Express Version

  • A critical success factor for CRM projects is to "think small, dream big." While a comprehensive plan helps avoid coordination nightmares down the road, it's best to use a layered approach with 60- to 90-day goals rather than massive projects that carry a lot of risk.
  • In the same vein, don't try to do more than the tool can do, or to expand drastically the scope of a project once it starts. It's usually better to relegate newly discovered requirements to a future phase.
  • Early and continuous involvement of users, including individual contributors, and preferably top performers and informal leaders, is a tremendous help in getting user acceptance, as well as getting high-quality input for the technical requirements, customizations, and testing.
  • Create and communicate tangible measurements of the success of the project.
  • To determine high-level time and resource requirements, it's useful to classify projects as low, medium, or high complexity depending on the scope of functions and apps being automated, the number of users involved, and the number of integrations.
  • Typical timelines from the initial tool selection to implementation vary from 3 to 9 months for low-complexity projects, from 6 to 12 months for medium-complexity projects, and from 10 to 24 months for high-complexity projects.
  • Ways to speed up the timeline include keeping the various functional groups focused and working together (most important for the tool selection phase) and narrowing the number and scope of customizations and integrations (for the implementation phase).
  • Typical budgets depend both on the complexity of the project, but also on the number of users (since the large cost of integrations and customizations can be spread over the total number of users). Count on at least $10K per user and up to $50K with extensive customizations. Except for very simple projects, the cost of the CRM license is only a fraction of the total cost.