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Working with DevOps teams: modern ERP requires modern delivery

07 Jun, 2021

We see that cloud-based ERP applications, such as Dynamics 365, are constantly changing. That means that the IT landscape is never ‘finished’. Back in the day, companies would carry out an ERP update or ERP implementation once every 7 to 10 years. Nowadays, cloud applications are updated monthly. This requires a new approach to project management, managed services and upgrades. In this blog, we focus on DevOps: a way of working with teams consisting of experts, where projects and management go hand in hand.

Agile working in practice

In modernising the IT platform, including ERP applications, many companies struggle with the fact that the design and the requirements are subject to change during the project. And the technology will continue to innovate. So then, how do you manage time and budget and when is an application ready to go live?

To meet these needs, we often choose for an agile way of working. Not only for implementing new applications, but also in the way we handle the management and upgrading of solutions. In doing so, we think in cycles: testing, rejecting, improving, testing and so on.

Agile working and DevOps are part of the cloud software

Evolution and agility are part of the cloud software. But when applications are updated monthly, it requires a different way of working. For instance, automated testing plays a role, so it becomes easier to quickly try out new ideas or process variants. Cloud technology requires active change management and end users who are committed to testing and fine-tuning processes during the project and after the release.

DevOps in practice at HSO

Daniël Voets is Dynamics 365 consultant at HSO. He is part of the so-called Customer Industry Teams, that work in DevOps teams in an innovative and agile way. Daniël is enthusiastic about this way of working:

“Previously, many different people were working on issues and changes from all directions, throughout the entire organisation. As a result, knowledge was fragmented and it often took longer than necessary to solve a problem. Now, the Customer Industry Teams is fully responsible for the issues, changes and optimisations of several regular clients. The team consists of developers, technical consultants and functional consultants with knowledge of all the different Microsoft Dynamics modules, so we have all the expertise combined in one team.

Working lean or agile means that our method is designed to constantly add value quickly for our clients. To achieve this, we work with a Monday morning meeting.

Every Monday, we take the time to plan the rest of the week. A fixed time is reserved to address daily recurring activities such as incidents and issues. The remaining time is dedicated to optimisations and changes. At the start of the week, we plan and prioritise them. In addition to the Monday morning meeting, we have a daily stand-up meeting to discuss what everybody will do that day, what tasks we address, where help is required to reach your weekly goals and so forth.

Clients experience a positive difference. With our DevOps team, we are able to drastically reduce our throughput time for solving problems and realising changes. By opting for DevOps teams, we make sure we safeguard the knowledge in our team during the project, since the consultant involved in the project is also part of the team. This means that after we go live, we can provide support much quicker and realise optimisations where necessary.”

How can DevOps support modern delivery in your organisation?

The modern application landscape is never finished. A new (cloud) architecture comes with new paradigms and new ways of working. Both the delivery and the management go into a state of continuous improvement, including close collaboration, preferably within one team. That is what we call DevOps.

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