CRM Governance Part 3: Putting CRM Governance into Action through CRM “Centers of Excellence”
CRM is the ideal platform for organizations with multiple lines of business deploying applications. Managing these initiatives while finding ways to increase efficiency requires a governance strategy. In this 6-part series on using governance in CRM implementations, we discuss how a smart governance strategy can help you get the most out of your CRM investment. Part 1: A Definition, and What Can Happen Without It, defines governance and discusses the benefits of a governance strategy. Part 2: 4 Powerful Benefits of Governance in CRM, discusses the specific benefits of CRM governance. Part 3 introduces Centers of Excellence as a strategic approach to CRM governance.
There is no shortage of models for program governance. They might be different in approach, but they all have the same goal: resolving challenges related to multiple CRM deployments and many diverse candidates for new deployments and shared infrastructure. However, many of these approaches fail or fall short, primarily because there was a lack of thorough planning and understanding of all the goals and challenges. Other problems include:
- Not understanding the organization’s culture, politics, or internal policies
- Established programs acting as “police”
- Failure to adopt strong project management principles
The answer: a CRM Center of Excellence (CoE), armed with the goals, people and process to develop a successful governance strategy.
Many large organizations using CRM as a platform use a common model. Teams get split up to meet the demand for new functionality and fast turnaround. This is where problems usually crop up, and this is exactly where the right governance model—one that adds a consolidated team of technology experts to the Program Management Office (PMO)—is needed. The CoE provides the foundation that not only promotes the benefits of the CRM platform, but also project management processes that are key to communication, architecture, and structure.
Goals of CRM Centers of Excellence
The overall goal of a CoE is to maintain order through the governance process while meeting the needs of each LOB–specifically:
- Facilitating communication and direction of the executive leadership goals and vision
- Designing, enabling, and providing common capabilities
- Providing guidance and best practices to enable project success
- Cataloging and sharing common functional modules to accelerate the development process
- Providing technical leadership through best practices
- Documenting and managing inter- and intra-solution configuration dependencies
- Providing and enforcing common entity design methodologies and physical infrastructure
- Managing and providing services: Enabling quick and cost-optimized development, designing and managing repeatable testing, and ensuring predictive platform upgradability
To learn more about how governance could benefit your organization’s IT strategy—specifically implementation of CRM initiatives—download CRM Governance: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and How to Do It Right, an informative eBook, compliments of Green Beacon and written by governance experts. Also, stay tuned for Part 4 of this blog series, Putting Together a Center of Excellence Team.