Benefits of Having a Project Adviser During an Advancement CRM Implementation


You’re beginning an advancement Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation and you just selected your implementation team. This team likely includes members of your in-house leadership team, software vendor, and possibly a firm that manages the implementation. 


It seems like you’ve got your whole team together, so why would you need a project adviser?


Project advisers can mitigate risk, manage change, and fast-track your advancement CRM implementation. Here’s why. 

What is a project adviser? 

A project adviser for your CRM implementation is a third party who fosters collaboration, improves transparency, and increases efficiency. Their job is to act as a support system, directing you with a strategic change management plan that encourages a shift in organizational culture. 


Project advisers empower users with training best practices, increasing their long-term success and CRM adoption.  

How does a project adviser support our CRM project? 

Benefits of having a project adviser during your CRM implementation include:

  • Objective viewpoint 
  • Experience 
  • Industry knowledge
  • Change Agent 

The first, and perhaps the most important aspect of a project adviser is their ability to have an objective viewpoint. Project advisers can observe potential challenges you might encounter or be susceptible to, helping you avoid them altogether and create a strategy to overcome should they arise. 


And because project advisers don’t have ties to the organization long term, they can manage the communication in a way that builds relationships. 


Additionally, a project adviser brings experience from not only having done a CRM implementation before, but having done it at different institutions, situations, and teams. Their varied experience provides a wealth of lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid that can be leveraged by your institution and project leadership team. 


Another benefit of having a project adviser is their ability to guide throughout the change management process. They are skilled at coaching and can mentor your executive project leadership team—also offering guidance on best practices for functional leads, technical leads, and more. 


A project adviser understands each role and responsibilities—in most cases, they’ve likely sat in all those roles—and they have a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed. Partnering with a project adviser enables you to fast-track user roles—developing a deeper understanding of functions and responsibilities.


Lastly, a project adviser supports continuity. If you lose a key leadership role during a CRM project, the project adviser can jump in and maintain the project’s continuity on a short-term basis. 

Can a project adviser help with risk management? 

A robust risk mitigation plan establishes procedures to avoid, minimize, or reduce the impact of risk on your organization. It also guides you on how to tolerate and control risks. 


Sometimes, when a risk is looming during a CRM implementation, the natural human tendency is to diminish the impact of that risk—especially if the risk may make the project fail or increase errors. 


A project adviser is an additional person focused on risk monitoring for the project in an unbiased assessment. In many cases, they can resolve the risk before it impacts the project. 


And because the project adviser’s success is not measured by on-time and on-budget metrics like the project manager, they’re better able to identify and respond to risk with a practical approach. When warranted, they are more likely to have out-of-the-box thinking for mitigation plans because they don’t have the same restraints as your in-house employees.