Ben Sturt, Managing Director
During the last few articles we have covered the importance of the initial planning phase, followed by our thoughts on structuring the tender process, and in the most recent article we have discussed making the right choice of supplier. The last mile is ensuring project rolls out efficiently and effectively, therefore we felt it was important to dot the I’s and cross the T’s by putting together a few recommendations to help you over this final hurdle.
While this is the last step towards your new CRM and CMS system, you need to ensure that you allocate realistic resource to rolling this out. If you have spent the time on the planning phase this should aid this process massively but as with any project there are many moving parts that to be coordinated and kept on track.
A recent digital survey done by MemberWise stated that the top four operational challenges for the membership sector were all related to technology and the inadequate integration across the organisation. If you have done the background planning you will have captured the business need, but now is the time that your organisation all pulls together.
We would recommend that a project manager own this process from start to finish – whilst this is not a full-time role, it is a vital role to ensure that the programme moves forward cohesively, and deadlines are met.
Here are a few things to consider during this process.
- Ensure you have a dedicated project manager. Adding the project management role to an existing member of staff is not always the best option and can cause conflict in priorities and the ultimate success of the project.
- Don’t underestimate the content and data resource demands on the internal team of a new CRM/CMS project.
- It is good to try to arrange a phased project release with your suppliers, this maintains the excitement and buzz of the project. Waiting 12 months for one big release, can cause some loss in momentum.
- Clearly define the success criteria for the project overall as well as realistic launch plan timescales.
- Create a core team for the project roll out – make sure they understand the success criteria. You will probably be working with external suppliers during this process, so ensure that you have the project leads as part of this team.
- Create a clear project plan – each workstream must have a single and accountable owner.
- Create a regular team call to discuss each workstream and detail the actions and timescales agreed on the call.
- Ensure that the project manager and stakeholders meet on a fairly regular basis to discuss the progress. A traffic light system can help here so that issues are immediately evident.
- Ensure that you have a clear escalation process if workstreams halt or become bogged down for any reason.
We hope that the points above combined with the other articles help you on the journey to a fully integrated CRM and CMS system. If you need help along the way, never be afraid to ask.
Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient and innovative organisation. With its broad cross sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners. Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.