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Sample Background Information Segment for a Business Change

Below is a sample execution from a real business efficiency project, involving upgrading a manufacturing company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

  • Problem statement: Our existing customer database software does not track e-mails; has run out of custom fields for us to track which customers we include in which marketing campaigns; is not accessible when sales reps are out in the field visiting clients; and will not run on an operating system newer than Windows XP, blocking our ability to upgrade to new computers.

  • Desired end result: We will have a new customer database system that provides all the same functionality used in the original system, plus e-mail integration, remote access, expanded custom field availability, and compatibility with the newest Windows operating system.

    The new system will contain all of the old system’s data sorted into the correct custom fields. All employees will be able to perform their routine tasks in as much or less time than it takes currently.

  • Constraints: Customer data in the new system must meet certain security requirements as outlined by existing customer contracts guaranteeing privacy. The custom fields in the current system are not used in a uniform manner, so some data will need cleaning. The team using the software is older with limited technical skills. The budget is $5,000 per year.

  • Assumptions: We assume that management will allow us to switch to the new CRM if we can demonstrate the new solution addresses the former system’s shortcomings. We assume that we have enough internal technology resources to handle the data import and new CRM customization.

  • Risks and uncertainties: There may not be a new CRM program that meets all of our needs. We are uncertain whether we can export all data into CSV files from the former system for importing into the new system.

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