Microsoft Exam MB5-705: Preparation

Sure Step Title

Introduction

Here’s some study and exam advice for anyone considering becoming a Microsoft Sure Steps guru by taking exam MB5-705.

I passed this exam in October 2013 and since it’s so new here’s some guidance on what it contains, how to prepare and a list of useful links for anyone else that is planning their study.  The post contains an overview of the exam, resources available to study, my suggested preparation, the key knowledge areas and some useful links,


The Exam

In September 2013 Microsoft retired exam MB5-858 and replaced it with the new MB5-705: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations.  The exam is intended for anyone who works to implement or support Dynamics projects and is based around the Microsoft Sure Steps methodology.

The exam is 2 hours long with 45 multi-choice questions.  Questions vary between the “find the right answer” to “choose 2 or 3 answers that form part of the solution or complete solutions in themselves”.  The pass mark is 70%.


Resources

There is no Microsoft eBook dedicated to this exam yet (as far as I know) but Microsoft has produced the two-day instructor lead course 80450.  This is split in to ten modules when walks you through a project management concepts overview before concentrating on the specifics of the Sure Steps approach and the recommended approach for managing Dynamics implementations.  The course is further backed up by a detailed case study of Tailspin Toys which walks you through a fictional ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) implementation for a wooden toy manufacturer.

Since there is no Microsoft eBook I dipped into the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Steps 2010 book by Chandra Shankar and Vincent Bellefroid.  This was good background reading.

The other essential was the Sure Step User Guide itself which can be downloaded from the Microsoft site (links below).

Finally, commercial test providers will sell you sample questions for the test (many of which are very similar to the actual exam questions) but beware – the samples I saw contained about 1/3rd incorrect answers so you should not be alarmed if your answer differs from those provided by the example papers you have purchased.


Preparation

My suggested preparation then for taking this exam is: –

a)      Download and install the Sure Steps client application and get familiar with the layout, structure and how you drill down to find information.
b)      Look at the online Sure Steps web application and note the key differences between this and the client application.
c)       Review the Sure Steps user guide.
d)      Work through the eBook or, ideally, the material for course 80450 as the exam is based around this material.
e)      Set up your own test project and have a look at some of the key documents.  The most important ones in my opinion were the high level project charter and high level project plan at the diagnosis phase and the functional design requirements, fit gap spreadsheet, functional design document, technical design document and solution design document.
f)       You should also be familiar with the cut-over document and the go live process.
g)      Take some sample questions if you can find or buy a sample MB5-705 set of questions but double-check the suggested answers.
h)      Finally you can use my high level checklist in the next section which highlights the most important areas of knowledge in my opinion.

SureStepMethodology2


Key Knowledge

Here is a list of the key knowledge points, from my experience of the study for the test and the test itself.

1)      Know the Project Management Institute (PMI) definitions of a project and the different phases for PMI e.g. Initiation, Planning, Execution, Closing and Continuing.
2)      Know the triangle and diamond models of projects and how changing one element affects the others.
3)      Know the activities of the Diagnostic phase, particularly the dependencies between the different possible accelerators and what the deliverables in each accelerator are.  Can the fit gap be performed before the business requirements and solution blueprint accelerator, for example (no, it can’t).
4)      Know the low-level details of the Proposal activity (for example, that a high level project charter and a high level project plan are created a part of proposal creation) and the use of the Statement of Work and the Licensing Agreement information.  You should know what project roles are responsible for each document.
5)      Know the pre-conditions for starting each of the different accelerators – for example, that a qualified sales opportunity exists.
6)      It should be pretty obvious that you should of course know the Sure Step phases in their correct order and the key deliverables from each.  If there is a clear pre-condition/trigger for a phase you should know that too.
7)      Know when the solution is actually installed and customized and critically that non custom elements can be deployed before the development phase during design.  I made the incorrect assumption early on that all actual “hand on” work with the Dynamics product would occur in the Development phase – it doesn’t!
8)      Know the dependencies and the order of flow of the following documents; the functional requirement document (FRD), the Fit Gap analysis, the Functional Design Document (FDD), the Technical Design Document (TDD) and the Solution Design Document (SDD).
9)      Be familiar with the core project roles and their responsibilities.
10)   Be familiar with what happens at project closing and the transition to the operations phase, it’s not always intuitive I think what activity falls into what phase so I needed to revise closely to have this process clear.
11)   Be aware of the cross-phase processes but these didn’t seem to feature highly in this version of Sure Steps.  A more important area is to know the project disciplines and the sort of activities that relate to each one.
12)   Pay careful attention to the definition of an agile project and its practice.
13)   Know the “light” agile project management approach and what documents are produced, critically the solution backlog and the use of sprints.
14)   Know the suggested timing for sprint activity – 16 hours maximum for a task, daily sprints for a really flexible customer.
15)   Know the recommendation of performing a full and then a delta data migration one week apart before go-live.
16)   Be familiar with the online and client Sure Steps tools and the differences between them – particularly the use of SharePoint of shared file repositories for project documents and what data you can change after you have set a project up (can you change the project type for example… no!)
17)   Be familiar with the types of trainers and the documents produced in support of training and when it is delivered in the Sure Steps life-cycle.
18)   Be aware that operations is still very much part of the project – even when the system is delivered and working in its production environment there are still ongoing project activities up until project closure.
19)   Understand the go-live cut over process.
20)   Understand the use of kick off meetings, who is present and what agenda is recommended by Sure Steps.


Useful Links

As promised, a list of useful links related to the exam: –

Kev Notes

Here are the notes I made during my own preparation, I hope they are of use to you.

MB5_705_Notes

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Posted on October 26, 2013, in CRM Training. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Hi,
    Read your post and liked it. Thanks.
    I would like to know is there any sample Question/ Dumps is available with you?
    Also like to confirm the number of Questions you mentioned is 45. Is it 45 or 75.
    Thanks

    • Prabhdeep

      Thanks. I don’t recall if there were any questions/dumps available – I don’t think so as this was a pretty new exam. I had a look at some of the sample questions for the older format exam by way of practice. The exam is 45 questions I believe.

      Kevin

      • Older format – exam Mb5-858?
        Is the Questions are same(even some off)?
        Also, If you like to share your experience about the exam and result would be helpful.
        Thanks in advance.

  2. Yes, that is the one – it is worth looking over the MB5-858 questions as the new exam was similar. Not much more to share other than what I wrote in the blog article, the exam questions were pretty good – only a few of those annoying ambiguous ones where the wording makes it unclear what they are expecting. On the whole it was OK. K

  3. Which exam site can I get mb5-705 exam to purchase

  4. Your notes were excellent and a huge help in my preparation. Thanks!

  5. Hi Kev , very helpful post since there are currently limited review materials available for CRM 2013 certification .God bless your generosity 🙂

  6. Have actually anything else significantly more specialized?
    🙂 Including, feedback or perhaps posts relevant to relieve stress.
    How do I sign up for your posts?

    • Being British I find that a nice cup of tea works wonders for stress. You should be able to sign up for my posts via the “follow” option somewhere on the site – let me know if you don’t find it 🙂

  7. what about passing score for that exam? 80%? 85%?
    Thanks

  8. Great post Kevin! …very valuable information for those interested in taking the mb5-705 exam.

    Actually, I noticed that, a year ago, Shankar and Bellefroid published the “Customer Success with Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step” which, in the Amazon website review, is said to be an updated version of the MD Sure Steps 2010 that you used to prepare the exam.

    So, the question is: if you had not read the MD Sure Step 2010 and you have to choose between one of those two books for preparing the exam…which would be your selection?

    It seems to be proven that the first book (sure steps 2010) is the perfect background for the exam but, on the other hand, the last published (custom…) is probably an improved version.

    Thanks in advance

    • Thanks, I don’t know the new book at all so wouldn’t feel qualified to comment. Generally getting hold of the latest version is the soundest policy as the Sure Step methodolody, like everything else, does evolve. If you do work with the new book maybe you could post your thoughts here for other visitors to the blog?

  9. l could like to know lf there are same past papers for this paper.

    • I don’t think so kirabo, you can find some sample questions on the web but I am not sure that the exam has changed a great deal since it first came out so not much by way of past papers.

  10. Dear Kevin, please help, thanks for the material you have made available through your Blog, I am a PM looking to get up to speed with Sure Step and also pass mb5 705, the issue is I don’t have access to other material as desired to adequately prepare, do you have a copy of the user guide, can you recommend any great book I have study to pass 705, I can’t access partner source nor customer source, I am looking for everything get through using self study

    • I can’t recommend any one book specifically, my feeling was that the main thing was to get the Sure Steps user guide, install the local software and begin working with that and then see if you want to invest in extra study material. Hope that helps.

  11. MB5-705 exam dumps are also available at http://www.passleader.com/mb5-705.html, all errors have been corrected.

    • Thanks Fem. My feeling about the dumps is that they’re best used at the end of a few days of study to validate your knowledge and highlight weak areas. As you hint, you need to be careful with them as often the suggested answers are wrong.

  12. Be careful, cause most of the dumbs available on the internet contains a lots of wrong answers. Don’t buy anything … read the materials.

  13. Thanks for the notes and tips for preparation! it really helped and exam passed today. 🙂

  14. Hi,

    “Sure Step Training Road Map” links don’t work anymore. Have not found any updated version so far …

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