It is a popular notion that delivering CRM projects can be challenging mainly because that every project has many factors and variables that are difficult to predict. Is it any wonder then that CRM project methodologies are constantly evolving in order to overcome these challenges? One of the strategies that have emerged for this purpose is Microsoft’s Sure Step approach, which is arguably one of the most precise and dependable CRM project management methodologies.

Sure Step has proven time and time again that it fosters predictable, on-budget, on-time and on-spec projects. The emphasis is on a thorough pro-active approach that manages the many variables and acts as a roadmap for the client company on the way to a successful project completion.

Getting started with Sure Step

There is a range of valuable resources freely available on the web including industry best practices, technical notes, various project templates and guidelines from the Project Management Institute.

Maintaining control

With Sure Step, every project is divided into 6 parts:

  • Diagnostic
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Deployment
  • Operation

The emphasis is always on careful planning and implementing every requirement to make sure that progress is maintained. There are tools to help the company do this including: in-depth requirements checklists, clearly defined responsibilities and thorough risk and change management guidelines.

Executive and on-going support

By following the Sure Step methodology, gaining executive commitment and support becomes easier. Management have greater visibility of progress and expected outcomes and as a result are more involved in decision making.

The client company can also make use of training, self-support resources and access to the user community via Micorosft’s CustomerSource. After the project has been successfully implemented, Sure Step offers a range of services to maintain the successful project lifecycle on the go.

Sure Step Limitations

Sure Step has helped our professionals to implement many successful projects with its detailed guidelines and strong support tools. However, over the years we have adapted the process to overcome some limitations we and our clients could do without.

For example, we have found that Sure Step works well with a set of measures that are typically established at the outset of a project. A common issue is that the client’s perspective of what they require changes as the process evolves and additional and unforeseen resources to accommodate those changes may be required. And if this change takes place mid-way through the project, there might be “knock-on” issues affecting processes that have already been delivered.

At Redspire, we have developed our own project implementation method which we believe further enhances Sure Step. Our approach, “TrueFIT“, focusses on our clients’ business objectives, before we explore individual business units through a rigorous application of Sure Step within each unit. As a result, we not only optimise their CRM within each unit, but also for the end users and the company as a whole.

Utilising this approach means that we save time at the project’s outset, making more efficient use of our client’s budget and allows us to implement the processes which deliver the best ROI quickly.

The result? A CRM which is been developed on the foundation of core business objectives, which is widely adopted and is fit for purpose.

For more information about how we deliver CRM projects, why not watch our webinar on How to Deliver a CRM Project?

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