1) Understand the client's industry vertical and business model.
2) Study the project methodology if one already exists. Otherwise, suggest a suitable project methodology.
3) Ask questions to find out pain points in the current business process and constraints with the legacy software, if any.
4) Determine the minimum expected business functionality to meet the changed business scenarios, if any.
5) Complete blue prints.
6) Start the configuration and development.
7) Involve the business owners and "super users" very early on to test the CRM software and give feedback on the developed functionality. This eliminates last minute surprises between what is configured and what is expected.
8) Unit testing should be completed before rolling the functionality to integration testing.
9) A complete business validation should be performed and any issues should be fixed before announcing that you are ready to go live.
This was first published in March 2007