Get the Most Out of Your CRM Consultants

  • by Michael Debevec, President, Debevec Consulting, Inc.
  • October 15, 2005
Choosing the right consultant for your CRM project could mean the difference between success and failure or keeping within or exceeding your budget. Examine what questions to ask potential consultants and how the issues of knowledge transfer, testing, and ongoing maintenance and support affect your project.
Key Concept
In an integrated mySAP CRM, the solution design decisions of your first project phase affect all business users. Instead of blueprinting the end-to-end solution, select consultants with sufficient business knowledge to identify and document any constraints the project design imposes on future implementation phases as well as assumptions about future process changes. Using this type of solution design approach reduces the time and money spent developing designs that will be completely revisited and redesigned by a later project team.

If, after your decision to start a CRM implementation project, you determine that you have insufficient resources to execute the project on your own, you may elect to supplement your staff with a few independent consultants or select a systems integration partner to help design and implement the solution. Regardless of the type of project (new implementation, upgrade, or global roll-out), the key to getting the most out of your CRM consultants and to spending your consulting dollars effectively is accurately matching the consultant’s skill set with the appropriate role on the project team.

Selecting the appropriate project team is critical to the effective use of your consulting dollars. Focusing on the costs without identifying the skill sets and experience associated with those costs can often lead to unexpected weaknesses in your team. This does not mean that you should reject “stretch assignments,” but that you should be aware that it is a stretch assignment and have a process to quickly rectify role mismatches.

Michael Debevec

Michael Debevec is president of Debevec Consulting, Inc., and is a senior consultant with more than 14 years of experience with SAP. He has worked with SAP CRM for the past nine years and assisted in implementations in the high tech, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals industries. Prior to working in SAP, Michael was an IS manager in charge of logistics systems.

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