Twenty-seven Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Your CRM Project

William Band By William Band

Despite the current economic downturn, the need for organizations to create differentiation through unique customer experiences, strive for deeper insight into customer needs and behaviors, and serve customers cost-effectively has not disappeared. The need for “CRM” is not going away.

However, when I surveyed 133 organizations, using at one least of 24 different CRM technology solutions, I found that the risk of a spectacular project failure is still high. These companies reported over 200 problems, comprised of 27 risk areas in four categories. Thirty-three percent of the problems were related to technology; 27% spotlighted inadequate business processes; 22% were related to “people” challenges; and 18% comprised CRM strategy and deployment issues

Consider these statements as they portray your organization. A “Yes” or “No” answer will spotlight the hazards before they sink your program.


1. “The CRM solution we have chosen is mature and well-proven in use at other organizations with requirements similar to our company."

2. “The CRM solution we have chosen is flexible and can be easily adapted to meet unanticipated requirements in the future.”

3. “The CRM solution we have chosen does not have any major functionality deficiency gaps relative to our requirements."

4. “We have clearly defined how the data required to support our CRM solution will be defined, transferred, maintained, and governed.”

5. ‘We have determined that the CRM solution we have chosen can meet our specific system performance requirements.”

6. “Our business and IT resources have sound understanding of the CRM solution we intend to implement."

7. “We have a sufficient number of technically competent internal resources available to implement our CRM solution.”

8. “We have done due diligence to confirm that the vendor resources to be assigned to our CRM project have sound technical skills with respect to their company's solution.”

9. “The CRM solution we have chosen uses the most up-to-date role-based UI design principles so that it can be easily adapted to a range of user needs in our organization.”

Business Processes

10. “We have undertaken to define and document the business processes we expect our CRM solution to support.”

11. “The vendor solution we have chosen is flexible enough so that the tool can be easily mapped our business processes.”

12. “The CRM solution we have chosen can with little effort be sufficiently customized to meet our requirements.”

13. “The CRM solution we have chosen is compatible with the technical architecture environment and future strategy of our organization.”

14. “The CRM solution we have chosen has well-proven capabilities to integrate with specific important applications and databases within our organization.


15. To be successful, the new business processes and CRM solution we intend to introduce will require little change in the culture of our organization.”

16. “We have a well-defined program to support the changes to the new ways of working in our company including visible leadership and communications from top management.”

17. “The CRM initiative will require little change to the business processes used by frontline employees.”

18. “We understand the challenges of gaining acceptance for the use of CRM solutions and have specific plans in place to mitigate these challenges.”

19. “We are investing sufficient resources to provide adequate training and education for users to support their adoption of our CRM solution.”

20. “We have complete CRM solution documentation and will provide sufficient ongoing help for users to support their adoption of our CRM solution.”


21. “We have achieved clear and documented agreement between business and IT leaders about the project objectives for our CRM initiative.”

22. “We have defined and documented the business requirements for our CRM initiative.”

23. “We have defined a CRM deployment methodology based on best practices.”

24. “We have a sufficient number of business and IT resources available for successful completion of our CRM initiative.”

25. “Our schedule for implementation is realistic in light of the experiences of other organizations similar to our company.”

26. “We have put in place a sound cost management governance structure and tracking system.”

27. “We have negotiated a transparent contract with our vendor that clearly defines scope, cost parameters, and service levels.”



re: Twenty-seven Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Your CRM Project

William. Glad to see you included a data component in #6. Making sure that the data required to support a CRM solution can be transferred and maintained is important. But when 1/3 of organizations rate their existing data quality "poor at best" (Source: PBBI) then perhaps getting data in shape before it's transferred over to a CRM systems makes sense, too. Thanks for a great list -- you raise a number of important points.

re: Twenty-seven Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Your CRM Project

Ed,I absolutely agree. I have seen many CRM technology failures due in adequate attention paid to getting data in shape "up-front." It seems that everyone with experience "knows" this to be true, yet this mistake is repeated over and over.From: []Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:11 PMTo: Band, WilliamSubject: [The Forrester Blog For Business Process & Applications Professionals] Ed Gillespie submitted a comment to 'Twenty-seven Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Your CRM Project'.[cid:image001.png@01CA3C74.4BD873F0][cid:image004.png@01CA3C74.4BD873F0]NEW! More options for replying to comments via email:* To reply privately to the commenter, click on the commenter's email address below.* To reply publicly on your blog, reply to this email.

re: Twenty-seven Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Your CRM Project

In a custom home building project, monitoring might occur during the warranty period. The home owner would monitor their new home and report issues that come up. Once the monitoring period is complete, you are ready for the Project Review and Close phase.

re: Twenty-seven Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Your CRM Project

many companies think that doing CRM will make their business success but they forget that how to apply it is the most important. However when companies Ask for CRM technology using external sources, they will face a lot of problems because these offices have the same standards when preparing your business CRM. They deal with all companies as they are the same. I think this is one of the most important reasons that make many CRM technology fail.