CRM 2013 Showcase

This is a great video showcasing CRM 2013 (Orion) and the user experience.



Critical Success Factors in CRM

CRM2013I came across an article on Critical Success Factors in CRM:  Original article

I thought it might be useful to look at how one of my recent clients  CRM implementation compared against this critical success criteria.

The article stated that to achieve CRM technology deployment success requires a balanced approach. Focus on all four fundamental success factors:

Process. Nearly half (44%) agreed their CRM projects faced problems grounded in: poor or insufficient definition of business requirements; inadequate business process designs; and, the need to customise solutions to fit unique organisational requirements.

In my recent CRM implementation, well defined business requirements and early engagement of key users and stakeholders gave Shelter a good understanding of processes and user needs. The agile inspect and adapt development cycle gave my client the opportunity to tailor the solution early and drive the platform to deliver the key benefits.

Where a bespoke solution to a unique organisational requirement is required, concentration on the benefits and outcomes guided the initial development. Early end user involvement ensured that the bespoke solution met end user and business needs.

People. More than two-fifths (42%) agreed that their problems were “people” issues: such as slow user adoption; inadequate attention paid to change management and training; and, difficulties in aligning the organisational culture with new ways of working.

Again, early engagement of key users and the agile inspect and adapt cycle allowed my client to “listen and learn” from this issues of both the existing platform and the new CRM solution.

A communications plan for each of the Phased delivery User Group and the availability of the Project Team to answer questions and perform show and tell drove interest in the new CRM solution meaning users were quick to adopt the new way of working.

A Train the trainer approach to deployment and end user knowledge transfer meant that end user teams had a ‘SuperUser’ to turn to when getting to grips with the new platform. Regular feedback to the wider business from new users through the intranet is raising awareness in a positive light.

Strategy. Two-fifths (40%) agreed they had the challenges related to CRM strategy, such as: a lack of clearly defined objectives; poor solution deployment practices; and insufficient solution governance practices.

The phased approach to the CRM roll allowed the progamme team learned from each phase of the delivery and could therefore adapt the process to best serve its requirements and end users.

My client’s existing ‘benefits map’ give the programme delivery team clearly defined objectives to work towards for each of the end user groups. Regular update meetings with the Stakeholders, Project Team and Strategic Programme Board ensured that benefit targets and key milestones were met.

An Agile approach to development and rollout allowed my client to deal quickly and effectively with change management and prioritisation.

Technology. Only about one-third (35%) agreed they had technology deficiencies such as: data problems; functional shortfalls in vendor solutions; lack of the required skill sets needed to implement the solution; system performance shortfalls; and, poor usability.

My client used a recommended third party supplier and brought in the necessary skillsets that were missing from the core project team to implement the solution. The vendor and my client took time to work together to create an understanding of the business, its goals and the benefits required from the CRM solution, this helped define the criteria for the development of functionality.

I helped my client consider the technical infrastructure early in the project. One of the early goals was to define and deploy a hardware solution that would adequately support the CRM platform and improve the day to day experience for end users.

Early end user involvement in the development process has ensured good quality usability feedback could be incorporated into the development process.

MS Dynamics CRM – Licencing Hell

OK, anyone who has dealt with MS Dynamics CRM Licensing in the past will know it’s hard work.  Really, really hard work.  Its made even harder when you need to add charity pricing, you are waiting for POLARIS and the possibility of muti-tenanting.

The pricing structure and the way a charity must order its licenses  has so far changed twice; POLARIS has been delayed, we need more instances, and we need them soon!