Business Goals and Objectives for Microsoft Dynamics Projects
I frequently have conversations with executive sponsors as they prepare for their Microsoft Dynamics implementation. One of the first things that I ask them is “What are your business goals and objectives for the project?” Many times I get a response that indicates their business goals and objectives are to implement the Dynamics project “on time” and “on budget”.
Unfortunately, testing the success of a project using time and budget are not really good indicators in the determination of success. A project’s true measure of success is based upon the project’s deployed solution fulfilling the business goals and objectives, delivering business value, and meeting the needs of stakeholders.
Business goals are long term qualitative statements surrounding the future state of the organization. Business objectives are more granular and quantifiable statements regarding the future state of the organization. An example of a business objective is “To increase sales revenues by 10% over the next calendar year.” Business objectives are generally tested using the SMART test. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bounded. All the elements of SMART are important but one element that is extremely critical is the “Measureable” element. If your objective cannot be tested and measured at the beginning and end of the project, then you cannot determine what you have achieved as a result of executing the project.
Business goals and objectives are critical initial requirements for the executive sponsor because they are used in determining the success of a Microsoft Dynamics project. A Microsoft Dynamics project may be executed flawlessly and deliver a well crafted solution that is ”on time” and “on budget”, but until you measure your project’s success using true business goals and objectives, you will be left in the dark as to what really happened.