In any project implementation endeavor, there always exist risks that threaten proper implementation. As such, risk is an inherent part of any project that entails uncertainties and risks encountered throughout the project life cycle. Risk is the net negative impact of a vulnerability exercise, considering both the probability and the impact of an occurrence. The current project involves implementation of a CRM system in a transport and logistics company; the nature of this business significantly raises the level of risk in the implementation process. Qualitative methodology is applied in a bid to establish the risks and possible future risks that are likely to occur during the project implementation; it involves review of literature and secondary sources such as case studies of the risk encountered while implementing a similar project elsewhere, and a focus study which involves consulting various stakeholders working on the project to get their take on the eminent project risks. It was established that the CRM project implementation risk faces five major risk factors, technology, human factors, business process risks, the implementation strategy deficiencies and external factors. Technology was established to for the greatest risk, at 33%, followed by inadequate business processes at 27%, third was human related challenges at 22%, fourth was problems with the implementation issues at 18% and finally the external factors such as government policy at a lower percentage.
Technology Related Risks
- Use of insecure and unstable hardware, software and network platform in the implementation process.
- Over customizing and over complicating the system.
- Poor project management and planning.
- Insufficient number of qualified technical staff within the organization to implement the project
- Problems with user adoption i.e. employees and customers may not accept the system.
- The projects may result to radical changes to how the business operates.
- May take control away from the human resource through over automation; allowing the system to fully take control of running of business operations and customer interactions.
The Implementation Strategy Risks
- The implementation process may overwhelm the normal running of the business.
- Data conversion problems or delay; the organization’s existing data need to be migrated or converted to work with the new system.
- Lack of or insufficiently developed implementation strategy.
- Difference in the government policy in various states and countries regarding use of CRM by organizations.
Technology Based Consequences
- Use of insecure and unstable hardware, software and network platform in the implementation process will threaten the system integrity and can bring about management and stakeholder politics that can kill the project.
- Over customizing and over complicating the system will cause problems with collection and analysis of data, and may result to poor usability of the system.
Human Factors Related Consequences
- Poor project management and planning can cause project delays, high overhead cost, project failure, and also staff embarrassment and loss of jobs.
- Insufficient number of qualified technical staff within the organization to implement the project is likely to cause project delays, poor implementation of the project and likelihood of project failure.
- Problems with user adoption i.e. employees and customers, will render software customization process unsuccessful because it will be based on erroneous or incomplete information. This will result to delays in implementation, and high overhead costs because training will not be affective and deadlines will not be adhered to.
Business Processes Related Consequences
- Radical changes to how the business operates that will change the organization culture that will likely cause problem to employees and other users adapting to the new system, causing them to reject the system.
- Allowing the system to fully take control of running of business operations and customer interactions will fail to achieve Customer Relationship Management.
The Implementation Strategy Risks Consequences
- The implementation process overwhelms the normal running of the business such that it becomes overly disruptive which may derail the profitability of the organization and service delivery because the available resources have been redirected.
- Delays in converting or migrating data to the new systems would render the system not usable for a long time, or if data is entered inappropriately, it would result to formulation of the wrong business strategies that would lead to losses or low returns for the organization.
- Lack of or insufficiently developed implementation strategy, is likely to result to poor cohesion between the business needs and what the system is offering resulting to total project failure.
- Government policy may require the organizations to make changes to the system to comply with the government policy, which can be costly and time consuming. Before implementing the system, the organization should check the government regulations and acquire the necessary licenses.