Creating Momentum in Microsoft Dynamics CRM & ERP Software Implementations

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In my last article, we discussed the ERP / CRM software evaluation process (whether you are evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM or ERP or an alternative product) and the delicate balance between doing the proper diligence in evaluating business software (like Microsoft Dynamics CRM) by consulting stakeholders and users - while at the same time not becoming consumed and stalled by that process.

We saw how most high value requirements tend to float to the top quickly and that after a certain point continued investigation doesn't yield the kind of information that ultimately impacts your ERP / CRM selection (see the first article on the evaluation process here).

Today, we focus on another potential roadblock to ERP or CRM software implementation success: a loss of momentum.

So let's review. You've made some progress in your CRM software evaluation process and implementation. You've identified a need, your key people are invested in the evaluation process, you've earmarked the budget and you've decided it’s time to get started. Now it's time to maintain the momentum.

Implementing a new ERP or CRM software system requires vast buy-in from your staff. If your ERP or CRM software evaluation process meanders along aimlessly, stalling for months your people begin to lose faith and more importantly – the motivation to make it work.

Before I continue, it needs to be clear that by ‘momentum’, I'm not talking about rushing your processes (or skipping any steps) for the sake of keeping moving and trying to stick to a self-imposed artificial deadline.

There’s no getting around the fact that an ERP (and it's becoming true for CRM as well) –  are critical to the long-term profitability and the competitiveness of your organization.

It deserves to be carefully, meticulously planned out, and choosing the right platform for your organization is key. To fast-track a decision can be a costly mistake.

But remember, even glaciers have forward momentum. The principle here is that each step moves you closer to a goal – not laterally or backward.

 Four Reasons for Maintaining Momentum in Microsoft Dynamics CRM or ERP Software Evaluations

Four reasons  why forward momentum is so key in a CRM or ERP software implementation:

  • There is a great deal of time that must be invested by many people in your organization by way of requirements-gathering, documentation, meetings, demos, product education, attending CRM or ERP user conferences etc. - if one doesn't keep moving they'll feel it's wasted
  • This commitment is on top of their regular work load, and for many, comes with some built-in anxiety about how their job role or their peoples’ job roles will change, grow or be diminished by the new system - the momentum will help you move them through their anxieties
  • Because individuals have committed a large amount of time, it's natural that they will become emotionally invested in the process, and feel a sense of ownership in the selection - this will encourage adoption
  • Their support will be vital in ensuring that the new system is received favourably by your personnel, and that user adoption can be achieved quickly and smoothly - they essentially become your new ERP’s or CRM's advocates when (not if) doubt and resistance to organizational change sets in during implementation and user training - we need these key people to stay engaged

 

So given our discussions, how is your evaluation process going? You've gone through the detailed process of developing the requirements and have perhaps even put the project on hold once or twice. Perhaps some of the stakeholders were actually in strong support of one of the products that was ruled out.

How will you make sure that your individuals are just as keen to share their insights, do their research, and re-evaluate their departments’ processes? How will you keep the momentum?

Of course, that being said, there are reasons to put an ERP / CRM project on hold: shifting priorities, etc.

What's become clear to me over the years is that for your organization to be in the group that succeeds with your CRM or ERP implementation, personal buy-in from your senior people and management team couldn't be more important. A large part of that is maintaining momentum.

 

Related Resources

One Microsoft XRM to Deal With it All

One CRM to Rule Them All [Infographic]

How we Found Two Hidden ROIs in an ERP Implementation

SalesForce Versus Microsoft Dynamics CRM: A Magic Quadrant Faceoff

by Candlewest

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