At times you may have thought your CRM project would never get there, but you are now over the line and have reached the goal of go live. Congratulations! It’s a massive achievement and the hard work of all the teams involved should be acknowledged and celebrated. Whilst you can take a breath as the intense period that will have led to go live will have passed, there is still much work to do. Reaching go live is not the end of the project, it is the beginning of the next stage. Here are five areas that you should be focusing on now that you are at the post-go live stage.
1. Project governance
It is important to maintain the project governance for a few months after go live, even if there are no further project phases to be implemented. There will be a number of areas that will still need attention and monitoring, for example, any outstanding development work that wasn’t agreed to be a priority prior to go live but is still within scope and managing any bugs or system changes that are raised by users.
Even when it is decided that the project governance has come to an end and, as you transition to business as usual, decisions still need to be made. For example, the future governance of the system, how decisions about system changes are made going forward, monitoring the technology partner’s support desk and the account management of the technology partner.
Hopefully your new CRM solution is now your master dataset with all known data sources consolidated. Perhaps though, you know that there are still a number of spreadsheets in use across the organisation. These could have been identified as part of your data audit, perhaps during the business case, requirements gathering or during the discovery phase but not included in the data migration itself pre-go live. Now is a good time to revisit the data audit and tackle these spreadsheets and also to encourage people to bring forward any new spreadsheets they hold or other data sources that may have arisen during the implementation. A decision can then be made about how this data is treated, for example, inputting the data manually into the CRM, or considering a data import.
3. User adoption
To help ensure that user adoption is taking place, consider monitoring the CRM system usage over time, which you should be able to report on from your CRM system. Doing this periodically will help you track any patterns. User adoption can also be fed into staff’s objectives for reviews and appraisals.
You should have delivered training prior to User Acceptance Testing to ensure staff are skilled up to carry out the testing and are ready to use the CRM once live. What you need to think of now is future training. You need to have resources lined up to deliver ongoing training as new staff joiners are onboarded. If any new features are developed for the CRM, you need to think about who will share these new developments with staff and who will keep training materials up to date.
You may need to consider refresher training if some staff need further support. Issuing a training needs survey to staff could help you to find out people’s competence and confidence in using the new CRM system and what particular areas to focus on in any future training.
Delivering training and a training survey and keeping staff informed of any new system developments could all be incorporated into a wider communications plan for staff and any other key stakeholders. This will help encourage and maintain user adoption, stay aware of any issues that are preventing that objective being achieved and continue to communicate the benefits of the system to the organisation. Being able to demonstrate that the objectives of the business case have been delivered is a powerful message for stakeholders.
Reaching go live is a fantastic achievement, however, the work does not stop at that point and it is important to maintain project momentum to ensure the solution is embedded and delivers the business benefits that you set out to achieve.