Implementing CRM -'Implementation'
"Implementation" is the second in the Implementing CRM advice series from
our Principal Consultant and Managing Director
This is the stage of many CRM projects that frequently has the most consideration given to it
and as a result it is often the easiest to get right.
Nevertheless, here are a few of my suggestions for things to consider when
undertaking the actual implementation stage of your project.
CRM Pilot Pitfalls
As a general rule I believe you should avoid stages of projects
I describe as ‘pilots’, in particular it is important to avoid pilots that
involve one person in each part of the business. There are lots of
reasons why this is a poor way to start.
It is in my opinion by far
preferable to have a ‘First or Evaluation Phase’ during which one team or a
small but complete part
of the business will use the system.
If a milestone point for deciding whether to proceed further is required in
a project – set a timeframe, clear evaluation criteria and phase objectives.
A First (or Evaluation) Phase: Requires sufficient analysis and design
to be completed such that it is possible to build a unit of complete system. It is
a foundation stone. It should incorporate the work of an entire team who
can work together and demonstrate the benefits. Once proven, this can be extended in
stages throughout a business, unit by unit, building success on success.
A Pilot/Prototype: should be used for only a limited time, it's usually a quick evaluation
with specific evaluation criteria. Since pilots are often
undertaken on a minimum budget to prove a point, at the end you should be
prepared to throw it away and build the real thing. This invites two
problems: If the system works well, there is a temptation to use
something that was not built to last as the basis of something bigger.
The second problem is you often need to implement most of the system to try
it out in anger - hardly an inexpensive way to quickly try something!
Pilots that try out the system by enabling only one user in several
departments are usually a bad thing. The users can not usually use the
system in a real way since none of the colleagues in their department share
information with them. All of the departments need to be online before
you can start and what's more, the participants may need to maintain
information in two systems in order to keep the business records complete
for the remainder of the business for the duration of the evaluation.