Typically, an upgrade project is linear, moving from the current version of the software to the latest and greatest upgrade. We discovered unexpected paths and options from customers and prospects forging their own path.

While researching a long forgotten arcane technical detail for an ongoing Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) project I came across the following upgrade graphic:

Holy sheet rock, Robin!

I sure wish I had seen this earlier. The client would have appreciated it as well. We could have replaced our 500+ line project plan and daily project update calls, had we only known about this plan!

Considering that the project I was working on at this time was a fairly straightforward financials upgrade with limited customizations and integrations, my mind flashed to the challenges faced by other implementations, those with enterprise-grade complexity including many or all of the following issues:

  • A broad functional footprint, distribution and manufacturing being good examples.
  • Heavily customized code impacting critical business processes.
  • Multiple sites, languages, currencies, etc.
  • Intricate and often fragile integrations with legacy systems and antiquated hardware.
  • Large user numbers.

The typical AX implementation with these characteristics falls into the middle of the following company size spectrum:

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