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How do you manage your CRM?

  • 1.  How do you manage your CRM?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 15, 2019 07:30 PM
    Edited by Diane Taylor Jul 15, 2019 07:32 PM
    Hi all!
    I have seen this question posed before but am now having trouble finding it so I apologize for asking again.
    We are currently a 2 person team with a user base of 210.  We manage training, user set up, gathering wishlist items, hosting discovery sessions and creating requirement maps and plans, less complex solution enhancements, roll out and communication of enhancements and changes, relationship management with our partner for the more complex enhancements, and are accountable for the overall success and adoption of Dynamics.
    Although we have found great success in uptake of Dynamics organization wide,   l am looking for your thoughts on the best way to handle the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of Dynamics to ensure we are being as effective as possible to ensure the best possible continued success.
    I do appreciate all of the experience this forum has to offer so am reaching out to you!
    • Who "owns" the system
      • Sales, Marketing, IT, other?
    • Who manages the changes?
      • Do you have a defined process?
    • Configuration vs. Development
      • How do you define each with regards to Dynamics? 
      • Does this determine who makes the changes? 
    • What type of structure do you recommend?
    • What have you tried?
      • What worked well
      • What didn't work so well
    • Any other advice you have for me?
    Thanks so much!

    ------------------------------
    Diane Taylor
    Manager Implementation and Adoption
    Synergy Credit Union
    Lloydminster SK
    ------------------------------
    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 2.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    MICROSOFT MVP
    Posted Jul 16, 2019 03:12 AM
    Edited by Seth Bacon Jul 16, 2019 03:21 AM
    Hey @Diane Taylor!

    It has been great following your company's journey for the last few years. The fact that you are able to support 210+ users with only 2 admins shows how efficient you have become.

    The questions that are you posing are very common and often are the unstated questions. Will do my best to answer them based on current understanding.
    • Who "owns" the system
      • This is the age-old question of who works for whom and who owns what. This is often tricky as the reason you have a business application system is to support the various departments in the organization. Without the Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, or Operations department, there would be no need for a business application. So the owner of the system needs is the business departments.

        With that said, the departments should not own their own systems as allowing the departments to control their systems leads to security concerns and conflicts when departments attempt to work together. So the IT department steps in to manage the business applications as well as the other "systems".

        So who "owns" the system, the business owns the system. Management has approved the use of technology systems in the organization in order to help facilitate and manage growth. It's management's role to guide the business strategy and for the departments to interpret the strategy to tactical items which are then translated by IT to develop a system to support the business strategy articulated by management and carried out and define by the departments.

    • Who manages the changes?
      • As you know, change management takes on many forms, both from organizational change management and system change management. For organizational change management, the recommendation is to have the business manage the impact to the business users. For system change management, this should be managed by the IT department based on resources available.

        As Microsoft releases new features, it's IT role to understand the impact on existing functionality and work with the business leaders to address and mitigate risk. For new feature requests, these should be communicated by the business as requests to IT and then prioritized by management.
    • Configuration vs. Development
      • How do you define each with regards to Dynamics? 
        • Configuration - leveraging out of the box functionality that you are able to accomplish without writing code
        • Development - utilizing a computer language to extend the system
      • Does this determine who makes the changes?
        • All configuration and development should be handled as a part of an application life cycle management process utilizing source control. This is especially true for items of development which have backup versions only stored on local devices (aka the individual's laptop).

    • What type of structure do you recommend?
      • With regards to working with a partner, partners should be viewed as an extension of the team and utilized accordingly based on skill, availability, and timeline. Partners can truly partner with an organization when they understand the business strategy from management, along with timing, skillset needs, and clear tactical requirements from the business.

    • What have you tried?
      • What worked well
        • When working with the business or an external partner, clearly set expectations on timeline
        • Help the business understand a realistic timeline for accomplishing requests based on other competing priorities from other departments.
          • Utilize a steering committee of department business leaders to determine priority
        • Document decisions
        • Document assumptions of design
      • What didn't work so well
        • Most times when things run off the rails is when both parties did not clearly understand or made assumptions. This sets up for missed expectations which leads to conflict. This can be between a business department and IT or the organization and a partner.

    • Any other advice you have for me?
      • Keep it up! You are asking the right questions and you are not alone. Leverage the community you have here for both technical as well as emotional support. Know you are working to improve other's lives and that though some days are rougher than others, know you have made a difference.
    Keep us posted!

    ------------------------------
    Seth T. Bacon
    RSM
    Seattle, WA
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 3.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 16, 2019 11:31 AM
    Thanks @Seth Bacon!
    I really appreciate your kind words and thoughtful insights (I learned from the BEST! :)) .  These will definitely help us to understand how we need to change as we move forward.
    Do you see a CRM administrator/developer being a full time role?  Part time role?  1 person?  Multiple people? I understand this will be different for each organization and may be difficult to answer.
    We are trying to find the right balance between time/resources and executing business needs to maintain and gain user engagement.
    Again, many thanks!



    ------------------------------
    Diane Taylor
    Manager Implementation and Adoption
    Synergy Credit Union
    Lloydminster SK
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 4.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    Posted Jul 17, 2019 09:28 AM
    Diane - We are a little smaller than you supporting about 110 users and have been live for 17 months. We don't have a system admin from the aspect of making changes. We rely on our implementation partner to make those changes. This was a decision we made going into this project. We do have a person who will assign / update roles for users. I also have a very strong business owner who took the time to learn CRM and how it applies to our business. Without her diligence (initilal and continued), we would not be as successfull as we have been.

    Everything that @seth bacon said is spot on.

    Good luck

    Chris Caputo
    Director of Project Management
    CATIC​

    ------------------------------
    Chris Caputo
    Director of Project Management
    CATIC
    Rocky Hill CT
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 5.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 17, 2019 04:09 PM
    • Who "owns" the system and who Manages the Changes?
      • Our IT team owns the CRM system and the other 22 environments and I as a business analyst in a different department work with the users specifically in the Land department, who use our Land CRM . We have "pushes" to CRM every 6 weeks, but we are heavily customized, so we constantly have changes and additions. I work with my department to determine requirements and we create user stories to track the changes wanted. We formed a CRM user group and we have a total of 12 people from the department on it. We meet to schedule the next "push" and add new user stories to the list. It is a governance team and each person represents a different aspect of the department. Once changes are scheduled we allow the users to meet with their groups within the next week and make sure none of the changes concerns others and to ensure everyone is satisfied with some changes or additions we are making. We must be as transparent as possible, because we do have so many customization, 1 change may break a process for someone else. I then work with the IT group who handles our CRM to get these changes done over the next 6 weeks. I handle a lot of the changes that I can do and he handles more of the backend if Java script changes are necessary. We push these changes on Wednesdays every 6 weeks during lunch. We then have a training the following morning for anyone who wants to attend, where we demo the changes and work with the users. We use ServiceNow to track these changes and I built a dashboard to show the list of current stories for the 6 weeks, statuses of each in a donut chart and then a list for our backlog that users can view anytime.
    • Configuration vs. Development
      • Configuration - Out of the Box
      • Development - What we often have to do, is code changes. 
    • A big thing in our group is communication. If we do not communicate correctly with the users, we can have a negative impact on their work and their processes. Our system of communication and transparency seems to be working very well right now and users seem to feel more included with this process. They do not necessarily want to govern user stories, but they do like that they know what is going on. 


    ------------------------------
    Kaylea Stuart
    Salt River Project
    Tempe AZ
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 6.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 21, 2019 09:08 PM
    We have 2,500+ users and have a CRM team within the IT department that supports, maintains, and administers the system.  There are 3 of us, including myself on the CRM team.  As the manager of the CRM team I am ultimatelly repsonsible for keeping the system up and running and making sure it meets the needs of the business with input from many individuals and departments (Sales, Marketing, Leadership, Legal, Accounting, etc.).  As IT, we partner with the other departments to roll out functionality that meets their needs.  We ensure that we have process owners within the business for the different functionality we deploy (i.e. Sales owns the Opportunity tracking process, Marketing owns the Marketing pieces, Legal owns the contract review process we have built, Accounting owns the Rate Sheet update process, etc.).  Our philosophy is we leverage business stakeholders to determine which functionality we will roll out and what improvements we will make.  IT is ultimately responsible for the budget and ensuring the system delivers value.  This allows the system to work for the entire company instead of one group configuring it to meet their own needs in spite of other departments.

    ------------------------------
    Shawn Hickey
    Burns & McDonnell
    Kansas City MO
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 7.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 18, 2019 07:43 AM
    That's a fantastic question. I'll share how we manage CRM for an user base of around 500.
    • Who "owns" the system
      • Commercial Excellence (my group), which is a sales enablement function. Commercial Excellence includes CRM, marketing automation, the MarCom team, and internal communications. 
      • There are only two of us that manage CRM - me (technical) and another (business). 
      • Before Commercial Excellence was formed 2 years ago, IT/Sales has previously owned the system.
    • Who manages the changes?
      • My group manages changes. We maintain a backlog of requests and run two week long sprints. My colleague (the business side of the two person team) regularly meets with sales, support, etc. leadership to help understand their needs.
    • Configuration vs. Development
      • We heavily favor configuration over development whenever possible. This has worked well for us since moving to Dynamics Online, because it minimizes the risk of an upgrade breaking the system. 
    • What type of structure do you recommend?
      • I think every situation is unique. For us, this structure works well, but we also have the talent necessary to support it. I've got a strong software development background, so I'm able to do everything from configuration to development to integration and beyond, while my colleague has a strong business background and is able to work well with our business partners and really understand their needs and not just take orders.
    • What have you tried?
      • When we rolled up under IT/Sales, things were more difficult to get done because Dynamics evangelism, training, customization wasn't a focus. It could be difficult to get resources from time to time. If your goal is to improve the sales processes or system utilization, it helps to have a team/group that's focused on that effort and gets support from the executives.


    ------------------------------
    Steve Platz
    Technical Lead, Commercial Excellence
    LORD Corporation
    Cary NC
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 8.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 19, 2019 09:47 AM
    Hi Diane!
    Speaking on behalf of my marketing people with this reply--as marketing invests more and more in automated emails and digital marketing, please be sure they are a part of the conversation about how CRM is managed, what data is captured, and how workflows can help them build Marketing Lists to power campaigns in their marketing automation platforms.

    In talking with my marketing crowd, I think we often take a backseat to the sales team's CRM needs. I like to say that marketing deserves at least a 50% stake in the CRM conversation! Everything we need to properly segment and target our prospects AND nurture our existing customers lives in CRM--we just need to be part of the conversation of how to organize and populate that data into a marketing-friendly format.

    Anyway, that's my soapbox for today :)

    ------------------------------
    Natalie Jackson
    Marketing Director
    emfluence Marketing Platform
    Kansas City MO
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 9.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jul 26, 2019 10:35 AM
    I'm kind of in the same situation, I am a 1 person team with 170 users. I do work with partenrs for anything that require complex code and manage everything else on my own.

    This is what's worked for me.

    • Who "owns" the system
      • Sales, Marketing, IT, other? -
    I work on the business side since anything to do with IT takes it longer than usual. Assigning licenses always goes through Desktop support team, but I assign the security roles.

    I created a few security roles in Sales/Service/Marketing with slightly elevated permissions than a regular user so they can do simple things that doesn't require CRM expertise.So every group owns their module for day to day operations and I provide support and training as needed.

    I created user specific training manuals, videos and send them as needed when users have repetitive questions or for new users.
    • Who manages the changes?
      • Do you have a defined process?
    If you have access to JIRA or any project management tool, you can create an agile board and document the changes and move them to done when they are complete.
    This also helps you to get an overview on what's open and to prioritize the open items.
    • Configuration vs. Development
      • How do you define each with regards to Dynamics? 
    Configurations - anything that can be done without using code comes under this. Creating workflows, business processes, for updates etc.
    Development - anything that requires coding and creation of custom plugins would come under this.
      • Does this determine who makes the changes? 
    For me, I do all the configurations and work with partners that require any development work.
    • What type of structure do you recommend?
    Everything above is what's worked for me.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,
    Geethika L
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


  • 10.  RE: How do you manage your CRM?

    Posted Jul 29, 2019 04:44 AM
    Same here, I'm a one-man band supporting around 120 users. We have a in-house IT department that will handle things like allocation of licences and a Microsoft partner that will handle complex changes that require coding etc. I manage everything else such as training, user set up, gathering  user requests, creating roadmaps and project plans and do the less complex enhancements/ customisations and manage all the user communication, engagement and adoption. I also manage our relationship with IT and that with our MS partner. I regularly feedback to our management team on progression as I'm the one accountable for the overall success and adoption of Dynamics.
    Who "owns" the system
    I work for the business side and they are the owner of the system but IT help to host it.
    Who manages the changes?
    • Do you have a defined process
    I manage the change, I use MS Planner to create Kanban boards to keep track of change (I have one for technical change and one for the people side of change). This helps me keep a track of what our external partners are doing, track time spent on tasks and help to priorities system changes.
    Configuration vs. Development
    • How do you define each with regards to Dynamics
    • Does this determine who makes the changes? 
    Configuration is anything that comes as standard in Dynamics such as field/ form customisations, flows, security roles, power app use etc - basically anything you don't need code to do. Anything covered under configuration I would do myself. Development would be things that require code and would bespoke to our system - I would work together with our MS partner to get this done.
    • What type of structure do you recommend?
    I'm still playing around to find the best way of structuring the projects but the Kanban boards are a great way to keep a track and plan for change. I like to make as much of the system changes myself as possible, as not only does this save us money, but it's also a quicker and agile way to work as I've got a much closer relationship with the users and understand their system requirements. However, I do have a close relationship with our MS partner and work with them on any advanced change projects. Working with a 3rd party will always take longer and you need to spend time building up that relationship and I think having as much of the knowledge in-house as possible will give you users a better experience, as you'll have a much deeper understanding of the business processes and the overall organisational culture.

    ------------------------------
    Jessica
    ------------------------------

    The first step toward cloud success. - Migrate from CRM to D365 with expert guidance from Microsoft. I'm Ready


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