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Client Relationship Management System:

Governance & Demand Management



A nonprofit organization was struggling to deliver CRM enhancements on time, on scope, and on budget.



The organization was unable to track, manage, and fulfill business demand for enhancing its CRM to meet critical business requirements.



A demand intake process and a governance model for CRM release schedules and allocation of budget and resources to support successful delivery.



Delivery of prioritized CRM enhancements and a governance model to ensure oversight, transparency, and accuracy.

The Whole Story

A nonprofit organization was unable to track, manage and fulfill business demand for enhancing its CRM to meet critical business requirements.

Despite having defined a release roadmap for its CRM enhancements, a nonprofit organization was struggling to deliver any of them on time, on scope, or on budget.


Development requests were not vetted for appropriateness against the roadmap, nor reviewed for soundness of design.  Delivery dates seemed to be set based on business demand instead of technology capacity.  Technology did not follow a model to size effort or skills required to effectively manage expectations according to feasibility or timing of delivery.  


As the backlog of business requirements grew, the quality of implementation eroded, which compounded the backlog.  Rework of deliverables initially thought to be completed pushed out delivery of outstanding demand even further. 


Business leaders accused Technology teams of incompetence.  Technology leaders accused the Businesses of unreasonableness.  The only common ground was blaming the vendor for all problems.   


Unable to break the cycle of continuous mismatches of demand and supply, the nonprofit organization asked Stanton Blackwell to assist them in establishing a governance and execution discipline for successful delivery against their roadmap.

Stanton Blackwell’s Role

Analyze the disconnect between business demand and technology capacity, while developing the discipline for prioritized delivery: on time, budget, and scope.

We started with defining a governance model, which included a senior governance committee (senior-most decision makers allocating budgets), a steering committee (business leaders informing demand), and a program office (managing requirements, presenting status, and requests for decisions).  The governance model was instrumental in objectively defining CRM release schedules and allocating budget and resources to support successful delivery.  It alleviated the competition for supply and provided clarity on the priority of demand.  Importantly, the governance model assured that along with enhancements, sufficient time and effort were dedicated to system maintenance and hygiene to ensure the overall health of the platform.

Once the governance was in place, Stanton Blackwell worked with the organization’s business and technology teams to establish a demand intake process that would ensure the accuracy of captured requirements, the effectiveness of review and design sign-off, and consistency in cost and time estimation practices.  All of this was in support of transparency and predictability of delivery on time, on scope, and on budget. 


Next, we worked with the nonprofit’s technology team to shore up their capacity planning and scheduling practices.  Recognizing CRM development was only one of their focus areas, the technology team needed assistance in establishing objective disciplines for sequencing their work across their full scope of demand.  Most importantly, we assisted them in developing a standard communication protocol with all their business stakeholders to provide transparency on the status of deliverables. 


Finally, we defined and implemented a vendor engagement operating model to enable the nonprofit to manage the cost, timing, and deliverables of the development and support of the CRM system executed by third-party vendors.  The vendor management model enabled the client to significantly improve its ability to manage deliverables and performance by their service providers.



Transparent and predictable delivery of prioritized CRM enhancements.

We were able to introduce disciplines that dramatically improved the accuracy and quality of delivery against the CRM roadmap. Implementing a governance model assured senior oversight in the prioritization of business delivery capabilities and senior approval of the resources required to do so.  We implemented demand intake operating procedures that significantly improved requirements capture and solution design processes.  We institutionalized technology capacity planning and scheduling disciplines that greatly improved the accuracy and transparency of commitments on scope, budget, and timing of delivery.  


The disciplines introduced for the management of the nonprofit’s CRM system were then extended across its overall technology portfolio. 

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