“Our request for proposal is perfect”
It is perfect because… it is long. Unfortunately, excessive trust in an extensive RFP is a trap in which many organizations, which are looking for an implementation partner, get caught in. Requests for quotation may impress with the number of pages, but they miss specific details — for instance, such obvious information as the IT system currently used by the company. Sometimes, it is difficult to conclude if there is any in the first place.
Such a high level of generality does not allow the formulation of a specific and detailed offer. Theoretically, every implementation partner, who replies for such RFP, may prepare “an offer complying with the criteria.” A stage of comparing offers will resemble comparing apples to oranges.
An extensive RFP that contains an entire customer’s wish list without a prioritization prolongs the entire process of preparation for the implementation, and it may result in growing mutual frustration: yours and the implementation partner. However, such a situation can be avoided thanks to replacing or preceding long and unclear RFP with an RFI (request for information).
Soon, we will return to the subject of the RFP preparation on our blog.
“They do not know our company, so they will not meet our expectations”
In case you want to select an implementation partner on such a basis, it will turn out that the best, and the only one is you yourself. Of course, you may try to create an IT system for your organization on your own, but is this really a good idea? It is discussed in the next paragraph.
Instead of dreaming about the perfect implementation partner, it is better to accept the fact that no one will ever have such knowledge about your business as you. And — against all appearances — it is not necessary for the purpose of preparing for your organization a system fulfilling expectations. However, the implementation partner must be an expert in a given industry. Then, they know the business processes typical of that industry and can reflect them in the system. They know what can be essential for its architecture and users.
Just like no one knows your company better than you, there are no two organizations that would be identical. Therefore, even the most experienced implementation partner cannot manage without your help. Their task is to provide you with the knowledge about processes and the system and yours — to explain your business needs and the goal you would like to achieve. Hear out and understand — this is the attitude with which a responsible partner comes to you, but it depends on you whether or not you will help them to get to know your business. The best implementations are, among other things, a result of good cooperation.
“We will write a CRM on our own”
The trap that is often related to the one described above. The lack of faith in the competencies of potential implementation partners leads to overestimating your own possibilities. “We know what we want, and we have people who write code. It will be cheaper.” Especially, an argumentation of lower costs seems outwardly apparent. However, ask yourself: is creating CRM systems the core of your business? Will the supposed benefit not turn out to be a loss? It may be an unnecessary distraction and a waste of resources because the same team could be involved in proven operations.
Besides, the statement “we know what we want” is still not enough to design a good IT system. According to what we have mentioned above, knowing the business needs is one thing, and the way the system should respond to them is another. You are rather not an expert in IT systems like the vendors who cut their teeth on implementations.
Besides, the aspect of IT solutions getting old comes to this. It is significant, but in the early phase of fitting the implementation, it is often downplayed. Implementation on your own means that in the future, you will be left alone with this challenge. If you decide to cooperate with a vendor (especially in the case of a proven and popular system), it is their concern to keep up with what is going on in the world of new technologies. And you can, for a fixed fee, count on regular updates of the CRM software.
“Here, the director is responsible for the implementation”
Unfortunately, it is understood too literally — not only as signing the deal regarding the implementation of the new system but also as the responsibility (even an exclusive one) for all the work, starting from the project acceptance, through ongoing supervision of the implementation, the so-called acceptance. However, the idea to delegate the responsibility for implementation to a person from the top management, does not work.
It is due to three reasons:
- Firstly, the costs. What is cheaper? An hour of the director’s or a specialist’s work?
- Secondly, does not the involvement of a high-level management in every detail of the project block the business growth?
- Thirdly, does the implementation vision, unsupported with comprehensive knowledge about processes, is enough for the project to be successful?
High-level assumptions suggested by the director may have the crucial meaning for the creation of the general system architecture. In contrast, knowledge about the execution of processes in particular departments or teams is collected from specialists who perform the processes daily. They are the experts in operations that — thanks to the planned solution — are to be automated or improved. That is why these specialists should be included in the project from the beginning, as stakeholders, experts in specific areas of the organization operations.
“We will handle this later”
“What is this?” — that kind of a reaction of the client to an implemented solution is, regretfully, not unusual even in a situation when the project has already been going on for a few weeks , and sometimes months. What is interesting, it happens that the first contact of the client with the system occurs when the work comes close to implementing to the production environment. Meantime, the more advanced stage of software creation is, the more difficult and more expensive are requirement modifications as well as fixing the potential errors.
Lack of interest in the project and waiting with the comments until the last moment is not necessarily a result of the customer’s bad will. More likely, it is the result of the lack of time, which in turn is the consequence of mistakenly taken decisions regarding, among other things, who is responsible for the implementation on the client’s part, as I have written before. If this person is, for example, the sales director, it may be assumed with almost one hundred percent certainty that their current workload will not allow them to find the time for regular looking after the system being created.
“One attempt and it is done”
Usually, this is how bigger organizations approach to implementing IT systems. Still, the situation in which it is possible to implement the system in one go and seal the deal is rather not realistic. Indeed, the subject will disappear for some time — a few months, maybe a year, but later there will be new requirements and business aspects that should be taken into account.
Probably no business can allow itself the comfort of perfect implementation to which it will not have to get back. It would be a quite worrying signal that the business does not evolve and cannot keep up with the changing surrounding. And since the business changes, the IT system also has to change to respond to the new needs.
From the Craftware’s perspective, the most successful implementations are those that… never end. They begin with implementing MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and in the next stages of the project, further elements of the system are added. These opportunities of ‘stacking blocks’ are given by the Salesforce Platform that can be expanded and configured, depending on the current needs and situation of the client.
- Expert in the Marketing Team
She has always been associated with the written word – as a journalist and editor in press publications. A copywriter in the new technologies industry for several years. When she does not write, she loves to talk and meet people. In love with electronic music.