Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
Strategic Analysis Introduction
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Strategic Analysis Introduction
The purpose of this video is to introduce the viewer to the concept of what we call Strategic Analysis. Strategic Analysis stems from our own experience as we've spent the last decade or so traveling around this country deploying enterprise-level CRM solutions. What we've found is that, no matter how large the company, all companies seem to have similar problems: operational issues, efficiency, workflow, dispersed data, tracking systems developed by individuals in the field none of which flows back to headquarters. These are basic problems that we see everywhere, and it doesn't really matter how small or how large a company is, chances are that the details of how it runs escape most of the people in the company, including those at the top.
What we've found is that a rigorous analysis phase, in the classic software-development term "Analysis", ensures a level of success, and what we're talking about is thorough investigative analysis and documentation.
We'd like to share with you some of the tools and methods we've developed to help you in your process of Strategic Analysis before you spend a lot of time customizing and deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. We'd also like to share some of our documentation ideas to help you in developing your own documentation.
(Download the file shown in this segment of the video via the following link: xRM End-User CRM Survey.)
The end-user survey is a good place to start. Even if the impetus for deploying CRM Online comes from other quarters, it is always a good idea to get input from the people who currently execute the day-to-day processes of business and who will be using CRM Online—the end users. This Microsoft Office Excel document describes a series of functions or operations, and asks the reader to mark each one on a personal-need rating. It also asks what tool is currently used to perform each function.
You can also duplicate the end-user survey and get responses from executive, management, and operations as well. Then you can compare all the surveys to get a better picture of what pain points CRM Online is going to solve. This can help you determine what the actual software requirements are going to be.
Armed with the survey responses, and using your knowledge gained by watching earlier videos, you can determine the gap between what CRM Online can do by default and what you need it to do, and arrive at a list of functions that need to be satisfied through configuration and customization.
After doing the surveys, you should generate a final document summarizing the list of agreed-upon requirements (as distinct from the surveys which are preliminary opinions from individuals). The document should also outline the processes of the company and summarize all important information that will be used as a model and reference during deployment.
The video shows an example of this type of document, filled out for an imaginary company. We generate a document like this whenever we consult during any relatively large deployment of CRM Online, but the principles are useful for any size of deployment.
It's important that this document speaks to at least two audiences: the executive audience who would like to see a complete summarization of the operational structure of their company and the technical audience who must understand the described processes well enough to implement them or emulate them in software. It's therefore good to divide the document into sections covering Functional Requirements, Technical Requirements. Functional Design, and Technical Design.
A Key Definitions or Glossary section is also important. This section should identify the terms and definitions unique to this business or its vertical industry. Half of understanding any human process is understanding the language being used. Making a point of listing terms enables third parties outside the industry (such as software customizers) to understand what is being said, as well as getting parties inside the business to come to an agreement of exactly what is meant by some of the more esoteric terms. Often, many of the most important terms become represented by entities in CRM Online.
A list of required CRM Online entities should be included. These can be system entities (entities included with CRM Online by default) that are useful to most industries but which might be renamed during deployment to match terms more common within a particular industry, or they can be (new, added) custom entities created to hold specific clusters of information unique to an industry or business.
The Process Flow section is something that requires a lot of thought. Sometimes it's hard to gain a consensus within a company of what the "proper" flow is. The deployment of CRM Online provides an opportunity of not only analyzing what the existing process flow is, but also what the ideal process flow would be, leading to the determination of the exact process flow that will be formalized in CRM Online.
All the principals of the business should sign off on this document before starting to deploy CRM Online, so that everyone is in agreement on what the goals are, and so you don't make a mistake and have to begin again or waste energy changing direction during deployment. Without the proper foundation that this document represents, deployments risk possible failure by confusion, frustration, waste of resources, and stagnation. However, hand over this completed and agreed-upon document to a System Customizer and very quickly you will have a solution.
We hope that this gives you a useful introduction to the concept of Strategic Analysis.
You can download more planning documents from the following page:
Thank you very much for your time.