Building the Perfect Portal Team

Recently I participated in a group discussion with Colin Vermander about what it takes to have a successful implementation of Dynamics 365 Portals. Among many other factors that I’m sure we’ll discuss in the future, one that struck me is how to build the perfect Portals Implementation team

I thought it would be fun to take a look at the skillsets that are needed to build that team, and the roles associated with those skillsets. Now let’s make the distinction clear before we get started that many of these roles overlap, and the people who fill these roles simply need to have the skillsets required. Very often, one person might fill multiple roles on a smaller project. For example, the Business Analyst and Functional Consultant might be the same person. Conversely, on large implementations with tight deadlines, you might have a very large team with multiple workstreams. Each workstream might have a team of BAs, its own dedicated functional, solution architect, and development team. The golden rule at the end of the day is to ensure that the project is not understaffed, and that each of the below skillsets is taken into consideration when building your team.

Also note, that this article tries to be methodology-agnostic as much as possible. Some roles might only apply to certain methodologies – for example if you are using scrum you’ll need a scrum master, etc. Alright, without further adieu, let’s get down to it.

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Adding Portal Content Faster and Easier with the New Portal Management Centre

There’s been lots of talk about the new portal management capabilities in the latest release of Dynamics 365 and portals. Managing content and adding web pages in portals has up until now been most easily done using the front-side editor when it comes to standard content; meanwhile adding views or forms for other non-portal entities has always been a manual process involving creating entity forms and entity lists on the CRM backend. Indeed, the pain and confusion involved with the process of doing so has been a big blocker in terms of adoption of the Portals as a turn-key solution.

This has changed somewhat with the latest releases, with a new Portal Management Center right in Dynamics 365 Web Application which makes adding content a bit quicker and easier, especially if your goal is surfacing Dynamics entities that don’t belong to the portals site map concept.

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