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CRM implementation

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You just finished up your status meeting with Ben and are deeply concerned about the CRM implementation of the project. You are not sure, given what you just heard, that the project will be able to finish in time. The head of the sales department requested a significant amount of new functionality that will require custom programming changes to the product. Some of the functionality will provide better tracking of customer purchases and increased reporting of sales team activities. Another piece of functionality is an automated interface to the inventory system, eliminating error-prone data entry by the sales support staff. Ben's team just doesn't have the resources to do the work, even if they had the expertise on the product. There isn't enough remaining budget to pay for the vendor to do the changes. According to the head of the sales department, this functionality is essential for the home consumer market (a major corporate goal), and the company cannot move into that market without it. You know, however, that the sales team has always done the data entry manually and, in fact, will continue to do so for the corporate market. You also know that the head of sales has just lost a sales manager and has been told the person cannot be replaced. The sales manager is responsible for the tracking and reporting of sales activities.

Describe how you will handle this situation. Be sure to address the following questions:

What is the requested change? (NOTE: There may be more than one change.)
What is the real severity/importance of this change?
How does it impact each of the project parameters (scope, quality, risk, schedule, etc.)?
What are at least three possible courses of action?
What are the implications of each course of action?
What is your recommendation?
How will you communicate your recommendation? (To whom, what mechanism?)

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Solution Summary

CRM implementation is discussed.

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Provide a memo that you will send to the vendor contact. Be sure to raise your concerns and identify the next steps you want the vendor to take. Accompanying your memo, provide some guidance to Ben on what to do next. Then, respond to one other post as the vendor, addressing the project manager's concerns.

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