Functional Task Force and Reverse Training – Redefine Your Role in YOUR CRM Implementation

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A CRM project will certainly fail if it does not receive the full support of those who will ultimately benefit from it…..the users.

Call it user adoption or company buy-in but without it, your CRM implementation will feel like an up hill battle and ultimately will be a huge waste of money. With it, you can have happy employees who perform their jobs efficiently and effectively and who bring value to your entire company.

After countless installs, we have seen two strategies that work:

  • Create a Functional Task Force
  • Reverse the “train the trainer” approach

My colleague, Ashley Craig, recently reviewed these strategies in detail with the Crowe CRM team.

What is a Functional Task Force?

A functional task force is a group of users from within your own organization who will be using the solution. The functional task force is not made up of the executive team, nor the steering committee, nor the people who evaluated the software and made the purchase decision. To be functional, the functional task force must be peopled by those who will ultimately use the product day in and day out.

Your part is to identify people who will become your power users of the new CRM system.

Make sure you select people who are assigned to each specific business/functional area, but the entire team should have a clear picture of the overall capabilities and design of the system.

The Functional Task Force will:

  1. Serve as a point of contact for the business area users and testers.
  2. Understand and own decisions about system design & configuration.
  3. Be a channel for bug complaints / change requests/helpdesk tickets in that business area during testing.
  4. Engage and learn the system; help communicate with business area users/testers; answer questions, or escalate questions when confusion arises.
  5. Become a system power user for that functional area, and ultimately become a project champion.
  6. Engage in testing and encouraging others.
  7. Keep regular communication with the Dynamics 365 Partner/program manager directly.

Creating this team will enhance communication, training, and testing processes.

It can also decrease the number of the Microsoft Partner’s billable hours. For example, in a large CRM roll out, the “helpdesk” of issues that the Partner needs to solve can be extensive, especially during the testing phase. The Functional Task Force leaders should know all Helpdesk issues reported in their business area, and help the Partner to get questions answered, obtain clarifications, and understand priorities. This also gives users an additional point person who understands the system before and can help solve problems.

Often users request changes without realizing how it will impact the overall design of the syste and other departments. The Functional Task Force sees the bigger picture and can filter through these requests before they make it to the helpdesk. But how can you be sure they really understand the system? And how can they transfer that knowledge to the other users?

Reverse Train the Trainer

Many people are familiar with the popular “Train the trainer” approach. The expert comes in and trains one person; then that person takes the knowledge and trains everyone else in the organization.

We want you to reverse that.

We want you to flip the “train-the-trainer” approach upside down and have the business users prepare demos of the system functionality and present it back to the expert, your Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner.  Users will become owners of the understand the functionality of the system before go-live. This increases go-live readiness and confidence in users.

Each functional area of the system that is used by each department will be assigned to a system user by the Functional Task Force for them to learn and prepare to demonstrate. The demo will take place via a Web session where the user is driving, and the Microsoft Partner is asking the questions.

In our experience these strategies can make a huge difference to the success of you CRM implementation.

At Crowe, we want to help you use these strategies for a successful Microsoft Dynamics 365 project. If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics 365 contact us today.

Also read:

By Ryan Plourde, Crowe, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

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