CRM, Go Live Day – Be Pacific

CRM, Go Live Day - Be Pacific

You’re live on your new CRM. All that work, leading to this moment. Like landing at warm and sunny locale in February. Or, for you winter lovers, hopping off the gondola at the top of the mountain and putting on those skis.

9 specific “go live” considerations:

  1. Perfectly imperfect. Have a process and resource in place to handle errors and questions as they come up. And they will. Despite all your testing, errors and weird situations will arise. It’s some sort of law.
  2. Not everyone is as excited as you are. While of course go live is a huge achievement and you are ready to pop the cork, not everyone is at your party. Manage your own expectations (of others).
  3. Communications. Convey excitement. Have a countdown. Feature number of days until go live and perhaps mention one benefit to the new CRM. “1 week until go live AND you can forecast major gifts revenue at the push of a button.” Again, though, keep in mind #2 above.
  4. Bask a bit. Spend a few minutes to reflect upon what you’ve accomplished and how you have delivered a tool that will help your fundraisers execute their strategic plan. Bring cupcakes to your conference room, thank everyone and celebrate.
  5. Go live is NOT the end. You’ve just begun the CRM journey. It never ends – it’s not supposed to end. Make sure you have a process in place to ensure productive and artful evolution. Change management (and strategic planning) should be fluid and constant.
  6. Scope management. Be specific about what “go live” means (and doesn’t mean).
  7. Settle time. Work in your CRM for awhile (you decide what “awhile” means but it’s longer than a month) before making massive changes.
  8. Adoption. No, sorry folks but this is not the right conversation. During the build process, you should have had discussions about the fundraising and engagement plan. CRM merely supports fundraising plans. During all CRM implementation questions, ask “how will you USE CRM.” If you’ve built CRM to support business needs, then the use case addresses adoption.
  9. Recognize. Recognition is always a theme in all my posts. You must thank those who helped get you here likely without extra pay and certainly not with a reduction in expectations from their day-to-day job. Back to the cupcakes. Gift cards. Announcement on your corporate internet. Note from the CEO. Free airfare to someplace near the equator?

Go live is a psychological milestone for those close to the project. If executed properly, go live is a starting point for your organization to engage constituents in modern and meaningful ways. Go live really just symbolizes Go. And with that I say, go…to the beach!

Lisa Fay Wellek

About Lisa Fay Wellek

Lisa Fay Wellek has worked in the nonprofit sector for 20 years with focus on integrating CRM with fundraising. She is the owner of Philanthropy361 LLC, which consults with non-profits about how to best implement and strategically use CRM. She is a frequent project member with build Consulting. She was with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) for 10 years in various roles including Chief of Staff for Development and most recently, National Director of CRM Strategy. With Lisa Fay’s leadership, JDRF launched LuminateCRM - a Blackbaud product that uses as its development platform. She believes that in today’s fast paced tech-focused world, non-profits must invest in the right infrastructure and staff in order to be sustainable (let alone grow). Previous posts include: Stevens Institute of Technology, KPMG Consulting and University of Connecticut Foundation.

One comment

  1. Hi Lisa Fay – this is a great, down to earth and ‘real’ set of considerations for Go Live day. An org needs to be prepared for go live and what comes after and not end up with a ‘crap. we are live so now what??’ type of scenario. Expectation setting, solid communications (pre, during and post) and stakeholder management is key!

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