Improving Project Management Success
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Who would have thought? After all you would naturally assume that that a customer relationship management system or CRM would be combined with project management; however they’re rarely integrated together! In combining a CRM with a business’ project management system, a number of things start to occur. One of which is that the project management team begins to build relationships and tracking of relationship activities as it progresses in its project phases.
CRM can find uses in managing the “selling” of the project to decision-makers and authorization points, it can track service calls, and it can create portfolios for what “marketing” efforts have worked for a project versus those that don’t. It can also help a business bridge multiple silos of information into one place for easy retrieval as well as seeing a global picture of what’s going on rather than singular perspectives.
Information tends to create synergies when it is shared, especially across business divisions. All too often, business departments get stuck into their own office culture. As a result Finance thinks Marketing just loves to play around, Operations thinks Marketing is off base while Finance always gets in the way, Marketing thinks Finance and Operations “just don’t get it”, and Management thinks all three are acting like a bunch of kids.
When divisions share the same information pulled together from multiple divisions in a CRM system, they begin to see the whole picture of what’s going on with a project rather than just their own side of it. Management doesn’t have to lecture its people; instead, they begin to work together towards the same goals and ideals using the same information and data.
In many improvement projects the customer is internal rather than external. With a CRM system integrated into the project management approach both the “stakeholder” and the project provider have a far better idea of what’s going on in terms of progress and who is involved. The inter-connections begin to become apparent as the data is built and cross-referenced using CRM tools and portfolio approaches to information consolidation. When “customers” have a better idea of progress, they tend to be more satisfied with the provider and approach.
When projects run smoothly and take advantage of combined information via CRM databases, they achieve completion faster and with better results. This “profit” benefits the company overall as well as the project management team and the “customer” division receiving the change (or management in some cases). Less delay and in-fighting due to disparate information means a far more efficient outlay of resources on a project, which benefits both the company as well as the team charged with getting the job done.
Given the above, integrating CRM with project management just makes good business sense. It overcomes natural division or program barriers and it improves information management on a project. That in turn improves the chances of good decision-making and success in project management.