CRM preparedness – beyond the contract

You think you have done the hard work. Functional requirements have been document and your team completed a CRM search. You entertained numerous demonstrations and discussions and you selected a CRM platform. Now what? There are an abundance of activities which must be completed prior to launching a CRM project. While you may be guided by your CRM partner, these CRM preparedness activities are the full responsibility of your school, university or non-profit organisation.

CRM project
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What ought to be on your CRM preparedness checklist?

CRM Preparedness Checklist

  • Project sponsorship
  • Organisation culture
  • Project infrastructure
  • Change management
  • Communications plan
  • Data readiness

Check List Defined

The items on the CRM preparedness checklist are big ticket items. Let’s explore each item on the check list.

Project sponsorship – Usually a senior level executive, the project sponsor operates at the 36,000 foot level and has the overall interests of the project’s outcomes. This person typically oversees the project benefits to ensure they align with the business requirements. As the chair the Project Steering Committee, he or she will serve as an escalation point for any issues in the project which cannot be resolved by a Project Team. In sum, the Project sponsor provides vision and governance to the project.

Organisation culture – Understanding your organisation’s culture is a critical aspect of the project. Ensuring your CRM partner understands the culture is equally vital.  Your organisation’s culture, simply put, is how your organisation does what it does

Project infrastructure – Your project’s infrastructure is the organisation structure, the hierarchy, for the project. This includes an organisation chart and pre-defined roles and responsibilities.

Change management – Change management defines the plan you have to guide people through the necessary change and the transition to a new CRM.

Communications plan – a Communications Plan is the roadmap you will follow to deliver the messaging to your intended audiences.

Data readiness – The cleanliness of your data is a vital part of your overall CRM readiness plan. Readiness includes taking a complete inventory of the data. Data hygiene activities such as data standardisation, changes of address, deduplication, and other activities are all key components of data readiness.

Implementing a new CRM is far more than the software itself. Preparing your organisation for the CRM implementation by conducting ground work activities in advance of the actual CRM implementation defines the success of your project.