Define Your Strategy
Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία stratēgia, “art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship”) is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the “art of the general,” which included several subsets of skills including tactics, siegecraft, logistics etc., the term came into use in the 6th century. From then until the 20th century, the word “strategy” came to denote “a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills” in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact.
Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.
Defining Your Strategy to meet Your Goals
Identify the key stake holders in the departments that will be involved with the implementation. Get them involved in forming the strategy for making this implementation. If they are part of the planning right from the begging it will give them ownership in the plan. At this point having a Subject Matter Expert to facility can be a huge help facilitating the discussion (Implementation Partner – Consultant)
Warning stay out of the weeds – details, Strategy is Hi Level and painted with a Broad Brush. It is tempting to delve in to the details and get caught chasing Shiny Objects. A good facilitator will keep things on track and at the Strategic Level. This is a critical step that will save a huge amount of time later on, as it lays the foundation for your success. Take the time to get a consensus on a well thought out Strategy. Getting input for all of the stakeholders will greatly improve buying and identify potential problems up front. During this step having senior level people from each department involved will save time getting buy in later on.
Often times it make sense to identify one Department that will be the starting point for the implementation. Good candidates are departments that are all in one location, like Tech Support, Customer Service, or Inside Sales. In my experience what works is situations where the manager & team are in one location and they are open to change. This will facilitate requirements gathering, problem solving, training, etc. Salesforce suggests a Crawl, Walk, Run strategy. By using one group in one place with the right resources to support them the chances of success are much greater. This is a great way to generate a success to build on.
One often overlooked part of the Implementation process is mapping your existing process. Identify who knows it and who lives it and how you are going to map & measure it. Your implementation will be measured against “The way we used to do things around here” This will give you all a key metric to measure your success. No CRM will make up for a poor process. If you have to take the time to define your process it is time will spent. What are the SWOT Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. What are the Pain Points that Salesforce could solve. Knowing the existing process will help you define the Strategy for taking your company to the next level in your road map.
Layout a Road Map 3 to 5 yrs out. The next few years can be rather specific and more generalized as we reach out to 5 yrs. Put it on a timeline, or Gant Chat, Dry Erase Board or PowerPoint. Put it in the implementation Team’s War Room. Share it so everyone is on the same page.
Start putting pen to paper or fingers to the key board:
Decide on the methodology you plan to use, it can be defined: Agile – Scrum, Waterfall, etc.
Identify Key positions & Pencil in Potential Candidates for:
Project Owners in each Department
Power Users in Each Department
Training – Inhouse & Trailhead
Who will need Training?
What Training will they need?
How will Remote People be Trained?
Identify a list of Departments that will be involved or affected by this Implementation.
Human Resources (Payroll & Commissions)
Manufacturing or Service Providers
Partners & Others
Failing to Plan is Planning to fail. The time spent developing a good Strategy will save a huge amount of time down the road. A good Strategy is like a GPS with Traffic Alerts, it picks the best route yet adjusts to route your around Traffic Jams.