How to Scope your CRM Project & its Benefits
When planning a CRM Project, you have to define the scope of the project to avoid hiccups and headaches for both the project team and your clients.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a robust and flexible software with many amazing features. Since it can be configured and modified to a large extent, you’ll need to understand the requirements of your client and customize it to his meet his requests.
So what exactly is CRM project scoping?
Project scoping is a mutual agreement on the deliverables and obtainable expectations between the parties involved, which usually are the project team and stakeholders (client). This is captured in the statement of work (SOW) document at the initial stage of the project.
A project is a success when all the deliverables and objectives stated in the project scope are met after its completion. Therefore, project scoping helps the stakeholders and project team to understand each other better, serving as a guide and foundation.
Benefits of CRM Project Scoping
- Reduces the time spent to complete project deliverables.
- More efficient monitoring and controlling of the project, especially during the execution phase.
- Reduces overall costs by saving time and effort to build deliverables.
- Change, risks, and issues are reduced because the project is fully and clearly defined from the onset.
- Full quality assurance is in place throughout the project’s lifecycle to ensure its requirements are met.
- By clarifying roles, responsibilities, and delivery expectations, staff performance and motivation remains high.
Now imagine not having a project scope, this could lead to:
- An endless cycle/project failure: When a project does not have a scope with the deliverables declared from the start by both parties, this can prolong it for a lengthy period. Time is crucial in projects, so this also can eventually lead to its failure.
- Breach of trust: The parties involved in the project may feel cheated with no one ready to bear the additional cost of extra resources and time. This can lead to a strain in the working relationship, and hopes for future collaborations could be dashed. The parties involved in the project may feel cheated with no one ready to bear the additional cost of extra resources and time. This can lead to a strain in the working relationship, and hopes for future collaborations could be dashed.
- Unfit to your Business: Having a CRM with unnecessary or unwanted features while not meeting the full needs of the client.
How do you avoid these?
From the client’s perspective, several questions must be answered to determine the project’s scope:
- How large is your business and staff strength? It is not economically wise to purchase all the features of a CRM software if your business is small, especially since you can always add features later when the need arises.
- Will it be used by just one department (customer service, sales team, and marketing team) or the whole organization?
- What is your budget for the project? Before embarking on a CRM project, the cost will serve as a guide when deciding on the functionalities or features you choose.
- What do you want to gain from CRM? Be certain to think about the long term. Estimate the time it will take to see returns and value for the implementation cost.
- What are your needs and requirements? When these are known, you and the project team can define the project requirements and business processes.
What first prompted your need for a CRM?
What does the project team do?
The CRM project team uses their skills, tools, and management processes to ensure the project is a success. An effective project team must:
- Work with key stakeholders (users, managers, and admin) to identify needs and business processes in deciding the scope of the project.
- Conduct gap analysis after the business processes have been analyzed and documented. Then, the team can conclude if the client only needs the default CRM, or if he will require further customizations and add-ons. Gap analysis entails necessary steps needed to move from a current state to a more desirable state.
- Remind the client of the cost and performance required if the project’s needs and requirements are to be achievable.
- Develop a statement of work (SOW) document capturing the objectives, requirements, and deliverables that are expected to be achieved by the end of the project.
- Determine the architecture and design to know how the built-in features will be configured. Some of these features include:
- Users and security
- Configuration of CRM entities (fields, forms, and views)
- Configuration of processes (workflows, dialogs, and processes)
- Reports and dash boards
- Data migrations and integrations
- Custom development, etc.
Identifying requirements and deliverables which are written, itemized, and well documented goes a long way in making a CRM project a success. Project scoping maintains the focus from the beginning until the end, leaving both the project team and client happily fulfilled.