What is the best way to project manage a CRM implementation???
Agile with a capital A, seems to have started around 2001. But I know many programmers and project manager who were following a rapid Agile like approach to devlopment many years before the term was coined.
Whilst Agile is a popular approach to management of CRM projects that doesn’t mean it is the best or only approach. In reality there isn’t a single approach that can (or should) be considered the best, as whatever works for your organisation is the right approach!
But it is important to understand how CRM projects might differ from your other IT projects; they tend to be faster paced, require more change, are often technically complex and demand a high focus on user needs. These are all requirements that sit well within an Agile approach.
Rather than following Agile in a strict sense I favour using the principles that underpin it and adapting them to each organisation or situation.
Take each of the Agile principles in turn and consider its implications for your environment and how it might be best achieved. Frankly many are things any good software designer should routinely do but unfortunately they often don’t!
The Agile principles:
- Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
- Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
- Working software is the principal measure of progress
- Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
- Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
- Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication
- Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
- Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
- Self-organizing teams
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective
In future posts I will try to take each of these principles and discuss some real world examples. I won’t be trying to create an Agile text book! Just giving a few examples of how you might apply each principle.