Why postpone the closure of a project?

Implementing an ERP is not a job that can be done overnight. It is a process that requires time, care and attention. Therefore, the start day is a great day, but … And after?

When a project is finished there are several ways to close it. Many ERP consultancies move directly to the maintenance phase after the implementation is complete. On the other hand, a minority, in which Dynamics 365bc is included, expect it to take a few months before the project is definitively closed.

Why wait to definitively close a project?

The main reason why it is recommended to operate in this way is that, although there has been a previous phase with deliveries and tests, the reality is different when the project starts.

It is thus a question of moving from a rather theoretical plane to a practical plane, with the consequent discovery of new fields or data that have not been integrated and are crucial for the correct development of the system.

It would be a pity if, after so much effort and dedication, the client was not completely satisfied with the implementation of his program for not attending to the subsequent needs that appear.

Parallel tests: Is this a good idea?

It is highly recommended that the project extends its closing date and, moreover, the different tests that are executed after its implementation are not a matter that can be advanced in advance. Thus, even if it were a question of searching in advance for all the possible casuistries that may originate or working with two platforms in parallel for a couple of months, it would not be possible to foresee the needs that would arise once the project was started.  

This is a utopian approach, since, in order to develop two complete side projects, the company would have to hire twice as many staff. This situation is not usual, and, in addition, most businesses could not afford such a cost and, although they could, it is a waste of resources.

In this way, the only possible alternative is to follow up once the project is started, continue programming, and adapt the application. Thus, the project is not

finished, and should not be closed. This situation is not the responsibility of the customer, it just works like this.

When to close the project? 

The ideal time that should elapse between the start of the application and its closure is between 3 and 12 months. This period of time should depend on the specific needs that are experienced once the project has been launched. Thus, it is advisable to take into account the requirements of each type of client, in addition to the multiple incidents that may arise in the reprogramming and correction of problems.

Once the client already has a functional platform and does not experience problems, a meeting should be held with him to prepare a closing minute. In this document, the points that are still pending to be closed must be detailed and, at the time they are delivered, the project must be closed.

In addition, it should be noted that it is possible to enter the maintenance phase before closing the project. This situation can be caused when the client wants to make improvements that have not been detailed and, therefore, are part of this phase.  In this way, both phases overlap: the closing phase and the maintenance phase. At this point it is important to keep in mind that the hours associated with the closing document are not charged, but, instead, the improvements proposed by the client must be budgeted.

Thus, if the project is not closed until months after its implementation, modifications can still be made to the platform that will achieve a much more adequate, successful result that meets the real needs of the client.