Gill Walker – CRM Success Catalyst, Speaker, Educator, D365 Project Manager, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Functional Consultant, Solution Architect, Advisor, Trainer, MCT, MVP, DTM


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SuccessRM – your blueprint for CRM Success, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 or any technology

SuccessRM delivers CRM success - by helping you to leverage the technology to work for you, your team and your organisation.  It is a blueprint to CRM success because it gives you a model that builds your understanding as the project progresses.

What makes SuccessRM different?

Education and your understanding are what makes SuccessRM different.  SuccessRM is not significantly different to other methodologies.  The key difference is a SuccessRM CRM project leads with education.

SuccessRM weaves education throughout your CRM project.  This saves you time because you are empowered to speak the same language as the technical team so cutting out extended periods of time in explanations.  SuccessRM proactively recommends education and training throughout the project.

The origin of SuccessRM

SuccessRM is the culmination of nearly three decades of what I have learned helping people with their CRM - Clarify, Seibel, Microsoft CRM and more recently Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Power Platform. In SuccessRM I have compressed what I have learnt from dozens of clients– good and bad - thousands of hours of consulting to a wide range of different organisations, across the globe and training with many hundreds of people.  This experience has been compressed into a methodology that will save you time and money while delivering your CRM success.

Why did I develop SuccessRM?

Over my time working with CRM, I have come to realise that:

  1. CRM projects are more challenging than many technical projects because they sit at the interface of the business and technology;
  2. The projects that invest in education fare better than those that choose otherwise
  3. Vendors like to make everything sound simple - although simple is not the same as easy
An overview of the SuccessRM approach
Overview of the SuccessRM approach to a CRM project

What you get with SuccessRM

SuccessRM gives you and your team the understanding and hence the power to be able to make the best decisions.

SuccessRM derisks your project.  The common language developed by the education reduces the amount of rework - so saving you money, and enables you to maximise on the out-of-the-box functionality - so saving you time and money!  The investment required for the education is repaid in reduced development and rework.

A few years ago, I was working for a client who was really struggling to achieve user adoption.  When I started to dig into what was happening, I found that their developer had created a monster of a lead form.  The developer had added hundreds of custom fields to the lead.  I discovered that this had happened because in the business they used the word 'lead' for all potential customers, right through to the completion of the project.  Rather than take advantage of the lead-to-cash sales process in built into Microsoft Dynamics 365, the developer had added hundreds of fields to the lead.  Then, to add insult to injury, this was poorly integrated to their financial system.

So, this organisation paid for huge amounts of unnecesary development to get a poor result!

SuccessRM would have saved this organisation money in two ways:

  • The developer would have known more about the out-of-the-box functionality and so would have been less likely to embark on adding the hundreds of unnecessary fields to the lead
  • The client would have been less likely to insist on the lead doing everything as they would have experienced the lead-to-cash sales process in Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Had the developer added the fields anyway, the client would have been more likely to spot the error sooner, and so avoid the size of the disaster.

Additionally, the organisation would probably have achieved better user adoption from the outset.

I have dozens of similar stories - this is why I have created SuccessRM - your blueprint to CRM Success.

Silos of expertise are another cause of challenges.  Projects of this nature require a wide range of different expertise and skills.  If this expertise is provided by a large number of people, each of whom is an expert in their own field, but knows little of the other areas of the project, there is a large opportunity for misunderstanding.  Expertise silos hinder our work in many ways.  These misunderstandings lead to mistakes and errors, which often cost significant sums of money.

I am aware of another project which has fallen victim to expertise silos.  This project is now massively late and over budget because the implementer tried to save money by reusing some earlier development.  Reusing earlier development is fine - as long as as both projects have the same requirements.  In this case the requirements were very similar, but not identical.  That small difference is a major cause of the problems.  The decision to reuse the earlier development was made by a project manager assisted by other people.  However, the earlier development lacked documentation, the decision makers lacked technical knowledge and so a poor, and very expensive decision was made.  Not surprisingly, this reuse decision was not the only poor decision caused by a lack of technical understanding laced with arrogance in this project.

SuccessRM complements both agile and waterfall approaches to a project. Which of these approaches is best for you depends entirely on the scope of what the project should deliver. A smaller project may work better with a single go-live, so a waterfall-style project. A larger project will almost certainly work better with several smaller releases, so a more agile approach. Regardless, your success is far more likely when the roadmap, or scope is decided early on in the project.

A SuccessRM CRM project has a lot in common with other approaches to CRM implementation.  The key difference is that the project leads with education covering the business, the technology and the methodology of achieving change.

balance knife edge cr

Because your CRM projects sit at the interface of the business and technology, project success requires people who understand both your business and the technology.  Success needs a couple of people with knowledge of your business and the technology.  These people form the linchpin of the project.

This does not mean that we want to make your senior executives become CRM implementers – far from it. What we want to achieve is a common language. Businesspeople need to understand enough about the technology, its strengths, and its limitations to be able to make decisions that get the best from the technology and deliver what the business needs.  The technology team members - internal and external should understand about the business, what it does, who the customers are, how it operates etc.  This understanding helps them make good design decisions.



a potentially disastrous case of chinese whispers in a front line cr 500x260

When organisations proceed with a project which relies on the business knowledge and technical understanding in different groups, it can easily fall into a situation where key details are ‘lost in translation’ –  or Chinese whispers. I feel that this image of an apocryphal story from the First World War sums this up beautifully.

The gist of the story is that a request from the front for more men (reinforcements) was received by confused officials in Whitehall as a request for money for entertainment!

A frightening proportion of CRM projects are deemed to have failed.  Although the project sponsors cite many reasons for the project failure, analysis of the reasons distill them down to a lack of understanding somewhere in the project.  I spoke about this for the European E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Week in 2021.  You can watch this presentation here


A CRM project can be simple when there is broad understanding of

  • the technology,
  • the methodology of how to achieve success and
  • the business. 

This is what SuccessRM provides because of the education embedded into the project.

SuccessRM avoids what I have seen too often – the blind leading the blind! The embedded educations opens the eyes of both sides!

Gill Walker's showreel QR code

Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform and CRM strategy consulting company. Our focus is your CRM success, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 / Microsoft Power Platform or any CRM technology - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal CRM Success Catalyst, Gill oversees all business operations, strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions.  We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  Gill is the creator of SuccessRM - your blueprint for CRM success.  We offer:

  • Strategy for your successful CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
    • scoping
    • implementation
    • technical support
    • training
    • consulting, advice and guidance
    • assistance with your centre of excellence
  • Mentoring for CIOs and other decision makers tasked with implementing CRM.