For a successful CRM project, customer business team needs executive support and sufficient empowerment

When implementing you will need more than the right partner and product. You will also need the right team internally to bring success in an implementation project.

Regardless of the methodology used (although some more than others are impacted here), there will be uncertainty in every implementation project. There may be lots of uncertainty, or it may be a small amount of uncertainty within a fairly tightly defined framework or specification. Whenever there is uncertainty, there is the need for clarification and decision to enable the project to progress at pace. Decision making can only be effective with the appropriate level of executive support and empowerment within the project team.  

In this discussion, we explore the dynamics around executive support and empowerment. We share our observations on why there is often a weakness in project teams in this regard, we explore the consequences of not having appropriate support or empowerment, and finally, based on our experiences, we share the right characteristics of the project exec which are likely to deliver success.  

Various methods and governance structures exist which will help an organisation to identify which of their senior team should be responsible for the success of a project, this piece will not focus there, rather, the focus is on ensuring the right level of involvement when this decision has been made.  

By definition, the responsible exec will have appropriate seniority within the organisation, they will have the pull on their time, and a range of activities that they need to control that is expected of a senior executive. In addition to this there will be a project to oversee. This may be seen as an unwelcome burden in addition to ‘the day job’ (We hear team members of all levels talking about the demands of ‘the day job’ in project teams so often! a recipe for disaster that we will discuss elsewhere), or it may be seen as an exclusive focus where every detail will be sought, analysed and challenged. Neither of these extreme levels of executive involvement would be ideal. Senior disinterest will lead to project failure just as certainly as senior micro-management will. So, what is the right balance?

The right balance here is one which means the business will not face unpalatable surprises, whether in scope, cost nor benefit realisation. The involvement of the senior exec, or the empowerment of the team delegated by the senior exec should resolve uncertainty to maintain pace in the project. There needs to be enough visibility of the project and enough visibility of the wider business to ensure ongoing viability of the business case.

Common project execs we see and the results likely from the approach:

Watch for the next post on The ‘know all exec’ tomorrow (i.e. 11th Feb 2020 at 11am)