Workshops: the basis for a good Dynamics 365 Finance design

In Dynamics 365 Finance, a lot is possible. The system offers you all the tools to carry out your financial administration in a fast and efficient way. But Dynamics 365 is not a building kit that you can easily set up. That is why Focus Enterprise Solutions always works closely with you, our customer, during the implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance to ensure that the system meets your wishes. Paul de Bruijn, Consultant and Product Manager Extended Banking, explains how we use the workshop model.

Workshops zijn een proces

“When I work at a client’s location,” Paul says, “it’s often because of workshops. During the workshops, the customer gets a better picture and feeling about Dynamics 365 Finance. During the first workshops I am mainly sending: I show what is possible in our own test system. This often does not yet fit in with the practice and processes of the customer, but gives them an idea of the possibilities.

In addition, during those first sessions I collect as much information as possible about the working method and the processes at the customer. For example, during the workshops we work through a number of scenarios on the basis of documents prepared by myself. This gives the customer a better sense of what is possible with Dynamics 365 Finance and what certain financial processes can look like. This helps to determine the design that fully meets the wishes of the customer. 

During the workshops, we pay attention to the design of, for example, financial dimensions, supplier payments or VAT. We divide the workshops over a number of weeks and each time we deal with one or a few topics in a day. As a result, it remains manageable and Dynamics 365 Finance is becoming more and more alive. “

“The customer gets a better sense of what is possible with Dynamics 365 Finance and what certain financial processes can look like.”

Final design

“Together we work towards an interior that we both feel comfortable with. Where at the beginning of the process I take the lead quite a lot and share information about Dynamics 365 with the key user who participates in the workshop, you see that the knowledge level at the customer gradually increases. As a result, the customer is increasingly able to ‘wear’ the design and the process himself  and to explain it to the end users. Of course, I am also still giving advice at the end of the project, but by that time I often have to pay attention to other matters.

For example, other teams (e.g. Logistics, Interfacing, Sales, Retail) come in issues that have a relationship with Finance and that need to be solved. In that phase of the project you are therefore less engaged in workshops, but you are mainly busy working towards the moment that the project (the customer) can go ‘live’, in a responsible manner.  “It’s nice to  work towards this together with the team and the key users”, Paul continues.

“Je ziet dat het kennisniveau bij de klant gaandeweg steeds hoger komt te liggen. Daardoor is de klant steeds meer in staat om de inrichting en het proces  zelf te ‘dragen’ en die uit te leggen aan de eindgebruikers.”

Testing and (almost) error-free delivery

He continues: “In general, our customers like to get to know Dynamics 365 Finance better and better under the guidance of a consultant. In between the workshop sessions, the customer starts working and testing in their own Dynamics 365 Finance environment. Not only do they uncover any bottlenecks, but they also sometimes find out that processes in Finance can be faster and more efficient by, for example, moving a field to another tab. That kind of feedback is incredibly valuable to us. By making a small adjustment, we can then ensure that the solution really fits seamlessly with the processes of our customers.

And because we test a lot during this period, major mistakes in the interior also come to light at an early stage. This ensures that we can solve them before we go ‘live’. Sometimes small error messages pop up as soon as the system is really put into use, but then we quickly fix them and time has been calculated for that. What we always want and need to prevent is that our customers experience real problems after they have made the switch to Dynamics 365 Finance and that almost always succeeds with our workshop model.”

“The workshops really give colour and variety to my work!”

Not only instructive for customers

“Although the workshops are of course primarily intended for our client, I often learn something from them myself. I am an ICT professional and still regularly learn things about financial processes of our customers. In addition, as consultants on such a project, we are also a bit of change managers: the users at the customer are not always necessarily waiting for a new system, because for them the ‘old system’ often still works fine. It is always a challenge to discover how you can not only get them ‘on board’, but also make them ambassadors. And because every customer, but also every employee is different, that is incredibly instructive for me. The workshops really give colour and variety to my work!” concludes Paul.  

More information?

Are you unsure about the switch to a new ERP system but would you like to know more about Dynamics 365 Finance (ERP), its implementation or about our workshops as a result of this blog? Please feel free to contact us. We are happy to spar with you! 

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