Between May 2004 and June 2005 CRM magazine checked in every two to three weeks with Churchill Downs Inc. to gauge the progress of the company's multiyear, multimillion CRM initiative. Vice President of CRM and Technology Solutions Atique Shah's CRM initiative diary shed light on the ups and downs that he and his team encountered during a hectic, and ultimately winning, year one. In the course of these discussions Shah regularly mentioned CRM's warning bells, some of which sounded, some of which remained blessedly silent. We return to the site of the Kentucky Derby's parent company to examine the seven warning bells and to flesh out year-one lessons that will help other CRM project managers improve their odds of success.
Month 12: To make good on its year-one deliverables Churchill Downs' CRM team must make believers out of everyone.
Month 11: Dragons, snakes, and oh yeah, here comes the finish line.
Month 10: Allaying a state of bad data panic.
Month 9: Recognition programs offset the tedium of data integration work.
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Month 8: Strategic deal-making marks a new approach to funding CRM.
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Month 6: A team of thoroughbreds is moving Churchill Downs closer to a winning finish.
"You have to do the right thing for the good of the customer, regardless of any resistance."
"Tasks have no meaning unless they are completed in a way that supports the project's vision."
It takes time for business partners to feel comfortable with the luxury of being asked to think from a new perspective.
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Churchill Downs' formal change-management effort addresses different levels of CRM understanding and, like most change initiatives, emphasizes that change is good.
Month 1: Odds are in favor of this two-time winner taking a CRM triple crown.
Here are the five strategies of five companies that have turbocharged their CRM initiatives.
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