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Epic Challenges in CRM Implementation
Transcript of Epic Challenges in CRM Implementation
You are here.
What color is your epic quest?
This is my organization's first CRM.
I'm migrating from one CRM to another.
It's a rescue.
Figure out enough to start without painting yourself into a corner.
Figure out what features you have to replicate and make a plan to do it.
Figure out what is wrong and how to fix it.
(remember that everything should be on the table--your business practices as well as the CRM.)
Prepare a clear statement of major goals.
and also make detailed notes on all affected workflows
and also take detailed notes on what is driving your staff crazy.
"Report examples are one of the best ways to make sure you're going to get what you need."
"And don't forget that some things that seem obvious to you may actually be idiosyncratic."
Don't try to document everything you'll ever do with the CRM. You'll be wrong and you'll waste a lot of time.
Don't just dive in and hope for the best. Remember that key features you think are obvious could potentially be impossible.
Be unsentimental about your business needs.
Recognize that some people may have to change how they work.
Focus first on the things that are impeding your mission.
Don't let personalities and politics drive the planning.
Don't make all the decisions yourself without understanding others' needs.
Don't architect by committee.
Don't just assume that everything will be easy and good because your mission is important.
Don't obsess over things that are not really, truly, honestly essential.
Don't believe that a platform will ever be more than it is now.
WHAT YOU WANT
HOW IT WORKS
Be mindful of what I call "informational ergonomics"
Don't demand a perfect system.
Don't saddle your users with default functionality that makes it hard for them to do their job.
Make sure workflows are good enough to foster adoption.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just mind find, you get what you need."
"Be realistic about what really matters for your mission and your users.
"Plan to work with your CRM, not against it"
"Can't you just 'click it on'? How hard can it be?"
<< Seems like an amazing idea. Isn't.
Don't try to avoid the hard work of learning about and evaluating your organization's needs.
Don't try to do it all yourself.
Ask the questions you don't want to ask because all you really want to do is build the thing.
Make sure you really talk to your staff. You need to know which of YOUR key business practices this is going to impact.
This is a big opportunity,
and a big responsibility.
The answer is not overtime.
"I hate details. Can't I just lightning-bolt everything?"
"No you can not."
THE SAFETY OF THE KNOWN
THE LURE OF THE UNKNOWN
Don't be seduced by the new just because the old way of doing it wasn't magic.
Don't limit yourself to only what you've done before.
"Start with what you know--
but don't stop there."
WHAT YOU NEED NOW
WHAT YOU WILL NEED IN THE FUTURE
Don't ignore future needs.
Don't neglect the present in favor of features you may never use
"Give greater weight to the immediate needs you know you have"
<< sweet-looking but ultimately useless.
Don't segregate your data into silos unless you have a good reason.
Dont try to cram every single thing you ever do into a single system.
"Use software for what it's for."
"God is in the details--not the Devil."
CHANGING COURSE TOO OFTEN
Foster positive developments.
Involve stakeholders early and often, and listen to their feedback as you go.
Stay focused on key priorities.
If you never give your plans a chance to work, they never will.
Don't double-down on a bad direction.
"I am in so far in blood that sin will pluck on sin."
- Richard III
(And mitigate negative ones.)
(But don't let little things throw the project off-course.)
(But also pick up easy wins where you can.)
Focus on a minimum viable product,
Don't sacrifice good decisions in the name of speed.
Don't let the project go indefinitely without a launch.
You will usually under-estimate the difficulty of the things you want to do,
and over-estimate the difficulty of the things you don't.
You will usually under-estimate how hard it is for your staff to do something,
and you will usually over-estimate the difficulty of tasks that fall to you.
(this is just human nature we all do it.)
"Pro tip! When doing something you have never done before, figure out how long you think it will take and multiply it by 5 or more!"
choose a phased deployment if you can--replace a system at a time,
and the best guideline for how much time it will take to get the system rebuilt/fixed is the amount of time it took to build in the first place.
TERRIBLE DEFAULT WORKFLOWS
Complexity is multiplicative.
Avoid unnecessarily elaborate configuration.
Avoid customizing the code unless there is no other choice.
"I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it!"
-Dr. Peter Venkman
Avoid wedging data into structures designed for something else.
Make sure the CRM doesn't make people hate their jobs.
"Remember--use software for what it's for."
(your reward, if you do this right, is that later, if you
to add complexity, it's easy because you are building on a solid, simple foundation.)
Don't throw money or staff time at things that don't matter.
Don't think you can do this for free.
Prepare for costs in blood and treasure.
No budget is big enough that the builders never needed to compromise.
Money does not assure success.
(Even with the best of intentions.)
There will be surprises--good and bad.
"Be realistic about the challenges and costs ahead."
Don't neglect maintenance.
Don't constantly second-guess your choices and consider switching as soon as you hit a snag
Keep keeping it simple.
Let go of your baggage from your old systems.
Bring it back to basics when you can.
"Can I get all of these on my web site?"
Don't neglect ongoing training.
Don't neglect ongoing feature implementation.
Don't jump to move your data off to another silo without weighing the down-sides
If you're using CiviCRM, give back to the community.
* Become a CiviCRM Member
* Go to meetups and help your peers.
* Contribute bug fixes and code.
NEVER WRITE ANYTHING DOWN
Don't try to write everything down because you can't.
Don't ignore the need to document workflows.
Don't let knowledge of the CRM be limited to one person in your organization.
Your documentation begins to slide toward obsolescence as soon as you create it.
Take great notes--
but know they'll never be the whole story.
Keeping and maintaining documentation is everyone's business
and you are never finished
and it is never perfect.
DISEMPOWER YOUR STAFF
LET GOOD INTENTIONS LEAD TO OVER-COMPLICATION
There's no substitute for good people.
Support the people who work on your CRM.
(even if it's you.)
Allow time to keep up with new developments.
Be cautious about adding hacks.
Don't allow pet projects that aren't important to over-complicate things.
Don't second-guess everything your staff want to do.
When you need something, ask and listen.
(Don't assume it's easy just because it's easy in your head.)
Trust your people.
"90% of directing is casting."
In working with your CRM
(as in life, love, and art),
* Pay attention to the details but don't lose sight of the big picture.
* Get help when you need it.
* See good and bad things clearly.
* Learn from your mistakes.
* There is no magic.
(and good luck from all your fellow-travelers at Giant Rabbit.)
* Fund a make-it-happen campaign.
This is your starting point. You:
* want to set up your very first CRM
* or you want to migrate to a different CRM
* or your need a rescue,
because your data is a hot mess.
This is where you're trying to go.
This is your data palace,
where no one is ever sick
and no one ever has to enter data twice
and there are no silos
and everyone gets along
and snacks are free and nutritious
When Odysseus was trying to get home from the Trojan war, one of the nastier challenges he faced was the strait of Messina, where he had to navigate his ship between a terrible whirlppol on one side (Charybdis, pictured here),
...and Scylla, a horrible six-headed sea monster. He chose to steer closer to Scylla, not wanting to lose the whole ship. He lost six guys, but he made it through and kept going. Back in those days, that counted as a win.
This is not so different from CRM implementation.
a lot of what you're going to be doing involves picking the middle way through a pair of opposing challenges, either one of which could sink your ship.