Breaking Down the Microsoft Success by Design Framework

By Eric Newell | March 30, 2023

Microsoft has introduced Success by Design, a framework designed to support and accelerate Dynamics 365 implementations as part of its FastTrack program. The goal of this framework is to create higher usage of Dynamics 365 with higher ROI and a faster deployment time.

The Microsoft Success by Design Framework Helps You Optimize Solutions

At its heart, the framework includes a series of workshops that can be conducted by Microsoft FastTrack architects, Microsoft FastTrack-recognized Solution Architects (including our own Sowmya Kamineni), or your implementation partner following Microsoft’s recommended approach.

There are 4 groups of workshops that occur during the 4 phases of the Success by Design implementation approach:

  • Initiate phase
    • Solution Blueprint Review
  • Implement phase
    • Data modeling
    • Solution performance
    • Integration design
    • Dual-write implementaiton
    • Data migration strategy
    • Security strategy
    • Gap Solution Design
    • BI and Analytics
    • ALM Strategy
    • Test Strategy
  • Prepare
    • Go-live readiness review
  • Operate
    • Post Go-live readiness review


Take Advantage of Microsoft's Success by Design framework's Holistic Approach Through Great Learning Opportunities

Below, I provide a quick review of what each of these workshops is:

  • Solution Blueprint review – Before you spend time and energy developing solutions and customizations and integrations, you want to make sure you are building on a strong foundation. I think of the Solution Blueprint review as a review of the fundamental approach and foundation being laid for the project and its solution approach. I see no reason not to conduct this review, at least internally in the project team, before you move forward with the implementation phase.
  • Data modeling – This flows from the solution blueprint review where you review your data storage plan, your data mastering plan and develop your logical and physical data models for the project.
  • Solution performance – This is important if you are building a high transaction volume system where you think ahead on how you will design for performance and test performance before you get too far in the implementation.
  • Integration design – This should follow the previous workshops and focus on the media you should use for your integrations – be sure to consider each use case separately to make sure you have them all covered and then try to consolidate on the fewest integration media.
  • Dual-write implementation – Relevenat if you are using Microsoft’s dual-write solution for connecting Dynamics 365 F&O to the Dataverse. If you are, you should conduct a specific workshop designing your plan for what information to exchange and the frequency of those integrations.
  • Data migration – This also follows the previous workshops with a focus on your game plan for data migration. You should outline the number of iterations you plan to take and your goals for each iteration and how they correspond to your key project phases.
  • Security strategy – This workshop focuses on who is going to use the application and how you can manage security to allow the least amount of privileges to get the work done for each role. You will come out of this with your security strategy and your preferred security model.
  • Gap Solution Design – Microsoft recommends you have specific sessions dedicated to determining the best solution for your most complex gaps. This session may be repeated depending on the number of key gaps that need to be designed.
  • BI & Analytics – In this workshop, you will plan out your design for Business Intelligence (BI) and define what reports should be delivered in which fashion including:
    • self-service reporting
    • operational reporting
    • data security
    • strategic reporting
    • regulatory and finance reporting
    • printing strategy.
  • ALM Strategy – This should be done early in your project to determine your ALM tool (Azure DevOps is the obvious choice for a Microsoft project) and your task and process hierarchy so you can design your Epics & Feature categories in DevOps and trace your requirements back to the processes.
  • Test strategy – this is where you outline how you want to conduct testing throughout the implementation. This is an important step that is oftentimes skipped and you get to User Acceptance Testing only to have lots of arguments about how you test.
  • Go-live readiness (also called Cutover Strategy) – in this session, you would develop your overall cutover project plan and your post-go-live plan.
  • Post-Go-live strategy – use this to serve as an After Action Review to review the lessons learned from the project. You’d also cover your next implementation phases and how you plan to support the solution.

I hope this gives you a sense of the workshops included in the Success by Design framework and how important they are to the success of an implementation. You don’t have to do all of these as workshops and some might not be applicable to you (for a Business Central out-of-the-box implementation for example). However you do it, though, you should make sure you’ve come to an agreement about your approach to each of these areas of the project.


If you would like to dive deep into Success by Design, Microsoft has a 13-modules training documentation path available at Microsoft Learn.

Completing each section gets you a Microsoft learning badge and you receive a trophy for completing all the sections.

Interested to Know More?

Stoneridge is here to help! If you have any questions about this or any other topics related to Microsoft solutions, please get in touch with us.

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