AN EXECUTIVE'S GUIDE TO CRM SOFTWARE IMPLEMENTATION
CRM IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES
Information system automation and the resulting benefit of productivity is contingent upon the sequence and repitition of optimal steps necessary to complete varying business processes. Trying to implement CRM software for a sales or marketing group before optimal business processes have been designed or proven is clearly putting the cart before the horse. CRM software implementations, moreso than other application system type, require sound business processes in order for the implementation to be successful.
Business Process Reengineering
Business Process Reengineering (BPR), or oftentimes simply called Business Process Improvement (BPI), is an essential CRM software implementation prerequisite step for companies which have faulty business proceses or no formal business processes. The macro level diagram below highlights a very simple BPI approach.
Analyze As-Is Processes: During this step the current business processes are documented with the objective of identifying process activities, workflow, decision points and required documentation. The current (‘As-Is’) processes provides a foundation upon which the future (“To-Be”) processes can be developed.
Develop To-Be Processes: During this step, the future envisioned business processes are defined. In addition to the AS-IS analysis, the key inputs to this step are recognized best practices and the functionality of the COTS (commercial off the shelf) CRM software product being implemented. These three inputs provide a basis for developing the “To-Be” business process. Typically these processes will be documented in the form of visual diagrams called process maps.
Identify Functional Gaps: Many functional gaps between the To-Be process and the CRM software product will be identified and documented in the previous step. During this step, the To-Be processes are compared directly against the “out-of-the-box” functionality of the COTS CRM solution product being implemented.
Categorize Gaps: At this stage each gap is prioritized into the following schema: Required By Regulation/Authority, Required By Organization, Required By Department, Desirable and Non-Essential. Based on the priority of the gap, alternative methods to meet the process requirement will be considered. The options for consideration are:
ERP IMPLEMENTATION FAILURE RATE
In September of 2008, ERP.asia assembled a focus group of several industry veterans and acquired numerous publications related to the best practices and lessons learned surrounding both successful and unsuccessful ERP implementations. A summary of the group's resulting research is titled Top ERP Implementation Failure Factors.
CRM Software Implementation