Posts Tagged ‘CRM’

An Opportunity to Learn more about Managing Projects – 19th September

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Do you understand enough about the fundamentals of how to manage projects successfully in your organisation?  Every organisation, large or small, does projects from time to time and a basic understanding of the management tools and techniques available can help ensure that your projects are successful.

On 19th September, Jane Royden will be delivering another of our popular project management workshops in Central London in partnership with MemNet.

Although primarily focused towards organisations in the Membership and other not-for-profit sectors, this workshop will be of real value for anyone who wants to know more about delivering projects.

The day will give you the opportunity to discuss your project challenges and potential solutions with a real expert, and you will find out about some practical tools and techniques that you can use straight away.   You will also get a 1-1 follow-up telephone mentoring discussion with Jane to explore any aspect of your organisation’s projects.

To find out more click on this link http://bit.ly/ManagingProjects.

Implementing CRM Successfully – Find Out How the CSP did it on 4th November

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Holy GrailIt has been said that implementing CRM successfully in the Membership sector is the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail! But it needn’t be – find out how the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy did it at the 2015 MemberWise ‘Harnessing the Web’ conference in London on 4th November.

Stuart DeBoos, CSP Finance Director, and myself will be there to take delegates through CSP’s CRM journey. A journey that not only resulted in the successful implementation of a complex CRM system, on time and within budget, but also did much to change the culture of the organisation. With more collaborative and cross functional working, and with better management tools and processes available, the CSP has hugely increased its capacity and capability to deliver projects and change successfully in the future.

You can find out more and book your place at the conference here.

‘Holding the Line: The long and the short of a successful CRM implementation’ is happening in Break-Out Room 2 at 2:40 p.m. Look forward to seeing you there!

If you can’t make the conference but want to find out more about how your organisation can successfully deliver complex projects and change – then contact me at david.hart@eandhlimited.com or ring on 07941 711 338.   Or visit our website http://www.eandhlimited.com/.

Talking about E AND H’s work with the CSP, Karen Middleton, Chief Executive, said: “I just wanted to acknowledge your significant contribution to the work of the CSP, both in terms of the actual work you have delivered and also the way you have delivered it. The latter might be even more important and significant in terms of our journey on Good to Great.

Are the Odds Stacked Against You?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Hope you can get away with it?

Can you accept the risk of your new initiative being more likely to go wrong than to succeed?  Not everyone does – other industries and sectors take a different approach!

Last week I attended one of the regular monthly meetings of Britain’s Energy Coast Business Consortium (BECBC) in Cumbria, of which E AND H is a member. Most of our work however is in London, and in the not-for-profit and Membership sectors, and the contrast between the two couldn’t be greater. As a small project management consultancy, one of the biggest challenges we face is being able to convince potential clients of the value and benefits of adopting good project management practice. At a budget level, the cost of project management, which could amount to as much as 20% of a complex IT and business change project, is often seen as unjustifiable. When I speak to firms at BECBC the picture is totally different – no-one would dream of launching a project in the energy, gas or nuclear sectors without being sure that robust and effective project management is in place from the start. The need for, and value of, project management is taken as read. Why this difference in understanding?

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The obvious answer is degree of risk, or rather the impact of something going wrong. The impact of a nuclear project going wrong could be catastrophic, so it’s comforting to know that effective management and control of risk has such a high priority. Similarly, in the oil and gas industries, the sums of money involved are huge and the potential for a disaster like BP’s Deepwater Horizon is always a possibility, however remote.

But is the relative degree of risk really that different? Certainly as a Membership organisation you are never going to irradiate the population or pollute the Gulf of Mexico, but are the sums of money involved really that different in terms of the relative threat it could pose to your organisation if things go wrong? A small membership association can easily spend £250k+ on introducing new CRM or membership systems and changing working practices – often it’s considerably more.

We regularly hear of organisations experiencing cost overruns and missed deadlines in their projects. The historical figure of something like 60% of all IT projects failing to achieve their objectives is unfortunately stubbornly consistent. Research has demonstrated that almost all causes of project failure are well-known – and most can be minimised with the application of good project management practice. How much does it actually cost you when your project overruns by 6 months? What is the total opportunity cost of this additional time, as well as the direct costs of paying suppliers and staff; and what about the impact on your management credibility and staff morale?pound-685059_1280

When you start looking at the risks of projects going wrong, and what it will cost you as an organisation if it does, then the additional budget up front for some effective project management seems to me to be a wise investment, whatever sector you’re in.

The ‘Holy Grail’ of CRM?

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

At an event we delivered last week it was suggested that a successful CRM project is the ‘holy grail’ for Membership organisations.  Why should this be the case?  After all, there are plenty of systems suppliers out there who claim to be able to provide CRM for the sector, and we know all the fundamentals now about how to deliver successful projects – don’t we?  Or perhaps it’s the concept of CRM itself – do we really know what we are trying to achieve?

In our work with organisations we’ve seen several CRM projects, some successful, others perhaps not as successful, and it might be useful to share some thoughts and observations around what gives the best opportunity of actually achieving that ‘holy grail’ outcome.

So, what do we know about CRM projects?

Firstly, we know they usually involve the implementation of a new IT system, and IT projects are notorious for their high failure rate.  However, the reasons for failure are well-known and with the appropriate expertise and the right approach the risks can be minimised.  Then there are the suppliers – several experienced CRM system suppliers provide solutions for the sector and all (or at least most) know how to implement them. However, the reality is that the supplier will deliver a system that works in accordance with an agreed functional specification – but they won’t be able to deliver your CRM objectives for you.

Secondly we know that CRM is more about people and culture than it is about technology, which is why just procuring a system from an IT supplier won’t deliver CRM.  CRM is about a different approach to your members or customers – aiming to improve relationships and services through better use of information and data.  However, improvement involves change, and change doesn’t happen until people do things differently.  A core component of any successful CRM project is people and culture change – improving skills, knowledge and capability, and often changing attitudes and behaviours to enable a new way of working.  CRM is cross-cutting.  A CRM focus puts the member or customer in the centre, rather than our organisational structures, management or processes.  To be successful we may need to take a radically different view of how we do things, perhaps with significant organisational implications.

Thirdly, and most importantly, we know that there needs to be a clear understanding of what the organisation expects from CRM (you will note that I’m saying these in reverse order – probably because many organisations implementing CRM start by looking for an IT system, which is a fatal mistake and the cause of many failed projects).  What problem are we trying to solve through CRM?  What are our strategic objectives and what benefits do we need to realise from CRM?  Implementing CRM is a significant undertaking and it needs to be clearly aligned within wider organisational strategy and business planning, with a commonly understood and accepted set of objectives.

The other key factor we need to recognise is that the organisational environment into which we are implementing this CRM is complex.  Our organisations are constantly changing – strategies and plans change, external factors and environment changes influence our priorities and investment decisions, staff change (especially CEOs!) and the needs and aspirations of our members and customers change.  Even in a relatively stable environment there are a myriad of things going on – formal and informal – around people, process and culture that may impact our project.  To be successful we need to see CRM within a whole organisation systems context.  Otherwise, implementing CRM is likely to have unintended consequences, and factors external to the project may impact its success.

When you look at all these things together I suppose it isn’t surprising that a successful CRM project is often seen as being as elusive as the Holy Grail.  However, this needn’t necessarily be the case and with the right expertise, the adoption modern management tools and techniques, and the right approach, significant benefits can be realised from a successful CRM implementation.  Critical areas any organisation embarking on CRM needs to get right include:

  • Aligning strategy, the top team and then the wider organisation around what we are doing and why – confirming and articulating the objectives and the benefits needed to demonstrate success. This high-level strategic work must be organisation-wide – and is best achieved from an interactive approach that includes the use of soft-systems methods (such as benefits dependency mapping) to engage all the key players. The outcome provides a framework that will guide the whole project.
  • Adopt a structured, robust and appropriate approach to initiation, governance, procurement, contracts etc. – choosing suppliers who will take a collaborative approach and work with you. Define and plan what needs to be delivered – the people/cultural aspects as much as the technical areas – ensuring plans, timescales and budget are aligned, realistic and sufficient.
  • Invest in enabling your best people to be involved in the project.
  • Adopt delivery management approaches, methods and controls that are appropriate for your organisation and the context – don’t just adopt the current fashion (PRINCE2, Agile etc… all have their place but none are a panacea).
  • Bring in appropriate expertise to help identify and manage the technical challenges (CRM system suppliers alone are often unable to do this effectively).
  • Keep the organisation engaged and involved throughout.
  • Plan for the implementation in the post-project world. Make sure you understand how CRM will be used and what difference it will make. The organisation must be capable of taking on the new systems and ways of working to allow the project team to disband. Change performance measures to reflect and reinforce the new CRM approach.
  • Celebrate success!

If you want to know more email us – david.hart@eandhlimited.com – or visit our website.

We will be presenting at the Memberwise ‘Harnessing the Web 2015’ conference in London on 4th November.  Hopefully we’ll see you there.

Visual Management – Free Breakfast Event – Wednesday 13th May

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Details of our free Targetprocess Visual Management breakfast event in Central London on Wednesday 13th May have now been confirmed.

Join us to learn more about Visual Management, and how it represents an easier way of keeping in control and managing work.  With lots of new ideas it should be a great way to start a Wednesday.

Venue and Booking

The event takes place at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, 14 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4ED, just a few minutes’ walk from Holborn or Chancery Lane tube stations.

To book a place, either email me at david.hart@eandhlimited.com, sign-up through Targetprocess Meet-Up or leave a comment below.  Book your places soon as numbers are limited.

Timetable

Coffee/tea and breakfast pastries will be available from 8:00 a.m.  Presentations will start at 8:30 a.m. and include:

  • Using data visualisation to see things differently
  • How the CSP have used Targetprocess Visual Management
  • A demonstration of the Targetprocess system solution for the nfp sectors.

Presentations will be followed by half an hour or so of questions and answers and an opportunity for networking, with the event concluding by 10:00 a.m.

The presenters

Natalie Y

Natalie Yadrentseva - Natalie is a product specialist with Targetprocess and a passionate researcher and presenter in information visualisation.

David - LinkedIn

David Hart - David is Director of E AND H and a professional programme and project manager with over 25 years’ experience of delivering successful performance improvement through managing projects and business change across the UK public and not-for-profit sectors.

Olga

Olga Ikhelis - Olga is UK product specialist for Targetprocess.

Jane Linked-In

Jane Royden - Jane is a Director of E AND H, and a project and change specialist, working vertically in organisations improving how they operate and changing how people think.

For more Information about Visual Management

For more details about Visual Management with Targetprocess go to our web page, download an information sheet, or read our blog.