Functional changes on Dynamics NAV implementations

The world changes constantly, and so do the way companies interact with each other.

A changing company may need funtional changes on their existing Dynamics NAV implementation. We will have to plan a new project that will be somehow equal and somehow different to an implementation project. A functional change has its own requierements that need to be taken into account.

What is a functional change?
It could be starting to use a functional area not used before, or change the way certain applicattion works.

Some examples:
Requisition Worksheet. Imagine a distribution company that buys items from their vendors and sells those same items to their customers, with no transformation. Imagine this company does not have any kind of automation on their purchase order creation process. They manually determine when Purchase Orders have to be created, for which items and for what quantities. In the aim of automating this process to reduce the time invested in Purchase Order creation, they want to start using the Requisition Worksheet, which, according to the replenishment parameters established in every item, will calculate the replenishment needs of the company and, upon user acceptance, automatically create the corresponding Purchase Orders.

Fixed Assets. You could also think of a company that has never used the Fixed Asset functional area of Dynamics NAV and has only kept accounting information of their fixed assets by posting manual accounting transactions using the General Journal and who wants now to start using the Fixed Asset functionality to better manage their fixed assets.

Item Tracking. A company may have been working with items for a long time and now they want to have information of Lot and Serial numbers for their inventory.
If you try to enable the Item Tracking functionality on your existing items, you will get an error message over and over saying that the Item Tracking Code cannot be changed because one or more ledger entries exist for the Item. Some actions will have to be done to allow this functional change to be possible.

Extending a customized functionality. We have a recent example of implementing a functional change in an existing Dynamics NAV implementation.
In this customization, volume discounts were calculated per each sales invoice line, according to a set of predefined rules, and they were stored as Volume Discounts Ledger Entries.
The company needed to extend this fucntionality to be able to know which ledger entries were still open, partially open or closed. Something similar to how application of Customer Ledger Entries or Vendor Ledger Entries works in standard Dynamics NAV.

What is the scope of the project?
The size of the functional change project can be small or very big, depending on what are we going to change. We will have to follow these steps to implement our fucntional change:

Dynamics NAV 2013 pasos cambio funcional

1. Define the functional change
2. Find out how the change is going to affect other Dynamics NAV areas
3. Write down a complete list of all the actions that will have to be completed to implement the change
4. Choose the right time to implement it
5. Plan everything so that all actions are completed on time

How do I cope the project?
In the book Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, chapter 9 is called Functional changes on existing implementations. You will find a detailed explanation on how to cope the four functional changes that I have used as an example in this article.

On each case, the book explains how to define the change, what other areas are affected, it helps to determinate the steps needed and you will fins some tips on how to choose the right time to implement the change.

If you need to run projects like the ones in the examples, I recomend you to read the book.
You can get a copy here:

Laura Nicolàs
Author of the book Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013


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