Category Archives: Grab Bag

AXUG Session | Agile Methodology

I was thrilled to see this session on the AXUG Summit docket. An somewhat agile ERP implementation is generally what will end up happening, because it’s incredibly hard for users to Design an entire system before they are deep into system functionality. Planning a project broken down in smaller chunks helps keep projects flowing and provides a solution better suited to native functionality. 

Jennifer (the presenter) had an interesting way of describing Agile (frequent go-lives) and Hybrid (multiple sprints). A hybrid concept breaks down subsets of functionality and development into multiple short phases, then brings all functionality live at the same time.


One of the drawbacks mentioned was an agile approach requires strong project management skills to deliver. There are a lot of workstreams (Business process, Development, Data migration, etc) the project manager has to align from a timing perspective. Also, end users may not be used to an agile approach, so more methodology explanation is required on the front end of the project.


Excellent session – I agree a Hybrid implementation approach is the best default implementation option. This style of implementation moves the project forward quickly, while giving users a chance to revise and hone their system processes.


Presenter: Jennifer Johnson | @JenJohnson365

Dynamics AX Manuals is Now JoelLeichty.com

I felt annoyed for the past year that AX is no longer called AX, and I no longer make manuals for the iPad; “Dynamics AX Manuals” needed a refresh. Unlike product names, which seem to change every six months, I will very likely never change my name. With consistency and future-proofing as my guide, I decided to get creative and go with joelleichty.com. Also find me on Twitter @joelleichty.

If you ever want to vent about marketing craziness, use the hashtag #MicrosoftBusinessSolutionsDynamicsAXapta365ForFinanceAndOperationsEnterpriseEdition.

More Great Content

Periodically I like to highlight other bloggers who are active in the D365O/AX community. 

Kelly Kane is a newly minted MVP who blogs over at AX Soup about a “hodgepodge” of AX relatated topics. No word on how a hodgepodge compares to a plethora or slew. Kelly also promotes Women In Dynamics 👍🏻👍🏻. 

Rachel Profitt and I go way back, having worked together on an AX 2.5 implementation in 2002! She blogs now at Dynamics 365 Lady. And apparently getting her autograph at a conference is a rite of passage.

So there you have it. Lots of free great content brought to you by a fun bunch of nerds. If you find any of our posts helpful, please comment and like the content – we all love getting feedback on what helps you. 

AXUG Summit 2015

Once again I will be avoiding real work and attending the AXUG Summit in Reno, NV. At the Summit I’m slated to lead or participate in three presentations:

  • Project Module for Beginners | Wednesday, October 14th | 1:00 PM
  • Project Module for Professional Services | Thursday, October 15th | 11:00 AM
  • Challenge the AX Experts Panel | Friday, October 16th | 1:00 PM

Look me up if you’re there! @AXManuals

Taking a Professional Selfie

I am hoping to have a lot more AX content the 2nd half of this year. But until then…

I needed a professional looking profile picture for a while, but I have not had time to hire a photographer. So today I decided to try it myself.

The Setup
Below are tips for setting up a plain background.
http://digital-photography-school.com/4-tips-perfect-white-background-high-key-photography/

I was able to do something similar by hanging two white pillow cases in my office window on a sunny day. The background ends up blurred so the setup doesn’t need to be perfect.

IMG_0036

Homemade studio.

Taking the Photo
Use a camera with manual settings to control the shutter and aperture against the bright conditions. Keep the aperture fairly open so the background is blurred and you get a small depth of field. If your camera has a zoom lens, zoom between 50mm and 85mm. Take a number of test shots and look at the pictures on a bigger screen before taking the final photo. It is possible to do this on a phone camera.

Testing 1-2-3

Testing 1-2-3

iPhone 6 selfie camera.

iPhone 6 selfie camera.

Proper position of your chin and forehead helps accentuate your jawline and remove wrinkles from your chin and neck. This video by photographer Peter Hurley is a little long but taught me everything I know about sticking out my face. Basically you extend your chin and forehead slightly towards the camera.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe3oJnFtA_k

What not to do.

What not to do.

Preparing Yourself
Shave, haircut, and a nice shirt. Try playing the Happy Song to get you in the picture taking mood (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaWkh-lQ-kQ) or in my case I had my wife make me laugh.

My best smile listening to the Happy Song.

My best smile listening to the Happy Song. And I needed a little more camera adjustments.

Final Edits
Photoshop is too much for me, I tend to look for single-purpose apps when I need to edit photos. In this case I found one on iOS called FaceTune that worked great.
http://www.facetuneapp.com/

The final unedited picture.

The final unedited picture.

For the final picture, I removed blemishes, whitened teeth and eyes, and softened harsh wrinkles.

The Final Product
Not bad. If I set it all up again, I’d try to have a better light source on my face to balance out the picture. But the approach is fairly simple and can produce a good result.

A version of me.

A version of me.

Most Valuable Nerds

This week I had the opportunity to attend the MVP Summit in Seattle, Washington. While there I met four very smart and talented consultants from the AX community.

AX MVPs

Dynamics AX Musings
Joris de Gruyter (middle) writes about technical AX topics. The blog posts are focused on high level development topics, but Joris goes very in depth on each topic.

http://daxmusings.codecrib.com | @jorisdg

inDynaBuzz
Brandon George (left) also writes about technical and BI topics. The blog posts are frequent, with a focus on reviewing and explaining the tools around Dynamics AX.

http://dynamics-ax.blogspot.com | t @dynamicserp

El Rincón Dynamics
Antonio Gilabert (right) writes in Spanish, and has created a Dynamics social network for Spain and Latin America.

http://www.elrincondynamics.es | t @_Gilabert_

AX Start
Dick Wenning (second from left) writes on performance and technical topics. He also writes about bothersome recruiters.

http://www.axstart.com

Dynamics AX Manuals
Joel Leichty (second from right) writes this blog.

http://dynamicsaxmanuals.com | @AXManuals

The Perfect Email Signature

Recently email signatures have caught my eye; most signatures are too long, ugly, and extraneously verbose.

To create the perfect signature:

  1. Create the signature text on one line with multiple sections. Use a bold, lowercase, one-letter descriptor for each section and a vertical bar separator between sections. For example, “Joel Leichty | t @AXManuals | …”.
  2. Use a smaller font size than your normal email text – nine or ten is good.
  3. After creating the text, modify the signature using an HTML editor. I found this blog post with a great explaination of how to edit the HTML signature when using Outlook.
  4. In the HTML editor, add the “<hr>” tag before the signature line, which will insert a scalable horizontal line.
  5. Also in the HTML editor, insert the non-breaking space character between the one-letter descriptor and the text. Instead of a space, use the character code “&nbsp;”. For example, “<b>n</b>&nbsp;Joel&nbsp;Leichty&nbsp;| “. Adding this special character keeps the signature organized when displayed on different screen sizes.

Do you have an even more perfect email signature? Let me know in the comments.


Joel Leichty | dynamicsmanuals@gmail.com | @AXManuals | p 574.555.1212

P.S. That’s not my real phone number.