“I need Microsoft Dynamics 365™ software. How much will it cost, and how long will it take to implement?”
When you are planning and budgeting for a Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Microsoft Dynamics CRM) software implementation, customization, upgrade, or even a report, these might be the first questions you are tempted to ask. But, getting a legitimate time and cost estimate depends on many factors. Here’s how you should go about getting the answers to your questions.
Answer Leading Questions
Before we can tell you the cost and timing of your project, we work to make sure we are on the same page about what you expect. You can speed up the process by providing as much information as possible. We’ll ask a lot of leading questions, such as:
- What are your current customer relationship management (CRM) tools? How have you been managing your information so far?
- In what ways is your current system lacking?
- What types of relationships do you need to manage with a CRM solution?
- What are your business processes? What processes do you hope Dynamics 365 software will improve, automate, or eliminate?
Consider Additional Suggestions
After we ask our leading questions, we’ll present you with some options, such as different approaches to CRM or ways to leverage particular features of Dynamics 365 software to avoid adding extensive and costly customizations.
Once we understand your business requirements, we will be in a position to answer your questions about cost and timing. We’ll be able to give you an indicative estimate – a rough cost projection that can be used for budget planning purposes. An indicative estimate is not a binding quote but an estimate of effort, costs, and implementation time. For an in-depth project, the estimate might fall within a wide range; for a smaller project with well-defined requirements, the range will likely be smaller.
If the estimate falls within your budget and the solution meets your requirements, we can move forward and schedule your project with a working timeline.
Collaborate on the Functional Requirements Document
After you give the go-ahead, we’ll work up a functional requirements document (FRD). This document is a collaboration between your team and ours after we have worked together to translate your business requirements into capabilities within the system. Often, the design will include screen mock-ups, a table of all the fields required on an entry form, report and dashboard designs, workflows, and any custom functionality needed to meet your business requirements. As we collaborate, you can learn how the system works, what its capabilities are, and most importantly, how it can benefit your business.
By the end of this process, you should know exactly what to expect, and we will know what we are required to provide.
Get a Fixed Estimate
Next, we will be able to provide a fixed estimate for your Microsoft Dynamics 365 project because the estimate will be based on the agreed-upon functional requirements document. Any subsequent changes not outlined in the FRD will require an updated FRD and may add costs.
That’s why it’s important to give us as much information upfront as possible. You want the FRD to cover all the bases.
Throughout the process, we strive to eliminate surprises. We offer a quality product and work with our customers to help them get what they need. Our customers know what they are going to receive, how much it will cost, and when the project will be completed.
The only way we can do this is by not answering the cost question upfront and instead discussing your requirements and expectations. By asking questions, discussing options, and agreeing on the best course of action, we can all move forward with confidence.
“How much will it cost, and how long will it take to implement?” Those are the right questions to ask. Just don’t expect a quick answer. By taking some time to plan with us, you’ll have a solid answer in the end.
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