Consulting

HAF’s methodology is much more than the typical mechanical steps outlined by most consulting companies. We make it our business to engage our clients at the ground level, and we will do everything possible to help your company succeed. A primary objective of iCRM is founded upon innovation. It is a driving force that HAF uses to ensure our customers achieve their business goals.

HAF will work with you to build a compelling message and a successful enterprise with the ultimate objective of  profitable, market leadership. A consultative approach through iCRM will put the best of your thought leadership, creativity, innovation, and business/technical processes forward to help you become truly transformative.

We want to help your company build bold solutions utilizing an equally bold consulting strategy, and that’s what iCRM is all about.

Summary of HAF’s iCRM Consulting Process

HAF places significant emphasis on Project Management, and it is a defining element of an iCRM strategy. One of the 12 principles of project management from the PMBOK Guide (7th edition) references the need to "Be a diligent, respectful and caring steward". This fundamental belief is something HAF places front and center when we engage with our clients. The responsibilities of a Project Manager is certainly one of the best ways to demonstrate the commitment of this principle.

At HAF Technology Solutions we recognize that sponsors/stakeholders have a variety of preferences in their choice of project methodologies. Some insist that they need to have a complete picture, upfront, of the projects cost and outcome, with little appetite for change. Others subscribe to the flexibility and iterative nature of an Agile strategy.

It is important to note that many factors need to be considered beyond the sometimes evangelical influences that dictate the ultimate choice. HAF and iCRM take your preferences into account when suggesting a methodology, but your company's unique business model and the historic data/processes that have contributed to past successes will ultimately help drive the decision. Of course, the decision to select a traditional or an Agile methodology (or some combination of both) for project work is often defined by the nature of the work to be done.

Utilizing a specific set of tools, projects create a unique product or service. It is an event that falls outside of normal business operations and unlike those ongoing activities, projects have a defined beginning and end as well as a budget.

A project journey can be characterized as a set of "Project Performance Domains" punctuated by a number of events, milestones and deliverables where the work is performed by team members with specific requirements defined roles and responsibilities:

Project Performance Domains

  • Stakeholder
  • Team
  • Development Approach & Life Cycle
  • Planning
  • Project Work
  • Delivery
  • Measurement
  • Uncertainty (Risk)

Project lifecycle:

  • Initiate
    • build a project charter (scope and objectives)
    • Approvals (leader or sponsor)
  • Project Plan
  • Execute - deliverables
  • Monitor and Control - status and performance
  • Close

Customer Team Alignment - Often, two or more of the roles can be managed by a single person, particularly in a smaller company. HAF can provide guidance to determine the best fit for key players to ensure that the responsibilities of that team player are properly fulfilled. It's critical that these Key Player roles be defined early in the project lifecycle to ensure that timely decisions can be made and that the project stays on track within scope, time and cost considerations.

Scope & scope creep - needs, wants and expectations. Time and cost implications of scope

Consulting Team Alignment

Changes

PM tools

Lessons learned

Project roadmap

Methodologies - framework

 

 

 

The "Project Kickoff" might seem more like a peripheral formality, but in reality this event puts your project or program on the rails for launch. It defines the beginning of a project and provides critical details for scope, duration and resources - and frankly it marks an official starting point for the entire process!

As we mentioned earlier in the section on Project Management, teams defined early in the planning discussions will help ensure a more timely response to any changes or updates as well. Working with teams whose roles are clearly defined at Kickoff ensures a faster and more accurate response to changes and configurations, and it makes for a smoother launch.

Establishing the goals of the project early in the planning phase will drive success throughout. Before you begin implementing a CRM solution, HAF will work with your team to define your expectations, and to determine how it will work for your business, both functionally and technically.

It is important to understand that these goals can not simply reflect a snap-shot of the current state of your business. Considerations of the future state, in 3, 5 or even 10 years have to be factored into any planning and solution design to provide a clear picture of the project's value, its impact on your bottom-line, customer satisfaction issues and other challenges that may arise or evolve over time.

  • Gain insights into your customers’ business challenges.
  • Share those insights with your customers.
  • Inspire and connect with your customers.
  • Lead customers to new opportunities.
  • Improve how your customer works.
  • Process mapping:
    • Business/Technical Process Optimization-spans cross-departmental and external processes.
    • Identify any challenges or gaps.
    • Represent processes simply and graphically.
    • HAF generally recommends UPN (Universal Process Notation) mapping as a standard.
    • Simplicity is key: HAF will employ other process representations such as - flow diagrams, flowcharting, UML diagrams, value stream maps and SIPOC, mostly for internal use.  Adding unnecessary complexity is not an approved iCRM method unless absolutely required.

Universal Process Notation (UPN) Template

Customer challenges:

  • Who—Who’s most affected by this issue?
  • What—What’s the result of this issue?
  • Where—Where does this issue happen?
  • When—When does this issue happen?
  • Why—Why does this issue happen?
  • How—What conditions cause this issue?

Build a transformative case:

  • Review the challenges you confirmed with your customer.
  • Storyboard your customer’s vision for the future.
  • Draft a plan with detailed recommendations for next steps.

Reinforce and prioritize the case elements:

  • Problem—start with their top priority.
  • Business impact—recognize how this challenge affects their employees, customers, and the bottom line.
  • Problem levels—factor in whether this is a tactical, business, or personal challenge.
  • Technical difficulty—what it will take to translate a functional challenge into a technical reality.
  • Metrics—determine how they want to measure the results of what you do together.

 

A statement of work (SoW) is a document, a legal document, often used in project management that is essentially an agreement between provider and consumer outlining a scope of work to be performed. It further defines the activities, deliverables and timelines for services delivered. The SoW will also include requirements and pricing, and any other terms and conditions (e.g., regulatory and compliance considerations) necessary to complete the work.

Beyond its legality, the SoW is a key check-list that should be utilized by all teams to maintain the elements that make up the goals and objectives of the project. It spells out roles and responsibilities of all

participants and creates a base-line from which the project's duration is established.

Most importantly, the SoW is a collaborative effort - an agreement that is defined by executive sponsors, senior leadership, relevant stakeholders, decision makers and those team members who are responsible for execution of the work. 

HAF views the SoW as a working document, but it is not open to additional change or interpretation. That is the job of change documents. The SoW is applied to the project differently by each stakeholder group, so the devil is certainly in the details.

Key SoW components:

  • Executive summary
  • Scope/Out of Scope
  • Detailed pricing
    • Rate card
    • Fixed price
    • Time & materials
  • Assumptions
  • Professional Services Agreement (PSA)
  • Other terms and conditions
    • Terminations
    • Change Order
    • Warranty

All legalese aside, HAF creates a SoW together with your team that follows a natural progression of project steps:

  1. Planning is the first step, followed by more refined requirements discussions.
  2. Discovery will hone-in on project specifics and business/technical objectives.
  3. A Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) is sometimes built at this point to demonstrate fundamental project understanding while providing much needed confidence, particularly with complex deliverables.
  4. Next the Proposal provides more detail with an emphasis on price and delivery.
  5. And finally, the SoW pulls all the project elements together focusing on scope, the actual work agreement, and who will perform the tasks necessary for completion.

  • Technical
  • Functional

Depending on your preference or process need, HAF will provide a Project Charter as part of the documentation artifacts. The charter is more high-level, and in addition, the other obvious distinction between it and a SoW is that the PC is NOT a legal document. The PC is more or less a 30,000 foot project view and usually delivered as a one-pager.

  • Resource allocation

  • Timeline
  • Milestones

  • Weekly status
  • Dependencies
  • Risk analysis
  • Change order
  • Testing & QA
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Logistics
  • Current-state flows/processes
  • Future-state flow/processes
  • Configuration workbook

There is a lot more to development in Salesforce than just coding. A variety of skill-sets make up the ideal developer role, including soft-skills like effective communication, team management, and making the call when a declarative option makes more sense than a programmatic strategy. Part of the intelligence in intelligent CRM (iCRM) is knowing when to tap into the substantial Salesforce configuration toolkit rather than committing to a coded solution. HAF will only provide developers that can convey complex concepts at every level - not just through endless lines of code.

  • Configuration
  • Security
  • Programmatic
  • Reports/Dashboards
  • Integration
  • Click here for a sample Release management process.

Beyond establishing which developer role(s) will be required for a particular technical solution, the next decision might be Buy vs Build for certain features of your development strategy. On a more granular level, HAF will perform an iCRM assessment of your project/program requirements to determine if the best approach is to build the entire solution internally or purchase select pre-built components or applications through an external venue such as the Salesforce AppExchange. As part of HAF's development deliverable, iCRM will provide hard metrics to analyze the pros and cons around Buy vs Build complexity, scalability (current and future), and cost considerations to ensure that we have the most relevant data points to make a collective and informed decision.

Implementing a Minimum Viable Product

  • An MVP has 'just enough features' ...
  • An MVP 'satisfies early customers' ...
  • An MVP 'enables feedback for future development'

  • Acceptance
  • Unit
  • Regression
  • Beta
  • API
  • Sanity
  • Security

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Training is a dynamic activity that will iteratively repeat and update as new releases are made available. Improving or refreshing the skill sets of your users is going to be ongoing and constantly evolving process. That said, there are a lot of training resources that your users can access for the latest information on the applications your company needs. The kind of training depends on the individual team role and that individuals desired or required skill-set.  Some of those roles include:

  • Standard users
  • Super users
  • Management
  • External users

Salesforce, for example, provides the following resources, some free and others available for a fee, to learn more about the products in their platform:

Do it yourself: Trailhead, the Help Portal, and the Success Community are available to every customer, out of the box, for free. They’re perfect for do-it-yourselfers.

    • Trailhead: Learn how to use Salesforce products and explore agile practices through guided learning paths and hands-on challenges.
    • Trailblazer Community: Ask questions, share tips, and learn from Salesforce experts and customers.
    • Help Portal: Get Salesforce training, help, and support, all in one place.

Show me how: Customer Success Events, Expert Coaching, Webinars, and Proactive Engagements give you direct access to experts when you need help getting things done.

    • Customer Success Events: Webinars, Office Hours, and in-person events are opportunities to learn more about new features and learn best practices.
    • Expert Coaching: Specialized engagements designed to help you get more value from Salesforce products.

Beyond this kind of generic training, HAF iCRM provides a unique learning resource that specifically tailors instruction to your business model. Check out Personalized Training.

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