Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an incredible out of the box, configurable system AND is also used as a development platform. As users adopt and learn some of the incredible features they quickly realize how many other systems it can replace.
It is like an awesome heart that embraces and wraps all things "need a solution" into it's solution platform, BUT if you have never worked with Microsoft Dynamics CRM then you can make a bit of a mess.
The following are some best practices for working with any technology in today's world.
1) Always ask yourself. If I extend or I get a developer to extend my product how does that align with what the Out of the Box Development team is releasing. They are writing code daily as well., but MANY extensions are 100% supported with all rollup updates and upgrades being easy to install, but some are not and we know how creative developers can be. Make sure your developers think xRM.
2) Understand and stay current with the product roadmap. Major releases are now coming faster and faster and faster. Two incredible major releases this year and with CRM Online driving an elimination of the world of the "upgrade" staying alert is key.
3) Love the SDK. Yes, you are a .NET Master and a long time senior developer, BUT the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Developer's Kit offers you so much more and helps to define the rules of engagement.
4) Embrace the well loved and well used Dynamics xRM Tools, but know who wrote them and their strengths.
5) The Dynamics CRM platform is a set of many different options. Too much choice, but so much choice can also be wonderful. Understand your choices - there are times when adding an ISV solution is so much smarter then building your own, and even within Microsoft the choices are many. Take for instance customer service on the Dynamics platform with and without Parature or Microsoft Social Engagement (also referred to in the past as Microsoft Social Listening) and of course there is the entire Office 365 suite that is forever growing in terms of new cool.
6) Work with a partner who has proven experience building long term supportable xRM projects OR if you work with a partner new to Dynamics CRM understand the risks. Learning curves can be frustrating for teams.
7) IT looks easy, and can be easy, but never under estimate the power of the CRM Architect. It is easy to drive a nail in a piece of wood, but rarely do you build a house without an architect OR add an addition onto an existing house without some review of impact.
8) Don't change software products because you picked the wrong vendor. Hundreds of CRM failures across all vendors have occurred going back 40 or 30 years. People, Technology, Process all have places that need continual current review. Many times it is not the software that is the issue.