Why Project Management Begins with CRM

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

This month’s theme is customer relationship management, and when I was thinking about what I could write about it was difficult to get away from thinking of CRM as a piece of software--that’s such a common use of the term. There’s a lot more to it than that of course, but that did get me thinking about how customer-facing organizations move from the sales process (generally managed using some form of CRM tool) to delivery. In many organizations, these processes seem to be completely disconnected--anyone who has ever worked in any kind of professional services environment has horror stories of promises made by sales that are impossible to implement.

In reality, there is no logical reason why sales and delivery should be separate; in fact, quite the opposite--they should flow seamlessly. Software companies have recognized that and many CRM tools now offer project management modules, but organizations have been slow to realize the benefits that are available. In this article, I want to look at how organizations can better integrate their sales and delivery processes to the benefit of both sides of the business as well as the customer.

Closing the sale is initiating the project
The most common type of project that we consider here is a professional services initiative--the delivery of custom services (often in support of a product) by employees of the…


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