Our approach to managing and running CRM implementation for multiple clients at the same time involve some very basic “Agile” principles of doing first things first, keeping iterations small, and running sprints. An overview of CRM philosophy can be found on our CRM Success page.
Our approach with our support and maintenance customers uses a simple backlog type approach as shown below:
This diagram shows the overall flow of work items (user stories and tasks) from initial inception, onto the Backlog, then onto the appropriate Sprint.
The Backlog is a queue of business functionality waiting for refinement, budget, scheduling and approval. A Backlog Item is a piece of business functionality that is well defined and can be budgeted and scheduled into an upcoming Sprint. Each Sprint is a 4 week period of time where approved Backlog items worked on and completed. A simple Backlog item example would be - “Sales user needs the Opportunity screen to display a weighted revenue amount calculated from the estimated revenue * sales stage probability, and allow that user to query the results in an advanced find.”
The Executive Sponsor, System Architect, System Consultant, and Business Process Expert(s) submit items to the backlog for consideration. The System Architect periodically reviews the backlog and ensures that each Backlog item is well documented and conforms to the overall system design.
The Executive Sponsor and Project Manager (and other team members as needed) have a monthly Sprint Planning session to review Backlog items and schedule them into the upcoming Sprints. The Sprint Planning session should be completed 2 weeks prior to the end of the current Sprint.
This approach helps capture new potential CRM items (business logic, custom workflow, plugins, ect) and allows the CRM team to prioritize and manage these items in typical Agile sprints. This “Agile CRM” approach keeps your users engaged, provides on-going value and ROI from your system, and keeps the Executive Sponsors involved.