The Launch date – Go Live Event, is not a one and done occurrence. The benefits to the Organization can be added to for many years to come. Make sure your Road Map Reflects That Benefits that the whole organizations will gain. The tailwind from a Implementation will be felt for years, as the benefits mount. In one case I automated a customer satisfaction email survey that cost $400 to create and saved $2,500 the first year, $3,000 the next year and $8,500 over the past 3 years. This is where you get to show the Organization the Magic.
Gaining alignment of all of the team members involved or effected by the implementation is super important. It can make or break the success of the implementation. If there is any one thing, I see in business management books over and over again is “Keeping the main thing the main thing” to loosely quote Steven Covey. A road map shows the whole organization where you all are going at a high level. Sometimes it makes sense to keep the dates broad – by Quarter and as you look out 3 – 5 years. The Tailwind of a Salesforce Implementation can drive cost benefits out at least 3 – 5 years or more. Mainly through reducing costs, improving productivity, better forecasts and most importantly Automation. The Road Map also keeps the Implementation Team accountable. A good road map will also help avoid chasing shiny objects as you will be forced to decide what gets delayed. Team members also get to see where their preferred features get implemented. It also gives the Implementation team a tool to set new feature requests into the future.
Implementing a CRM is disruptive it engenders a new way of thinking. The reap the benefits of a CRM we have to be open and willing to change how we do business. It is a journey from Organization Centered model to a Customer-centric model. Customer expect you to know about them and the products – services they bought from you, their preferences, likes & dislikes. The old way worked, but is was a lot of manual mindless work, CRMs automate the drudgery freeing Professionals to use the intellect to further the business goals. Getting input from the Teams who will be affected will be key. Good change management is critical.
A less detailed version of Salesforce Implementation Road Map should also be presented at an All Hands Meeting. Shared with Key Share Holders and at Investor Presentations. This generates alignment across the whole organization. If there is one thing that I see over and over in Business Management Books is how hard it is to as Steven Covey said “Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing” to keep the business aligned and firing on all cylinders. Salesforce CRM is all about Data Transparency (yes you control who sees what) the whole Team is on the same page.
A Gant Chart like the one above (Built using Smartsheet www.smartsheet.com) is a great way to show at a high level the overall goals and timeline of the project. It is best to keep the Chart at a high level and by Quarters. Even when using an Agile – Scrum approach a High-Level Road Map is a good tool to have as a guide. Keep your road-map flexible enough to flow to where the success will be rather than being too rigid. Often times during Implementations better ideas surface that will generate far more ROI than what we originally though would be successful.
Now it’s time to going and get started. I don’t suppose that in some small way this series of Six Articles has helped, on the off chance it has kindly feel free to contact me.