In the last post I examined the main reasons for CRM project failure. In this and future posts in this series, I will dissect each of the reasons and offer guidance on how to avoid these pitfalls and/or how to recover from them.
The topic for this post will be – Lack of Proper Requirements Analysis Before Implementing. This is a significant cause of user adoption challenges or problems and ultimate failure. I have seen many companies select a CRM system based on a demo versus the project’s actualrequirements. One challenge in a lot of businesses is that they don’t have formal processes which makes defining requirements much harder. If you don’t have at least high level business processes defined, I recommend that you add business process planning at the forefront of the CRM planning.
The first step every business that is considering investing in CRM technology should perform is requirements analysis.
At Sträva we typically will not engage with a client for a new implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365 without a requirements analysis and project planning phase. This approach is used no matter the size of the project or the client. We offer the requirements/planning phase separately and independent from a full implementation allowing a business to engage for only that phase of the project before committing to a full implementation. This approach allows us and our client to fully understand the project (and budget) before engaging for an implementation. It also allows our client to get to know us and experience the value we bring to the table prior to committing to a longer term project and relationship.
We recommend that our clients form a project team for the CRM initiative. This team should consist of:
- Project Manager – The client-side person who will manage the project
- Executive Sponsor(s) – It is critical to have executive engagement and support in the project
- Business Sponsor(s) – These are typically managers/leaders that will be more involved in the project than the executive(s)
- End Users – Developing a CRM project in a vacuum almost guarantees user adoption issues. You need the input of the people who will be using the tool every day to make sure it will provide value.
The first step in requirements analysis is to define the overall goals andobjectives for the project. This should start at the top with the executive level. The executive team has a good understanding of the current challenges and future direction of the company. When we interview executives regarding goals andobjectives, we ask a series of questions that guide the executives through the process of articulating the outcomes they are looking for from the CRM initiative. Examples of executive level questions:
- What are the top challenges your business is facing today?
- How will your business and industry change over the next few years?
- How do you envision CRM technology providing value to you personally?
- How do you measure and manage the goals you set for your management team?
- Do you receive an accurate sales forecast on a regular basis?
- If not, what would be the benefit of receiving an accurate forecast?
- If you do receive forecasts, how accurate would you say they are?
The list of questions we go through with executives is extensive and tailored to each client and the market they serve.
A proper requirements analysis phase should cover a lot of bases. Missing any one of these could put the project in jeopardy and lead to user adoption issues. Below is a partial list of the topics we cover when performing requirements analysis:
- A thorough analysis of the clients’ goals & objectives for each functional area of the business
- Discuss and plan project phases
- Review current state business processes and tools used
- Review IT & systems requirements for Dynamics 365
- Review workflow requirements
- Configuration requirements to meet desired future state business processes
- Review current tools/systems used that will be replaced by Dynamics 365. Gap analysis needs to be performed to make sure each use of the current systems are accounted for in Dynamics 365.
- Plan data migrations and/or conversions from current systems.
- Establish migration plans for users from current CRM and other system(s) to Dynamics 365
- Review integration requirements between current systems & Dynamics 365
- Review of available needed Dynamics 365 add-on tools
- Management analysis, reporting and dash boarding requirements
- Discuss project timeline
- Define roles & responsibilities
- Plan training requirements – end user, power user & administrator
- Plan user acceptance TestingPlan successful conference eoom pilot(s)
- Plan go live and ongoing support
- Discuss collaborative project responsibilities, benchmarks and measurements
- Establish executive enforcement and end-user adoption plans
- Discuss success criteria
Again this is a partial list topics and each is expanded upon to cover all the sub-topics necessary. From the above information an overall project plan is createdby our CRM team . The project plan contains a system design specification outlining how the system will be configured/customized to support the requirements. The plan also includes roles/responsibilities, timelines, project phases, budget etc. The project plan is the blueprint and road-map for the project and absolutely critical for success. If you are suffering from user adoption issues or a project that is not meeting expectations, I bet the root causes can be traced back to not properly defining one or more of the above areas of requirements.
If you have Dynamics CRM/365 implemented and are experiencing problems, we can help. We work with companies to “rescue” their implementation by diagnosing the current state of the project and creating a road-map to success. If you are planning on implementing Dynamics 365, we can help with proper requirements analysis & planning, implementation, configuration, customization and ongoing support.
To prevent user adoption issues going forward, we offer Total Solution Management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365. For a fixed predictable monthly cost, we become your CRM team. Total Solution Management includes four pillars of ongoing services that increases user adoption and keeps your system healthy and evolving with your business.
At Sträva we have one mission – to help business achieve true success with CRM. We are happy to discuss your project and how we can help you achieve success. Give us a call at 844.8.STRAVA (844.878.7282) or email [email protected]
About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David is the President and Founder of Strava Technology Group, a firm that is 100% focused on helping businesses achieve success with CRM. To reach David directly visit our web site.