Key Customer Roles needed for a Successful Dynamics CRM Implementation Project

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One of the key issues that organizations often underestimate when considering a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) installation is the complicated nature of the project and the amount of work it takes to successfully implement such all-encompassing software.

An area that often surprises our customers is the number of people throughout their organization that are needed to successfully implement a CRM. As a CRM is a representation of many key elements of a business such as Sales, Marketing and Service processes, data representation of customers, integration with other systems, reporting, security, products, etc. it really does require a lot of organizational knowledge to successfully analyze, design, configure and implement.

Some of the key roles an organization may need to provide in order to successfully implement a CRM are:

  • Executive Sponsor - The Customer Executive Sponsor is a senior level executive who has accepted ownership of investigating and investing in a business system initiative and will promote funding and staffing of the project. As needed basis.
  • Business Decision Maker - To represent the goals and objectives of the customer organization to the implementation project team and champion the project within the customer organization. As needed basis.
  • Project ManagerTo schedule and coordinate project resources within the customer’s organization and ensure that the stated business objectives are being met. 4 - 16 Hours/week, depending on the phase and size of project.
  • Business Analyst - Provides expertise and understanding of a customer’s business processes. Nearly a full-time commitment during Analysis and Design phases.
  • Subject Matter Expert - To provide in-depth knowledge of the customer’s vision, goals, and requirements for a business process (e.g., Order to Cash). As needed.
  • Key Users - To provide in-depth knowledge of a functional area or department to the implementation project team. Often, because of the CRM product knowledge they acquire during the project, they contribute to user training and support as well.  Max 8 hours/wk.
  • IT Manager - Provide knowledge of the customer’s existing IT environment and participate in architecting the environment required for the new implementation. As needed.
  • IT Staff - Provide on-site knowledge of network system, web portal and technical assistance. As needed.
  • Test Lead - To validate that testing results are acceptable and meet project requirements on all different aspects of the solution, both functionally and technically, according to the pre-defined performance levels and overall quality criteria. As needed/heavy commitment during deployment phase.


Note that multiple roles may be fulfilled by a single individual, depending on their depth and breadth of knowledge. Organization size and complexity of the project will usually determine the number of individuals needed as well as the amount of time they will be required to commit to the project. Different roles will be more or less involved in the project, depending on the phase of the project. For example, the Business Analyst and Business Decision maker are key roles in the Analysis and Design phases of a project, but their involvement tapers off during implementation and testing – where the IT Manager and Test Lead will likely become more involved.

Don’t worry if you can’t envision anyone in your organization fulfilling a particular role. The BDO Canada Solutions team is focused on extracting necessary business information (such as business processes and product information) from multiple sources as necessary, and technical skillsets (such as a Project Manager) can be provided by us for the duration of the project.

See my article “Key Consultant Roles needed for a Successful Dynamics CRM Implementation” for a description of the roles that BDO Canada typically fulfills during a project. 

BDO Solutions is a national firm with local practices throughout Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Reseller of the Year in Canada for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

By Ryan Mullaney, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant with BDO Solutions, Canada.


2 thoughts on “Key Customer Roles needed for a Successful Dynamics CRM Implementation Project”

  1. What happens when no body in the company has every actually used a CRM? Specially when your organization is a small or mid-size one? The cost to experiment directly with Dynamic will be huge. Therefore its a good idea to first use a free open source solution and then eventually migrate to MS Dynamics. has good content to share information on free open source CRMs and the way to go ahead.


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