“Did we build the right product?”

“Did we build the product right?”

Two questions that lay at the heart of every enterprise-wide deployment. They can’t always be answered to everyone’s satisfaction, but by establishing an acceptance criteria, we can attempt to meet those needs.

Dell has provided us with a formal assessment based on the requirements gathering we held a few weeks ago. The document details the requirements as identified by each unit, along with a timeline by which a working model might be deployed. More work has to be done to condense the SOW into something more manageable, and I will be updating our steering committee as more information is sent our way.

Finally, I’ve connected with the Manager of CRM at Grand Canyon University (http://www.gcu.edu). Matthew Birmingham has agreed to provide us with a demonstration of how Dynamics is being used on their campus.


Our partner has tallied the results of our requirements gathering session and is in the process of consolidating the data into a package for us to go through. They’ve also produced a rudimentary statement of work (deployment), which our development team will be vetting for accuracy.

The steering committee will be gathered together again soon to build an acceptance criteria based upon the findings.

Requirements gathering recap

About 20 different student-facing units were polled last week for input on the unique case management needs of their areas. In addition to the standard intake and processing of records, departments were asked about the workflows, software, and permissions utilized in their groups, and questioned about their bottlenecks and wishlists.

Our Dell Services representative also met with the CRM steering committee to give them a brief overview of the results we’d collected. The committee will be convening regularly in the coming months to go over the results of our findings, and provide direction on Dynamic’s deployment with respect to the vision of the college. Once these findings have been tabulated, they’ll be released to our stakeholders for further review.


Last week, a meeting with our Infrastructure and Integration directors was held with the intent of determining if the campus would adopt a ‘cloud’ or ‘on-premise’ version of Dynamics. While it sounds like a simple decision to make, the repercussions of choosing one over the other are very permanent, and will have long-lasting effects on both our students and support staff. Next week’s requirements gathering series will give ITS a better indication of needs and best practice for our campus.

Our stakeholder list has grown to include the following units:

Academic Success Center
Student Programs
Counseling Center
Academic Advising
Multicultural Services
High School Initiatives
Enrollment Services
Financial Aid

What is case management?

Barry University describes case management in the higher education spectrum as “…a means of attaining optimum levels of service through the use of advocacy, communication, education, identification of resources and service facilitation.”

We see case management as a means of unifying the various systems that have emerged over the years, whether through need or unawareness. It has the potential to be the one place all students can go to check grades, register for classes, set up appointments, and communicate with faculty and advising staff.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be examining the needs of the school’s most highly-trafficked touch points to understand their obstacles, and to identify potential opportunities for advancement. This requirements gathering phase will be the foundation for a guided implementation of Microsoft Dynamics. Our partnership with a case management specialist will help ease deployment, adoption, training and support.