Importance of Project Management for your CRM Initiative

The importance of project management for your CRM initiative

While communication is a big part of making your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation a success, having a good project manager also plays a huge role. This person will be the primary point person for the project and will lead the change management. Think of them as the hub, the wheel with many spokes on it, keeping the implementation on track. They will spend a lot of time up front carefully creating a plan and gaining the investment of the stakeholders. For more information on what creates a successful CRM implementation, be sure to check out our CRMready webinar series.

Technology Alignment and Risk Mitigation

Usually, once you realize there is a risk, it is because something already happened and went wrong. You need a project manager who has their eye on the horizon and is looking for what might flare up so they can be certain to avoid it. This isn’t just a plan, but a skill in recognizing obstacles just outside of your path that may be an issue.

Other skills you need in a project manager:

  • Fully recognizing dependencies amongst the applications and business units is critical. They need to be aware and understand how your technology works together.
  • Having processes for making choices is essential. They require effective team efforts.
  • Open and honest communication about risks will help you be prepared to address a risk when it becomes an issue.
  • Vendor Management and using the right people for the right activities. They need to be focused on solutions and the plan.

Peer Review

You already have the hub, the keeper of your schedule, plan and effort, but the act of managing the project should be broader. You need to create a stakeholder group made up of a cross section of employees in the organization to assist you with your implementation. Make sure this group has people from many tiers from the CTO, executive directors to the person that processes the gifts every day. The broader the group, the better for the project.

Create a peer review group to:

  • Identify project risks
  • Communicate change
  • Respond to issues or modify plan

This group will assist with change management as they are the ones who ride in the elevators every day with your other employees. They are the ones in your organization that can communicate what is happening right now in the implementation process. Stakeholder input is not just symbolic. This is your best bet to achieve an end-result that will meet your organization’s needs.

Project Communication

The way the project is carried out can have as much impact on adoption as the technological advances themselves. It isn’t what you write, but how you write it. The idea that the way you conduct the project is what ultimately could be the critical piece in making the CRM project a success.

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For more information on what creates a successful CRM implementation, be sure to check out our CRMready webinar series and qualify for a FREE CRMready assessment.

Monika McMahon

About Monika McMahon

Monika joined Heller Consulting after spending 8 years in the Boulder technology startup scene. She is an expert in Social and Digital marketing, adopting and implementing new (and old) platforms for organizations ranging from ecommerce, SaaS, and nonprofits. Monika not only understands how these platforms work but how to use them to meet business objectives. When she is not educating and sharing her online talents, she can be found enjoying the music scene in Denver.

One comment

  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    As a consultant, I always appreciate that the Project Manager has the focus on the ‘forest’ while I focus on the ‘trees’. This is a great responsibility split.

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