Things to Consider for Managing CRM Upgrades

Implementing a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) platform is a significant undertaking, but the work is not complete at Go Live. You may have reached implementation Go Live, but now you’re faced with CRM upgrades multiple times a year.


It’s time to approach upgrades differently and establish a standard process to maintain the stability and quality of your CRM system.

How often should you plan for CRM upgrades? 

CRM upgrades could happen three to four times a year.

What resources do CRM upgrades require?

Before upgrading your CRM system, you must assess your current and future needs and the internal resources required.

  • Are you prepared for the upcoming upgrade?
  • How will the upgrade impact your current business processes?
  • How will the upgrade support the goals and objectives of your CRM strategy?

Consider the upgrade’s costs, risks, and benefits, comparing options and vendors. This helps define your CRM system’s upgrades scope, requirements, and expectations.


More things to consider for managing CRM upgrades.

Planning and Scheduling Your CRM Upgrades

Planning and scheduling are important aspects of CRM upgrades. Create a detailed project plan that outlines the tasks, milestones, responsibilities, and resources involved in the change.


Decide your available internal resources. Does your budget support hiring staff or working with an external resource to augment the upgrade?


A few resources you will require to complete upgrades are:

  • Project manager
  • Project manager “light” (i.e., someone to monitor the process and system in place)
  • Technical specialists

You may not be aware until you’re going through an upgrade whether or not you can do this internally—but planning ensures you don’t fall behind on the upgrades. Once you determine a plan and schedule, coordinate with your internal and external stakeholders to ensure everyone knows their roles and expectations.

Communication Throughout CRM Upgrades

Like the CRM implementation, communication remains vital during upgrades. Upgrades require different administrators, integration specialists, and frequent and ongoing communication.

Monitor Following CRM Upgrades

Once you have planned and prepared for your CRM system upgrade and communicated it appropriately, create a testing plan and schedule to outline the testing, resources needed, and how to communicate the feedback.


Monitoring includes testing the new system and tracking performance and any issues that may arise.


To test CRM upgrades effectively, you need to follow a systematic and structured process that covers all the critical aspects of your CRM system.


Define testing objectives, scope, and criteria.

  • What are the goals and expected outcomes of the upgrade?
  • What features, functions, and integrations do you need to test?
  • How will you measure the success and performance of the upgrade?

Different types of testing may be required depending on the complexity of the upgrade—like unit, integration, functional, regression, user acceptance, and performance testing. Lastly, document and report the testing results to record and track the outcomes, issues, and resolutions. Share and discuss the findings and recommendations with stakeholders and users.