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Checklist for a successful CRM implementation

Planning a CRM implementation? Take heed with this checklist by Srini Katta.

Hi Srini, I'm a PM with 12 plus years of industry experience. Currently, I'm negotiating with a company willing to hire me as a PM for an SAP CRM implementation for a telecom company. Since I don't have any prior experience with SAP CRM implementation I would appreciate your comments on the approach and possible pit-falls. Your personal experience on identifying critical paths and trouble shooting would be appreciated.

Platform: MS technologies

I suggest the following points for a successful SAP CRM project implementation:

1. SAP CRM project resource requirements could be very complex based on the functionality being implemented. The complexity multiplies if it is a global SAP CRM project because of legal and cultural requirements. You can count 50% success the moment you have staffed your project with the right resources.

Build a core team that would assist you in staffing the project as you don't have prior SAP CRM project implementation experience. This would prevent you ending up with fake experience resources if you depend on staffing firms. Alternatively, you can choose an implementation partner who has done project implementation similar to the project you are taking up. Negotiate a fixed bid contract with the implementation partner.

2. Identify the visible and hidden project sponsors and stake holders and understand what are they expect out of this project and try to set the expectations right.

3. CRM projects are business driven and IT assisted. You have to do political management to have balance between the key players especially if the implementation involves multiple business applications like marketing, sales and service.

4. Get the commitment and time from the business process owners and power users for a successful requirement gathering and implementation.

5. SAP CRM involves a steep learning curve. Identify your internal resources, training and education needs then have a training plan/education plan during the project preparation itself.

6. Set up a communication plan and road show if an intense change management is part of this project implementation. This will prepare the internal resources and employees to slowly admit the incoming changes to their job profiles and business processes.

7. Find out what the corporate team expectations are out of this project as Corporate Metrics. Make sure the metrics are part of the delivery on day one of go live.

8. Make sure your training plan, project plan, landscape plan, testing plan and deployment plans are in sync with your master plan. You should be alerted if any plan dates are out of sync with your master plan.

This was last published in September 2006

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