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Ryan Plourde, Crowe Horwath

How Microsoft Partners Can Use Checklists to Manage Implementation Projects in Dynamics CRM

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Are you consistently following the same methodology for every software implementation project? Does everyone in your company, including new hires, know the exact steps to follow? When steps are missed, do you know where the process failed?

We have found that using templates and checklists within Dynamics CRM, using the AbleBridge Project Management add on, provides the consistency and trackability that make projects successful.

Templates showing a common set of tasks needed to complete a project can be set up right within your CRM system. You can create checklists of things that need to be completed to actually finish each task. This regimented project protocol can quickly be copied for nearly every job. Then you can just update particulars based on the specific project.

Let's say that you are going to start a standard CRM implementation. You pull up the template for a CRM project that already has the company’s proven process outlined with tasks and milestones including specific resources needed, scope and timeframes for completion of each task.

You can copy this template for the new project and edit it based on requirements specific to that customer’s specifications.

crm-project-management-project-task-summary

The template can include the full cycle of the project, beginning at the discovery processes. For example, you can include a checklist of specific questions to ask the client such as:

  • what does your IT infrastructure look like?
  • who is the primary point of contact?
  • who is managing the setup of the server?

These are questions that should be vetted prior to the start of any implementation, but they are often overlooked.  Using a checklist ensures that they get answered upfront and eliminates a lot of possible confusion once the project starts.

Having templates of proven methodologies allows for consistency of processes and saves administrative time and resources taken up by reinventing procedural proposals every time you start new projects.  Consistency can be maintained even if project managers change because the organization has already determined what tasks and milestones need to be present in any project.

These templates are especially helpful for companies that manage different sets of projects, for example a Microsoft Dynamics partner may do both CRM and ERP software implementations.  You can have various templates with different tasks necessary for a Dynamics GP implementation versus a Dynamics AX implementation versus a Dynamics CRM implementation, etc.

If you see that projects are struggling, customers are upset because something was missed or a resource has been assigned to the wrong kind of task you can really hone your project and task delivery by updating the template to mirror the best practices scenario for each type of project. You can also flag areas that are of particular concern to your customers or to your team. The versatility of the templates allows you to continually improve your processes.

Using templates of checklists to manage implementation projects in Dynamics CRM reduces administrative effort, standardizes best practices and ensures successful completion of projects. That saves everyone a lot of headaches and frustration and ultimately adds to the ongoing success of your business.

If you are interested in a better way to manage your projects in Dynamics CRM, learn more about the Project Management for Dynamics CRM from AbleBridge. Contact us at 877-600-2253 or [email protected]

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, now a Crowe Horwath company.

Follow us on Twitter: @AbleBridge

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