Overview of the Go-Live Phase of a CRM Implementation

Overview of the Go-Live Phase of a CRM Implementation

Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed the importance of the testing phase of your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation, showed you some tips on converting data from your legacy system, discussed which business processes you need to consider and even the discovery phase. Now we’ve come to the fun part: Go-Live! This is a very exciting time, your ribbon cutting ceremony. A key thing to remember to ensure everyone stays happy and organized, is planning. You need to make sure your go-live plan is nailed down well in advance.


  • Plan well in advance – This may mean you start planning for go-live 3, 6, or even 9 months in advance. Just like you wouldn’t launch your annual campaign without a strategic plan, you shouldn’t push your new CRM live without a plan.
  • Minimize gap between training and use – You will spend a lot of time training your employees on this system. Many of them will have been testing the system or giving feedback along the way, but you still need to have a dedicated training session. This training should take place close to when your go-live as the skills and knowledge that they’ve learned will be fresh and will instill confidence in your employees.
  • Checklist of post conversion audits & tasks – While you have tested the system for weeks or months already, you’ll want to create a list of audits and tasks to ensure all of the data is where you need it and systems are working properly.
  • First week – Have a triage plan in place as there will be plenty of bumps in the road as you transition to your new system. Be sure to staff accordingly during this time as your staff will have lots of questions about the CRM.
  • First 2 – 4 weeks – Monitor and support your team as they become more comfortable with the new CRM. As momentum builds the bumps you experienced the first week won’t seem as big anymore.
  • First 3 – 6 months – Transition to supporting your team, with ongoing training as well as any updates that may occur.
  • User adoption is ongoing effort!

Don’t forget that this is a happy time and you should take the time to celebrate your CRM implementation, but just because you went live with your system, doesn’t mean you won’t be busy!

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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.


  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    It’s a great idea to identify in advance, any lists or reports that will be needed around the time of go live. Generate those lists and reports from the legacy system so that you’re not trying to do this the first week or two in the new system, which can be stressful. You probably don’t want any high priority deliverables required from your new system in the first week, that’s too much pressure given everything that is going on.

  2. One of the biggest considerations when planning for go-live is whether a system downtime will be necessary while data is moved from the legacy stem to the new platform. It is often necessary to come up with a plan for mitigating the impact of this downtime and ensure that basic day to day processes can continue or be tracked for entry once the new system is live. This can be a very tricky process and may require a bit of extra planning!

  3. I would add: communicate, communicate, communicate! This is part of the plan step, but the more you can let your users know what is going to happen, the better. User adoption suffers if people feel like the system is being foisted upon them and surprising them. Keep the lines of communication open.

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