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CRM Risk Management

VIII. Don't Forget Risk Management

Whenever you undertake a Customer Relationship Management software deployment project you expose yourself to risk. Risk is an inherent component of any enterprise software project and every project carries with it a certain amount of risk. This includes the risks and uncertainties encountered throughout the project life cycle, as well as the business risk associated with not doing the project.

Risk is the net negative impact of a vulnerability exercise, considering both the probability and the impact of an
occurrence. A CRM software risk management exercise is the process of identifying risk, assessing risk and taking proactive steps to remove risk or reduce risk to an acceptable level.

Risk management is the continuous process through which the relative risk of harm to an application or project is evaluated, mitigated, and continuously monitored. A team led by the Risk Manager and consisting of other
interested parties first performs a risk assessment for all new projects and systems undergoing major modification. The risk assessment team identifies the controls in place and additional controls needed to provide confidence for the project or system and reduce the level of risk to one acceptable to the stakeholders. The Risk Manager then performs periodic vulnerability testing of the controls to monitor the continued adequacy of system confidence.

Structured risk management activities conducted by the project office seek to identify at an early stage any critical success factor that appears unfulfilled. This allows the project management team to raise the issue in the appropriate forum and begin efforts to mitigate any potential risk.

Top 10 CRM Implementation Project Risks
Through dozens of risk analysis projects, we've prioritized common risks below.

  1. Invalid project assumptions (different expectations among stakeholders)
  2. Project planning omissions. Significant delays incurred not because project planning tasks were underestimated but because project tasks were completely omitted (forgotten)
  3. Data conversion delay. Unanticipated data scrubbing due to poor data quality
  4. Lack of continuity or consistency of business processes among multiple locations (as well as the introduction of sub-optimization by some locations)
  5. Failure to proactively anticipate and mitigate user adoption challenges - fear of change, sub-optimization and/or sacred cows. Closely aligned with failure to recognize the change in cultural due to a CRM implementation
  6. Missing or infrequent active and visible executive sponsorship
  7. Project is perceived by users as optional; CRM software failure is an option
  8. Failure to backfill project team schedules/workloads
  9. Failure to recognize weak (basic PC operation) user skills assessment prior to training
  10. Failure of Risk Management and proactive risk mitigation
Customer Relationship Management
  1. Start with Business Strategy
  2. Assemble the Right Project Team
  3. Leverage an Implementation Methodology
  4. Insist Upon Structured Project Management
  5. Prepare For Change Management
  6. Plan Early For Dirty Data
  7. Consider Best Practices Utilization
  8. Don't Forget Risk Management