The way a company manages its projects goes a long way in shaping its future. The processes involved, the management of funds, resources, tracking the quality of deliverables, milestones and prioritising schedules as per changing dynamics are all integral to good project management. Using business intelligence, data analytics and algorithmic evaluation for tracking and executing projects can lead to improved outcomes. Here we explore 10 effective ways to manage projects with a CRM System.
1. Organise Project Information :
All project information related to key resources, budgets, fund allocations, milestones, tasks etc can be organised with CRM system. All the Key performance indicators for the projects related to project deliverables, teams, risks management, and communication can be streamlined with a CRM system. The decision makers can get all the key metrics related to project on their dashboards. For e.g. percentage of projects on track, projects overdue, budget tracking etc.
2. Linking Projects with Clients :
The CRM system can integrate the project information and map it with customer details. This correlation of projects with their customers is important in tracking execution and improving overall performance metrics. The delay of project milestones and its impact on invoice payments etc can be linked. The projects of Customers with high life time value and importance can be directly tracked by the top management. When milestones are delayed or any important update happens on a project, management is notified about it.
3. Time Tracking for Projects :
Figuring out the percentage of projects that overshoot the time for execution is important for project management. The time tracking tools for project management can help an organisation to understand the variance between actual time versus planned time for a project. Analysing the workload per employee, additional time spent on projects, and overall resources spent for the execution can keep the budgets under control.
4. Sharing Project Milestones with Clients :
Keeping your customers posted on the progress of the project milestones, key personnel, documents etc is a sure fire way to impress them. A CRM system can help a business to communicate effectively with customers, take their feedback on the deliverables at regular intervals and keep everyone on the same page. The project communication can be enhanced using the CRM system. The way a company communicates with its clients creates a distinct brand identity. A CRM system can go a long way in building a strong rapport with clients.
5. Project Profitability analysis :
A CRM system has access to all payments and invoice details of the customers. Businesses use this to analyse the profitability of the projects. Using smart insights from the data can help companies to plan and execute projects better. The percentage of projects that are profitable, successfully completed on time & budget are crucial to the overall success of the company. The profitability analysis for projects can outline the specific industries, customer groups and execution patterns for sustained success to the management.
6. Expenses, Budgeting & Cost Variance :
A CRM system allows you to track the expenses for acquisition of a customer. The expenses related to project’s execution can also be tracked and compared with the original budget. The cost variance for the project is noted. The cost impact of projects running late or ahead of the schedule is analysed. When the cost is above the planned budget, the management is notified.
7. Automated Invoicing and Billing :
The project milestones are linked to client payments. When the work or specific milestone is completed, an invoice can be sent to the customer. The system can automatically generate the bills and invoices for the completed work and send it to customers. Automated reminders can be set-up for payment recovery. A provision of recurring invoices (monthly, quarterly etc) can also be set-up for the customers.
8. SLA Tracking for Projects :
The service level agreements for products/services require rigorous compliance & follow through with customers. A client project can have SLA fields to ensure that the project team is notified about customer issues at the earliest. The SLA details along with the response and resolution times are tracked. Any SLA violations are also marked in the project. The SLA violations have typical repercussions and cost implications too. These SLA violations, their cost impact details can be tracked along with the project.
9. Analytics and Intelligence :
When you’re dealing with loads of data, it can be unnerving to decipher the critical piece of information. With advanced analytics, the system pushes the key information as per changing events to the key decision maker. For e.g. if the project per employee is high, resources are free or milestones for a crucial project are delayed, all this information is compiled and sent to the managers. The system uses algorithms to learn and detect important patterns and make proactive inputs to improve the working more efficient.
10. Project Closure & Audit Trail :
The project closure and audit of the execution is important for benchmarking the progress of a company. All the project details are entailed in the CRM system, along with milestones, tasks completed on time and complete communication details with customers. Using CRM system, the client feedback for projects can also be obtained. The project closure notes and action steps can be a good reference point for the management to initiate changes for improvement.
Companies are looking for integrated solutions, which can solve their problems. A system that gives them access to the most compelling information and data that helps them make better decisions. A CRM system enabled with client communications and project management suite with advanced capabilities can offer a collaboration platform for teams, insights for proactive planning and results in tangible performance improvements.