Express Version

  • In many ways, the quality of the CRM team determines the outcome of the project. Therefore it's important to assemble the right people for the job.
  • The most important member of the CRM team is the executive sponsor. The executive sponsor sells the project to all the stakeholders within the company before, during, and after the project, and removes political and other obstacles in the path of the project. The ideal executive sponsor is the business line manager for the function(s) being affected by the project.
  • Next in order of importance is the project manager. The project manager orchestrates the planning and running of the project and its communication, which require both a strong project management background and PR skills. The project manager can be a consultant, although if that's the case it's important to have a robust overseeing process in place under the eye of the executive sponsor.
  • The business owners are the line managers in charge of the business functions affected by the project. They are responsible for driving the project from a business function perspective.
  • Actual end-users must be included in the projects. Because of the time requirements, it can be difficult to persuade end-users, and especially top producers, to participate, but it's essential for the success of the project. Their time must be carefully guarded and their participation leveraged for maximum impact.
  • The IT owner is the counterpart of the business owners, representing the IT side. The IT owner coordinates the internal technical resources and should be involved whether or not the implementation of the tool is outsourced.
  • The coding and technical staff may be hired out, although it's important to plan for continuity so you can maintain the system once it's in place. Beware of completely outsourcing the implementation to the point that no one internal to the organization quite understands what was done.