There are many factors when beginning a new project. Length of time, persons making the change, and the effort involved in a switch-over are all major considerations. But one that’s often not considered enough, are the people who are affected by the change. These are the front-line staff, those “at the coalface”, who will be working with the new system daily. All too often these staff are the last to know or receive conflicting information about what a change to their work methods will mean for them. This invariably leads to discontentment and unhappy staff. After all, no one likes change foisted upon them.
So, how could this be mitigated? We’ve found time and again that an implementation project is much more likely to succeed if these stakeholders - the ones most affected by the implementation of a new CRM - get involved right from the start. By asking Roger the Receptionist or Amy the Admissions Officer what they want out a CRM right from the get-go, they’re more likely to become invested in the implementation. And the more invested they are, the more Roger and Amy will want the project to be a success, and the happier they’ll be when the CRM gets delivered.
Now, what does this mean in practice? Each app either has an individual Fact-Finding meeting or gets grouped with a similar app. This allows you to call in the right people for each meeting. For example, Roger might be asked to attend a meeting about Enquiries, and give his views on what would make him more efficient. Whereas Amy, being more involved with managing events, would be better placed to give her views about Pre-Applicant Open Days.
At the end of the day, it’s Roger and Amy who will be using the CRM every day, and therefore it’s their needs - not those of upper management - which should be explored. The better Amy understands how the new CRM can work for her, the better equipped she is to lead her team in the change-over, and the happier her staff will be. The right person, at the right stage of the implementation project, can make all the difference for a successful implementation.