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An update on sucess factors from the field

April 29, 2010

I feel a bit like Jane Godall, with “observations from the field”, I’ve been busy with lots of project work and practical implementation challenges. I’ve been focused on helping to large clients, implement an enterprise CRM application. Along the way there been lots of challenges, everything a project manager fears seems to have come to fruition. The following are just some observations that I jotted down reflecting on the challenges I faced.
Keep in mind this is from the perspective of a project manager implementing an enterprise software package.
• Understand what the scope of work says and what the client needs, often times there is a substantial gap between the scope creation and the commencement of work. Larger organizations usually have fairly dynamic business needs for fundraising. As a result implementing a CRM focused application around his processes is often difficult to scope. I’ve found that it’s in my best interest to always check with the project manager and business unit to ensure for delivering what is needed for current business practices.
• Business processes people and process often are the most likely to change during an implementation. Focusing on the inputs and outputs of the processes really helps to clarify what’s needed from the software application might be implementing. Of course this is only possible if you’re maintaining a solid relationship with the project manager business analyst and business unit.
• Like most customers expectations are usually high, there should always be an opportunity monthly at minimum to lay client expectations on the table. During this time Explorer upcoming tasks, reviews deliverables, budget and expense. For those of you familiar with the iron triangle this is the best time to make sure that the sides are not giving way.
• At the end of the day, and a project manager knows that the relationships you build your team and the client’s team ultimately lead to success. If you have trouble here it’s time to seek help from your executive sponsor.

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