Consulting Skills for Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM Projects

Course code
Application consultant, technology consultant, development consultant, test lead
Sure Step
Analysis (also Design , Development ) (about this)
Available as
Classroom course POA Enquire

Classroom course dates · 3 days prices exclude VAT

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Is this the right course for you?

Peter says:

If you are a consultant, business analyst, project manager and want to understand how to apply Dynamics 365 / CRM technology principles to business problems this is a very appropriate course. It will show you the typical methods used when identifying requirements and the key aspects of Dynamics 365 / CRM technology you should be considering when modelling the new processes

When is this course most useful?

This course is most useful during these Sure Step phases:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development

Video introduction to this course

Course overview

Print this overview
This 3-day training course has been designed to train technology and business consultants in the art of Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM consulting. This course aligns with the Microsoft Dynamics SureStep methodology but does not exclusively depend on this framework. We use the term consultant in so far as this course is applicable to application, technology and development consultants.

At Course Completion

After completing this course, students will be able to

  • Identify the objectives and benefits of a Dynamics 365 / CRM solution
  • Understand the phases of a Dynamics 365 / CRM project
  • Understand the areas of functionality offered by Dynamics 365 / CRM
  • Match functionality to standard, extended and ISV solution options


Course Outline

Module 1: Dynamics 365 / CRM technology and overview

Dynamics 365 / CRM has a long history and there are many business, technological and social trends that have and continue to impact on the development of CRM solutions. This module seeks to provide students with a summarised timeline so that they understand in context why Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM came to market and what forces impact on its development over time.


  • The customer-centric revolution
  • Dynamices 365 / CRM overview of the technology and history in Microsoft
  • The vision of customer centricity
  • The impact of mobile
  • The impact of social media

 The objectives are:

  • To understand the business trends that make Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM a compelling solution
  • To understand the technology trends that have led to Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM
  • To understand the current technology trends that relate to Dynamics 365 / CRM

Module 2: Dynamics 365 / CRM projects

Typical Dynamics 365 / CRM projects have a very specific approach and style that students may not have encountered on other types of business technology projects. This module seeks to help students firstly understand what businesss are typically seeking to gain from an investment in Dynamics 365 / CRM. Secondly. it also seeks to help students identify the common challenges that project teams encounter with a CRM initiative. Finally, it considers the areas of functionality that are often implemented in Dynamics 365 / CRM and looks at how best to approach the issue of user adoption and


  • Objectives and benefits associated with a Dynamics 365 / CRM project
  • The challenges associated with a Dynamics 365 / CRM project
  • Functional areas associated with Dynamics 365 / CRM projects
  • Cultural changes associated with Dynamics 365 / CRM projects


The objectives are:

  • To identify common customer objectives and business benefits of Dynamics 365 / CRM
  • To understand the challenges Dynamics 365 / CRM projects face and identify strategies for dealing with these
  • To understand and identify the core functional areas of a Dynamics 365 / CRM project
  • To understand the cultural impact of a Dynamics 365 / CRM project and the tools and techniques to mitigate these


Module 3: Project phases and activities 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 / CRM projects should follow a strong and enforced project management methodology - we recommend Microsoft Sure Step for partners and clients whether they are using a Waterfall approach or an Agile approach. This module takes students through the Sure Step model as an example of where the project phases fit, who is typically involved


  • The SureStep model
  • Waterfall v Agile understood
  • Decision Accelerators in SureStep and Dynamics 365 / CRM
  • Activites and roles in the Diagnostics phase
  • Activities and roles in the Analysis phase
  • Activities and roles in the Design phase
  • Activities and roles in the Development phase
  • Activities and roles in the Operation phase


The objectives are:

  • Understand where the SureStep model can be applied
  • Understand the key differences between Agile and Waterfall models
  • Understand the roles required in a Dynamics 365 / CRM project and where they are typically deployed
  • Understand the typical deliverables resulting from a Dynamics 365 / CRM project


Module 4: Process Review and Mapping

Dynamics 365 / CRM projects can be improved dramatically by identifying detailing and mapping the key business processes that will be improved by the application of CRM technology. In this module we identify the typical business processes that Dynamics 365 / CRM technology improves and identify techniques and tools the CRM Consultant should use in order to clearly analyse where Dynamics 365 / CRM will impact the business.


  • Defining what we mean by a process
  • Process inputs and outputs
  • Process ownership and contributors
  • The relationship of the client to the process
  • Cataloguing business processes
  • Using swim lane techniques
  • Using Visio diagrams
  • Identifying opportunities to re-design



The objectives are:

  • To understand the importance of process analysis
  • To approach the task of process analysis with a rigorous and repeatable method
  • To capture the elements central to design of processes within Dynamics 365 / CRM
  • To understand and apply industry standard tools and techniques within process analysis


Module 5: Detailed Requirments Gathering

Following the identification of the Business Processes a typical Dynamics 365 / CRM project will go on to identify detailed requirements from the client. The advantage of having mapped out the business processes is that the consultant can now take those processes and drill down in detail to the requirements. This module takes the student through best practice in helping the client identify and prioritise those requirements for the planned solution. At this stage the consultant should be considering what functionality is now possible to match out of the box using Dynamics 365 / CRM and so this module also tackles the concept of Fit / Gap and uses the SureStep model as a tool to track and report on the level of Fit and Gap.



  • What is a business requirement
  • Who can identify a business requirement
  • How do we record and document the requirement
  • How Dynamics 365 / CRM functionality should
  • How do we identify Fit / Gap
  • How do we get consensus and agreement
  • Transitioning to the design phase



The objectives are

  • To understand the importance of getting requirement analysis right
  • To understand and apply best practice for requirement analysis
  • To understand how Dynanics 365 / CRM functionality should be compared against requirements capture
  • To be able to use best practice in documenting and signing off requirements capture
  • To understand what the design team will look for from requirements capture


Module 6: Designing a Dynamics 365 / CRM Solution

The activities undertaken in the design phase for a Dynamics / 365 CRM project may not use all of the team members. However, all members of the team should understand what happens in design and how their deliverables affect the success of the design phase and how the design phase will lead into subsequent phases and activities. Typically, design analysts, solution architects and lead developers will take primary responsibility for this phase but we suggest that Business Analysts, Project Managers, Test Analysts and Training Consultants all benefit from a clearer understanding of what happens during the design phase. This module also looks at specific decisions regarding Dynamics 365 / CRM design that will be taken in this phase


  • The key inputs to the design phase
  • The key activities within the design phase
  • The customer model design
  • Security design in a Dynamics 365 / CRM project
  • Extended entity design modelling
  • Process automation design includes CRM 2013 process models
  • Form and interface design
  • Integration design
  • Data migration design
  • Activities to confirm design is appropriate and usable
  • Design phase deliverables
  • Transitioning to development



The objectives are:

  • To understand the key roles and responsibilities within the design phase of a Dynamics 365 / CRM project
  • To approach translation of requirements into a Dynamics 365 / CRM design in an effective method
  • Understand how the customer entity can be designed in Dynamics 365 / CRM
  • Understand how entity extension design should be approached
  • Understand how process automation should be approached
  • Understand how to confirm design approaches are effective
  • Understand how to transition the design phase into development


Module 7: Developing a Dynamics 365 / CRM Solution

Development is generally considered to be a closed box process with little or no involvement from the client or other members of the project team other than to clarify questions from the development team. This module opens up the development experience to all of the project team so that the process, the activities and the deliverables are better understood by all. It also reflects current best practice in terms of development models and identifies the key issues faced by developers when building plug ins, integrations and custom workflow processes.


  • Development from the developers perspective
  • Development from the perspective of other team members
  • Top issues faced by Dynamics 365 / CRM developers
  • Tools and techniques used by developers
  • The benefits of early prototyping
  • Unit testing responsibilities
  • Managing development releases
  • Transitioning to system testing


Module 8: Testing a Dynamics 365 / CRM solution

The Microsoft SureStep model places testing within the development phase and that seems sensible as development is not truly complete until testing has identified the most significant bugs and issues. So, this module takes testing and fix development as a single phase on its own and considers the key activities, personnel and how best to manage the testing of a newly developed Dynamics 365 / CRM. CRM testing phase often brings back together the full project team and exposes many more potential Dynamics 365 / CRM users to the solution. Therefore, it is very important for all to understand the activites in this phase and avoid the traps that many CRM projects fall into in this phase.


  • Preparation ahead of testing
  • Entry and exit criteria for testing phases
  • Who should test
  • The objectives from system testing
  • Managing bug reporting
  • Managing fix progress
  • Managing fix releases back into test



The objectives are:

  • Understand the activities taking place in a testing phase
  • How best to manage these activities to a succesful conclusion
  • How best to manage communications in a testing phase
  • How best to manage release of fixes into the test environment


Module 9: Deploying a Dynamics 365 / CRM solution to live and Project closure

Deployment responsibilities in an enterprise environment is often handed to the team that handles production environments. However, many medium size businesses will not make this distinction and so will rely on the Dynamics 365 / CRM project team to prepare the infrastructure, deploy the solution, migrate the data and ensure users are ready for go live day. There are many competing activities within this phase and preparation is vital for all team members. This module walks through the typical activities required for a medium scale deployment of an extended CRM solution to help consultants understand the relationship between these activities and the priority and order in which they should take place.


  • Planning the deployment activities
  • Getting the architecture right
  • Loading users, teams, business units and security roles
  • Deployment of Dynamics 365 / CRM solutions
  • Plug-in registration
  • Workflow activation
  • Data migration planning and execution
  • Final checks
  • Deploying to users
  • Outlook and mobile plug ins
  • User training
  • Reporting on deployment progress
  • Transition to support 



  • The objectives are
  • To understand the key activities taken in the deployment of a Dynamics 365 / CRM solution
  • To understand the preparation required in the technology infrastructure
  • To understand and carry out specific activities required in activating a Dynamics 365 / CRM solution
  • To be able to plan and carry out deployment activities to ensure initial user adoption
  • To understand how to transition a deployment to the support team


Module 10: Maintaining a Dynamics 365 / CRM solution in production - Operation

When a project team has moved to the next client or project, the client is facing perhaps the most difficult phase of all - running Dynamics 365 / CRM in operation / production and achieving return on their investment. This module looks at Dynamics 365 / CRM operation from the perspective of the client rather than the project team. Understanding the challenges faced by the client will assist project teams make better decisions on transition to support and understand the clients likely needs beyond go live.


  • Ensuring an adequate support model is in place
  • Ensuring a disaster recovery model is in place and understood
  • Preparing the client for future upgrades and rollouts
  • Training local administrative staff in key Dynamics 365 /CRM management processes
  • Providing health checks for CRM solution



The objectives are:

  • Understanding the challenges likely to be faced by customer post go live
  • Understanding how to model support for the client in go live
  • Planning with the customer how to cope with failure or loss of system
  • Ensuring the client understands their responsibilities running Dynamics 365 / CRM in production