October 8, 2018

What the Evolution of CRM Can Teach Us About the Future of Project Management Software

Written by
Scott Tomlinson

Before collaborative CRM platforms like Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, and HubSpot, sales force automation (SFA) tools were used extensively across the sales team. Initial SFA products were designed to make the salesperson (and the associated sales process) more effective and efficient. Then Siebel flipped the market on its head with Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM was designed not as a tool, but as an organizational platform to manage all the relationships an organization had with its customers across Sales, Marketing, Customer Service & Support, and Finance – thus providing ‘one complete view’ of the customer data across the organization. CRM became both a platform for ‘a single version of the truth’ of customer information and as the enabler for individuals (and individual teams) to be more productive.

With this centralized and collaborative platform, aligned Marketing and Sales teams have access to massive amounts of customer data to improve performance, identify trends, and find market opportunities. Early innovators and adopters gained greater visibility into their pipeline, insights into customer behavior, and improved revenue predictability.

Project Management Software Embarking on the Same Path

Like SFA, project management software was designed to be a planning and scheduling tool for individuals (specifically project managers) to manage projects. These legacy tools really only deliver value to the project manager. The non-collaborative aspect of the software makes team members inefficient, and silos information, making it unactionable from an organizational standpoint. To transform project management, a similar path like the SFA one above, will need to be followed.

Driving this necessary transition from legacy project management tools, email, and spreadsheets is simply the pace and unforgiving nature of business evolution. As pace of change continues to escalate, organizations are discovering that their siloed teams (and their technology) and operating structure are causing competitiveness challenges in today’s market. As a result, organizations now understand that any existing tool stack that can not handle rapid, continuously evolving work requirements and is more individual and singular (non-collaborative) in nature is going to hold them back.

Modern work and project management platforms have placed a premium on a collaborative and personalized experience. Organizations that adopt such a platform should see a reduction in the number of distractions workers face in managing their work, a reduction in their overall stress levels, and eliminate the mental blocks that reduce productivity by 40 percent. By adopting this approach, organizations can capture and analyze work-related data in much the same manner as CRM captured customer data-points.

Getting Started Today

As you start down the journey of addressing your legacy tools to become more nimble and flexible, the best advice is to look for a platform that can configure and adapt to how you manage work today and in the future.

Finding the right platform can be daunting. Implementation and adoption can be equally as challenging due to managing the change. 50 percent of enterprises fail in their software implementation. Consider reading this whitepaper to learn how to best avoid a failure.

Scott Tomlinson is Head of Growth at Easy Projects. He has been evolving with the B2B technology sector since days of the Dot Com era. As a experienced B2B tech marketing lead for start-ups and large tech vendors, Scott is passionate about the intersection and application of data, process execution, technology and people for uncovering new marketplace opportunities and evolving today’s best practices. He often advises on execution innovation and digital transformation. In his free time, Scott is an advocate for #STEM programming for today’s youth.