I’ve had a look at Ivan Waineright’s free guide What Small Charities Need to Know About CRM Systems the other day, and a pretty good - and recommended - read it was. It's good to see he gives CiviCRM a proper mention.
What struck me was Ivan’s Pyramid of Priority (reproduced in the illustration) - and grey column labeled “Change Management”. This put me in mind of our own experiences implementing CRMs in small organizations. And that is the over-arching need for leadership.
No matter how big or small your organization, if your CRM implementation is not embraced and supported at the highest level, then there is a good chance it will fail.
Far too often implementations are led by the IT person or someone else who does not have the positional power within the organization to effect changes in organizational culture.
In small organizations where individuals hold a great deal of power, this can lead to huge inefficiencies as they continue to do things the old way. It can also lead to what I call “organisational myopia” where the vision of what the CRM can do is limited to the bit that is actually working, rather than seeing how much better things could be were all the features implemented and adopted.
Implementation have a much better chance of success if there is adoption and enthusiasm from the top, that person in charge of implementation has the power to make change, and if the stakeholders are involved and adopt the project at an early stage.