A Phased Approach to Rolling out a Campus-Wide CRM

On some college campuses, departmental offices are following their own unique business processes, which often tend to function as their own individual organizations. Because each office is working with a large number of different constituents, different business processes – especially different systems – makes sense. So how do colleges navigate a campus-wide software implementation on a campus with differing and siloed systems?

There is no universal answer to this question. Each campus is unique and has its own nuanced behaviors that impact a decision of this magnitude. But experience with organization-wide CRM implementations has provided us with some insight to share.If your organization faces things like low employee buy-in, siloed systems and databases, or short implementation timelines, considering a phased approach to your implementation might be a worthwhile option.

A phased approach to deployment of a campus-wide CRM is timed and methodical. The introduction of new processes is done through a continuous delivery model to ensure a smooth transition and increased user adoption. A phased approach positively addresses three important organizational components:

  1. Adoption – phasing the deployment of your CRM will help put your users at ease and gives the organization the chance to incrementally introduce change – two important elements to facilitate increased user adoption.
  2. Technology – a phased approach allows for a precise migration of data, facilitating an incremental approach to cleaning up and adding components to the system. This approach lessens potential conflict between integrated systems and allows for better oversight and review of the deployment.
  3. Financial – undergoing large-scale system adoptions always come with risk and some degree of unknowns. By phasing out the implementation with precise and calculated stages, organizations will minimize risk of setbacks and potential financial strains.

Remember that each individual institution has its own unique processes. Spend some time thinking through your resources of staff, technology and finances. Understanding these elements well will help you lead successful and powerful campus-wide implementations.

About the author

Jen is a Domain Expert focused on helping customers realize strategic opportunities related to their CRM and data management projects. She has spent the bulk of her professional career working in various aspects of higher education, including enrollment and advancement. Her subject matter expertise includes donor development, recruitment, and marketing. Jen holds MBA and BS degrees from Lebanon Valley College.