13 signs your CRM project is doomed

  1. The customer doesn’t schedule time for people to work on the project
  2.  Very very tight deadline
  3.  Colombo – Just one more thing otherwise known as scope creep
  4.  No Training – customer has no plans to train users how to use CRM
  5.  A “Manager” makes all process decisions not the users
  6.  A CRM initial release..gulp
  7.  The system will do everything
  8.  No CRM champion or influential backers
  9.  Development team is under manned or has no senior person to steer the ship
  10.  The project is dependent on a new third-party technology
  11.  The project start keeps getting delayed
  12.  Not listening
  13.  Failed previous implementation


  1.  sometimes customers under-estimate the amount of time their people will need to spend on the project, to answer questions, clarify requirements and test the new CRM system.  This is a vital part of the project and low customer involvement will increase the chance of creating a system which isn’t useful to them.
  2.  Very very tight deadlines are rarely met and if they are it’s because corners have been cut, be prepared for some nasty bugs to leap out.
  3.  When a new CRM system is being created, sometime customers take this as an opportunity to add more and more and more functionality, not because it’s needed but because they can.
  4.  The customers get a brand spanking new system, but all the users think it’s rubbish because they have no idea how to use it because there wasn’t any training!!!
  5.  In some projects a manager will decide they will make all decisions.  They create a great system in theory, but forget to ask the users how they actually use the system and guess what, it isn’t the same as the manager imagined
  6.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM can have a few bugs which need ironing out in a new release.  These bugs will be fixed, but it can take a month or so.  This can make a stressful time whilst you wait for Microsoft to fix them up.
  7.  Functionality is added they hardly ever or never use.  The simple CRM system can grow into a huge monster.
  8.  If no one on the project is really behind the new CRM system or if there isn’t a powerful backer in the company then the CRM system could be doomed.
  9.  Understaffed projects will be rushed and bugs thrive in this environment.  Junior developers are often trying to get things to work rather than the best customization for each instance.  These problems can be caught/managed if there is a good senior developer to keep things in check.
  10.  If the project is Dependant on an untested third-party software you could be heading for danger.  Who knows how the software will perform under certain conditions or under a heavy lead, the main problem is you only find out when it’s too late.
  11.  Projects which keep getting delayed can cause problems.  During this time key people can leave and business requirements can change.  It’s difficult to keep picking up a project with the same enthusiasm.  All in all it doesn’t lead to the best working environment.
  12.  Some customers won’t listen to advice and demand to have things done their own way.  This can go against best practices and advice.  This often leads to problems (which you pointed out to them earlier).  Good CRM projects are a collaboration between the customer and supplier.
  13. Failed previous implementations/projects can leave deep scars.  Scared of being burnt again can cause a project to run very slowly with lots of checking and a lack of trust.  This perhaps isn’t a true sign of failure, but a sign of a difficult project.

10 thoughts on “13 signs your CRM project is doomed

  1. ukcrmguru November 14, 2014 / 9:43 am

    A great article, I like the theme of using unlucky number 13
    Sounds like Ilyas has “been there, done that” – as so many of us have, regrettably.
    We had a great session yesterday by Mohamed Mostafa (@MIM_CRM) at the CRM user group about managing the business change aspect of your CRM project in ways that would address several of these.
    I think you could write much more about most of these, how to recognise them, avoidthem or “head it off at the pass”. Maybe there is a Hosk special series of 13 posts in the making…


    • Hosk November 14, 2014 / 10:23 am

      I saw your tweets about Mohamed Mostafa presentation, it looked very useful. Is there any chance the slides will be shared on the internet at some point in the future.

      I was thinking of writing some articles not just focusing on experience/opinion rather than doing/fixing and this might be a good place to start.

      Great suggestion, thanks Adam


      • ukcrmguru November 14, 2014 / 10:25 am

        They will be shared via CRMUG.com – another great reason to be a member! If Mohamed also chooses to share them via his own blog at http://crm.boutique you might be able to get them that way


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