoid conflict of priorities and project delays.

The role of IT is just as crucial in the release stage. In an organisation that follows the ITIL service management framework, IT plays a major part in reviewing and providing approval to the solution release plan in a regular Change Advisory Board (CAB) forum. After all, they will be providing BAU support to the solution after the release. Again, planning is key, and hence the importance of going hand-in-hand with IT throughout the project.

Barhead Solutions have demonstrated experience and a proven successful track record in working with businesses and IT to deliver Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM Online solutions. Contact us to realise your benefit sooner.

Stephanus Natawardaja

Solution Architect