The Incremental in “Agile CRM Development”

February 5th, 2012 by

When I started POIM I read research group after research group report that an extraordinarily high percentage of software projects either fail to meet their goals after completion, are delivered over-budget or late, or are simply canceled outright.

Customer Relationship Management projects are no different; they are subject to the same torques and tensions that tear other projects apart. In fact, the numbers are higher with CRM projects; studies show up to 70% of CRM projects fail.

One of my missions at POIM was to determine how we could address the high failure rate with a sound implementation strategy. I did an evaluation of all the different ways to implement a CRM project and I decided that an Agile approach would be the best approach to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. The basic idea behind the Agile method is to develop a system through repeated cycles (iterative) and in smaller portions at a time (incremental), allowing us to take advantage of what was learned during development of earlier parts or versions of the system.

To address the iterative component of the agile approach we developed our QuickStart methodology. One of the challenges was to develop a repeatable model for the “incremental” component in the agile system. As a result, we built a table that leverages the principles of the “customer journey” and “CRM stages” to break down the components of a CRM into bite size incremental segments.

When taking on a CRM project you can improve the probability of success by using an Agile approach to your project and focusing on small wins and a repeatable implementation model.

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