I wouldn’t say consulting is a kind of art. But, every professional has an own approach. My approach tries to utilize the built-in functions of Dynamics NAV first. When the boundaries are reached, I’m able to create qualitative bespoke solutions.
Let’s have a look how Wikipedia defines a consultant:
A consultant (from Latin: consultare “to deliberate”) is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area […]
My particular area is everything around Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Due to a combination of consulting and development, I’m able to deliver a full expertise of the Dynamics NAV functional range. My approach tries to utilize the whole range of existing functionality first. When the business pushes the envelope, I’m able to design and develop individual solutions.
Trying to use what's already there
The standard version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is very powerful. It covers a lot of industry-crossing business processes. So, why not try first, to use what’s already there and paid for? Hence, it is very important for me to get to know the company and it’s daily operations. The beginning contains always a part in which I get to know the company’s processes and specific details. It is important for me to have a general overview. To complete my picture, I always value the talk to the person actually doing the job.
Bringing both worlds together, Dynamics NAV and the company’s processes, is the next step. By applying what has been learned, the changes in the company’s processes are evaluated (of course, if there are any). This discussion contains a crucial part: It is necessary to decide to follow the process of Dynamics NAV or to alter it. It could be the case, that a change in the company’s process is not possible.
I personally recommend always to utilize the built-in functionality of Dynamics NAV as much as possible. This approach benefits from a robust, proven and over the years grown functional range. Additionally, it makes the investment future-ready for version-upgrades.
Pushing the limits
One of the reasons companies choose Dynamics NAV, is because of the built-in functionality and expandability. Microsoft designed the processes of Dynamics NAV to a degree which allows to utilize them in a wide-range of different industries. But it is not possible to cover all situations with one application. Hence Microsoft kept the expandability approach by all means. Resulting in the possibility to integrate a vast majority of business-cases individually.
The design, development and implementation of individual changes to Microsoft Dynamics NAV are one of my core activities since the beginning of my professional career. Design makes up an important part of the whole process. In this step, the requirements are discussed and recorded. A good documentation is the logical result. Based on the documentation, the development can start. I have outlined my approach for development in detail here. The final step, the implementation-phase transmits the change into the production environment. This includes setup, training and support.
Consulting is a major part of my profession. It’s not an art for me. Rather I try to structure it to a degree which makes it applicable for different situations. Additionally, I’m able to build individual alterations and solutions. The characteristics every company has, makes consulting exciting and never boring. I have described my personal motivation more detailed here.