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Project management approach and success in customer relationship management system implementations

1.0. Introduction

The chapter describes how the study would be taking place. It thereby describes the different phases of the study and the significance of each phase. Accordingly, the background of the study would be initially discussed, in order to provide a basic understanding pertaining to the organization taken into consideration and the aspects that focus would be laid on. Next, the problem statement would be discussed in terms of the efficiency of the customer relationship management (CRM) process and its implementation. Thereafter, the objectives of the study and the main questions that the research intends to answer would be discussed in order to illustrate the specific areas that the research would focus on in order to ascertain the outcomes. The sources of evidence used in the research and the resources that the research intends to use would also be described. This is because, these aspects would help in proving the accuracy and the validity of the research. Finally the structure of the dissertation would be illustrated and it would elucidate the basic facts pertaining to each chapter.

1.1. Background

The role of the hospitals when it comes to the patient care is very important; the hospitals have their own patients and they have to provide the required treatments to the patients and make sure that their issues are taken care of. However, simple and short-term relationships might not be adequate to reach appropriate outcomes. They have to make sure that long-term relationships are built with the patients. This will allow the patients to know that the hospital would take care of the issued they face and the health matters. Thus the patients as well as the hospital are likely to benefit from the process.

The Al Salama Hospital is a healthcare institution in Abu Dhabi which was established in 1979 and has been providing various services to the customers ever since. It has been able to provide to basic outpatient services as well as inpatient care. The main challenge with the growth of the demand for the services is to maintain an appropriate level of relationships with the customers. In this context, since the doctors fail to remember the details about the patients – as there are many patients that they would attend to within a day – the necessity of implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system has arisen. Thereby, the hospital has taken measures to implement a CRM system. In this context, it is important to note, that the proper implementation of the chosen CRM system is essential to the success of the CRM project (Buttle, 2009). This would require an effective project methodology in order to minimise the risks and costs associated with CRM initiatives and achieve higher return on investment (ROI). It is important in this context that the user adoption is maximized and that the organization is able to meet its financial and operational goals appropriately.

1.2. Problem statement

The hospital will have to ensure that they look to the benefits of the patients. In this context, the hospital would essentially need to have appropriate systems in place. The hospital has managed to implement a new CRM system with the intention of building the required relationships with the patients. Accordingly, this approach has been adopted to make sure that the organization possesses the required details about the patients, and how they will be able to treat these patients and make sure appropriate care is taken. Thus the hospital will have to take a project management approach in the process of implementing the CRM system. This is because, the project management approach would enable in integrating the CRM system effectively within the organization, impact the way customers recognize excellence in the organization’s performance, would enable to complete project successfully on a consistent basis, and would use tools and techniques that effectively monitor and control the project management activities (Bryde, 2003). As a result, the efficiency and productivity of the CRM system could be identified. Thus, the application of the project management approaches in order to gauge the outcomes of the implementation of the CRM system – in terms of the benefits generated to different stakeholder segments – would be the main issues pertaining to the research.

1.3. The research questions and objectives of the study

The study will show us as to how the project management techniques were used when implementing the CRM system. As a result, the nature of the success reached by the system at each of the stage also can be highlighted due to this approach. This will indicate how helpful was the project management approach they took towards making the whole implementation process an overall success. The main research questions that are answered through the study are as follows:

  1. Was project management steps followed when the hospital was implementing CRM system?
  2. How has the project management approach impacted towards the success of the system?
  3. Has the project actually achieved success due to the project management related aspects?
  4. What more could the hospital have done to improve the success of the CRM system implementation process?

The above questions that have been identified would give rise to the following research objectives. These research objectives will formulate the framework required for the project implementation purpose.

  1. To identify the significance of the project management in CRM system implementation at the hospital
  2. To identify the level of success of the CRM system implementation at the hospital
  3. To identify if the project management approach has contributed to the overall project success levels
  4. To provide recommendations to increase the level of success of the future projects

1.4. Sources of evidence

The research would mainly entail using qualitative and quantitative mechanisms to obtain evidence regarding the subject. Accordingly, this would involve using the quantitative aspects as the primary sources and the qualitative aspects as the secondary sources. The primary sources of evidence would be gained by interviewing three types of stakeholders of the hospital (i.e. management, employees, and customers). Also, the research would use programs such as MS Excel to illustrate the findings of the primary research. Secondary evidence would be obtained by referring to the literature pertaining to the subject matter. This involves using information of the researches previously conducted, as well as referring to books, journals, and sources from the internet.

1.5. The Structure of Dissertation

The dissertation consists of five chapters. Chapter 1 entails the introduction. This would provide a basic understanding regarding the research and how it would be conducted.

Chapter 2 includes the literature review. A critical analysis of the theoretical aspects pertaining to the study, would be performed in this context.

Chapter 3 entails the research methodology. This would illustrate a detailed description regarding the manner in which the research has been performed.

Chapter 4 would discuss the findings of the study. This would enable to analyse the results gained through the survey and its conformance to the information derived through literary sources.

Chapter 5 would include the conclusion, implications, and recommendations. This would portray the overall outcome of the research and the manner in which the findings could be applied in a practical context.

1.6. Conclusion

The chapter provides an understanding regarding the background, objectives, sources of evidence, and structure of the study. It enumerated the necessity of using a project management approach in order to ascertain the success regarding the implementation of the hospital’s CRM system. The next chapter would discuss the literature (secondary sources) relating to the research.

Chapter 2

2.0. Literature review

This chapter discusses the various literature that would relate to customer relationship management (CRM) and project management. It would help in identifying the relationship between the two aspects – in a theoretical perspective – and thereby provide an understanding regarding its practical application in organizations. In this context, literature on CRM and project management would be discussed separately, and subsequently the manner in which they are related to each other would be discussed.

2.1. Introduction

The process of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is vital for an organization in maintaining sustainable relationships with its stakeholders (Mishra and Mishra, 2009). This is because the customers have to feel that they are a part of the organization and they benefit from the services that these organizations provide. If they do not provide services to meet these customer needs, they will not be able to reach the results they seek. There are many different literatures that exist to show the role of the customer relationship management (Wang, 2003). The main need is to maintain the long-term relationships with the customers. This is the reason that the companies are investing in the development of new systems (Buttle, (2009).

The aspect of project management entails the accomplishment of a certain set of goals, within an allocated time period, by utilizing a limited number of resources, and making a collaborative effort by the stakeholders (Nokes, 2007). In this context, the project management process is a unique operation as all its operations are interrelated. This helps is achieving a common objective within a specific time period (Souder, 1983). Hence, it is necessary for an organization to determine the efficiency of its project management process in order to ensure that it derives the expected benefits in the long run (Cooke-Davies, Crawford, and Lechler, 2009).

2.2. Customer relationship management (CRM)

The CRM process mainly aims at maintaining strong relationships with customers in the long term (Chen and Popovich, 2003). In this context, focus needs to be laid upon creating long term relationships with the existing customers, whilst employing methods to attract new customers (Agnihotri, 2010). This in turn would require organizations to emphasize upon several key aspects such as; customer attraction and customer satisfaction – which would result in generating customer loyalty and thereby retaining customers in the long term (Mohammad, Rashid, and Tahir, 2013).

Accordingly, organizations need to understand the preferences and requirements of the customers, their current experience and perceptions (i.e. gap between current and desired experiences), techniques that could be used to overcome deficiencies, and methods of measuring the success of the implemented techniques, in the process of achieving the aforementioned objectives (Buttle, 2009). The companies thus implement appropriate customer relationship management systems with the intention that these systems will provide them with the platform for management of the long-term customer relationships. This will allow them to identify the changes to the customer needs and develop service solutions that meet the customer needs (Park and Kim, 2013). This will enhance the image of the company and make sure that the customers will benefit due to this approach. Thus the customer service management remains one of the most important areas that would contribute towards customer satisfaction and this is the reason the companies invest in such projects (Thomas, 1997).

This illustrates that customer relationship management is a customer oriented management approach. Accordingly, the CRM system mainly involves the use of information systems which provide information to support operational, analytical and collaborative CRM processes (Wennberg, Brandt, and Révay, 2006). This would enable in ensuring customer retention and profitability in the long run. In this context a CRM system could be mainly classified as; operational CRM and analytic CRM (Gefen and Ridings, 2002). Accordingly, the operational CRM supports a variety of customer-oriented business processes (such as; marketing, sales and service operations), whilst analytic CRM analyses customer data and transaction patterns to improve customer relationships (Mishra and Mishra, 2009).

The use of automated technologies is highly important in the CRM process as it helps in the decision making process and in the effective implementation of the decisions (Nguyen and Waring, 2013). This is because, such automation results in the horizontal integration of various operational aspects of an organization in terms of its customer touch points – i.e. marketing, sales, customer service, etc. The key factor that needs to be focused on is the interconnectivity between different channels of delivery (Chen and Popovich, 2003). It is also necessary to lay focus on the life cycle of the CRM process. This is mainly because, the life cycle involves the stages of integration, analysis, and action; which in turn enables to identify the level of collaboration and interconnectivity, efficiency and errors of the process, and the measures that need to be implemented in order to ensure the proper execution and perpetuation of the CRM process (Mishra and Mishra, 2009; Baird C H, and Parasnis, 2011). Accordingly, the integration stage entails the interconnectivity between the front office systems and the centralization of customer-related data, whilst the analysis stage supports the integration phase by enabling an organization to analyze customer behaviors, identify customer-buying patterns and discover casual relationships with the customers (Mohammad, Rashid, and Tahir, 2013). The stage of action involves executing the strategic decisions. Accordingly, it entails using the analysis in order to refine the business processes and organizational structures basing on the improved levels of customer understanding (Saarijärvi, Karjaluoto, and Kuusela, 2013). This illustrates that both operational CRM and analytic CRM are important towards ensuring that the overall CRM process is aligned with the organizational objectives, and is directed towards accomplishing the organizational goals (Mishra and Mishra, 2009; Agnihotri, 2010). Further, the implementation of these systematic approaches in the CRM process enables organizations to utilize the valuable insights it gains in order to coordinate and effectively maintain the growth of different customer contact points and communication channels, and thereby ensure the establishment of customer-oriented business processes through CRM (Baird C H, and Parasnis, 2011).

In the process of ensuring the effective implementation of the CRM process it is necessary for organizations to focus on organizational transformation. This is due to the complexity of multiple operations involved in managing customer relationships (Chen and Popovich, 2003; Tseng and Wu, 2014). Accordingly, it would be necessary for organizations to adapt to the new ways of interacting with customers. This would necessitate the alignment of various organizational aspects (i.e. business processes and strategies, support of the top level management, employee training, etc) with the CRM system. In this context, the CRM implementation activities would consist of several iterative process. This involves exploring and analyzing, visioning, building business case, planning and designing solution, implementing and integrating, and realizing value (Öztayşi, Sezgin, and Özok, 2011). This helps in mitigating the failure that occur in the CRM process and minimizing the complexity of its application. Accordingly, in order to minimize the complexity of the system, it would be necessary to establish a reasonably manageable system scope, phase the software functionality over a series of sequential implementation phases, and reduce or eliminate customization of the specific functionality of CRM application software (Öztayşi, Sezgin, and Özok, 2011; Nguyen and Waring, 2013). In this context, the application functionality of the CRM should be determined in line with the business needs of an organization – in terms of maintaining high quality, increasing customer attraction, enhancing the perceived value of the products/services provided, and continuously increasing financial profitability (Tseng and Wu, 2014). Hence, developing a CRM system in line with the organizational goals whilst adopting a customer centric approach and adopting technologies to support in increasing the efficiencies of the CRM would be the main aspects that organizations would need to concentrate on, when developing an effective CRM system (Wennberg, Brandt, and Révay, 2006;; Saarijärvi, Karjaluoto, and Kuusela, 2013; Tseng and Wu, 2014).

2.3. Project management

The activities which takes place in the process of initiating, performing, and concluding a specific project entails the scope of project management (Serra, & Kunc, 2014). Accordingly, it involves activities such as; scheduling, allocating/assigning, vitalizing, and directing the available resources (Hamilton, 2004). The main aspect that needs to be focused in this context is that the aforementioned activities need to be implemented in the most feasible manner, whereby resource allocation is performed in a prudent manner and the risks and costs are minimized. This in turn would help in completing the overall project on time and in an appropriate manner (Cooke-Davies, Crawford, and Lechler, 2009). Hence, the functions of project management involves the prudent use of knowledge, capabilities, resources and strategies, in order to optimize the benefits derived through the implementation of a project (Nokes, 2007).

In the course of implementing a project it is necessary to determine the objectives and targets of the project. Accordingly, the process of project management would require the accomplishment of a certain set of preconceived goals, in order to ensure that the expected outcomes have been achieved appropriately (Phillips, 2003). However, in the process of accomplishing the goals, it would be necessary to factor in the various constraints pertaining to the project. This would be a challenging task, as the main constraints could be indicated as scope of the project, time limitations, quality maintenance, and conformance to the allocated budget (Ireland, 2006). Importantly, there exist secondary constraints relating to the project – in terms of optimizing the allocation of resources and integrating them in a manner which enables to achieve the set targets (Souder, 1983). Thereby, it is necessary to identify the manner in which the aforementioned constraints could be overcome – by understanding the project management approaches and the process of project management (Hamilton, 2004).

2.3.1. Project management approaches

It is important in this context to identify the relevant approaches taken towards effectively managing a project. Accordingly, the main approaches that could be used include; the traditional approach, PRINCE2, critical chain project management (CCPM), Event chain approach, process based project management, agile project management, lean project management, extreme project management, and benefits realization management (BRM) (Bryde, 2003; Gardiner, 2005; Serra, & Kunc, 2014).

The traditional approach involves activities such as; project initiation, planning and designing, establishing systems to allocate the resources, implementation, evaluating the functions through monitoring and controlling procedures, and closing the project upon its completion (Souder, 1983). PRINCE2 is an output oriented system which emphasizes on the quality requirements. It thereby defines the project’s scope, establishes planning and control measures, coordinates resources and operations, and implements alternative strategies in line with the changes that occur (Cooke-Davies, Crawford, and Lechler, 2009). It thereby provides a mechanism which ensures interconnectivity, integration, and collaboration between the resources and the personnel managing the project (The National Archives, 2011).

The CCPM approach helps the planning and managing activities of a project to deal with inherent uncertainties and thereby to ensure that the project flow remains unimpeded in spite of the constraints that may arise (Bryde, 2003). The event chain approach is similar in nature, as it identifies the uncertainties and evaluates the progress of the project’s activities, whereby emphasizing on curbing the impacts of unwanted constraints. As a result of identifying the probable risks, the impact of event chains and the most critical events, and evaluating and visualizing events, the project is able to ensure that prudent measures are taken swiftly to mitigate any negative impacts and complete the project on schedule (Laszlo, 1999). Also, the approach of agile project management is helpful in responding to sequential challenges and constraints that occur when implementing a project – especially in the areas of uncertainty and innovation (Richet, 2013). Moreover, extreme project management involves a combination of process based management and agile project management, whereby emphasizing on curtailing unnecessary and additional costs whilst simultaneously adjusting the project according to the contemporary requirements and changes (Kerzner, 2003).

The process based project management approach involves the manner in which a project could be managed in line with an organization’s vision, mission and values. This helps in helps in identifying the strategies that need to be used in the project, the project framework, the resources that are needed for the project, and the outcomes that the project intends to generate (Phillips, 2003). Importantly, lean project management entails obtaining the desired results through minimal waste of resources and time. As a result, focus is laid on ensuring the quality standards and curtailing the errors and deficiencies that occur during the implementation of the project (Laszlo, 1999). Finally, the benefits realization management (BRM) approach emphasizes on the benefits that could be obtained through the projects by focusing on the outcomes of each and every project activity. This in turn ensures that the risks associated with the project are minimized, and that the project maintains the appropriate standards even after its compeletion (Cooke-Davies, Crawford, and Lechler, 2009; Serra, & Kunc, 2014).

2.3.2. Project management processes

In the event of ensuring efficient project management, it is necessary to focus on the aspects of prudent planning, assessing, and managing (Abdollahi, Ghezelbash, & Eskandari, 2012). This requires determining the personnel who need to administer the project. Accordingly, the person(s) who are in charge of a project is referred to as a project manager. The project manager(s) need to determine the activities that need to be performed, the members of the project team and their roles and responsibilities, the required resources, costs, risks, and constraints (Serra, & Kunc, 2014).

In this context, the process of project management would consist of the stages such as; precise specifications to initiate the project, planning, generating comprehensive awareness regarding the project plan amongst the entire project team, assigning relevant project tasks, administer the resources allocation and utilization, inspect and analyze the progress, close the project upon completion, and perform a follow up examination (Hamilton, 2004; Gardiner, 2005; Eve, 2007).

2.4. Effective CRM implementation through project management

The implementation of a CRM project would necessitate using to the above mentioned approaches and processes. In this context, focus needs to be initially laid on the skills, tools and management processes that are used by the project management team (Yu, 2008). The project team would thereby have to determine the aims and objectives of the project, the standards and measures that need to be used, available competencies, required resources, limitations, internal and external conditions, timeframes, and expected outcomes (Abdollahi, Ghezelbash, & Eskandari, 2012). This entails aspects relating to the planning of the project and its execution. However, it would also be necessary to determine the monitoring and controlling measures as well as the measures that would be used in the follow up process to evaluate the outcomes and maintain the required standards continuously (Kerzner, 2003).

In the process of planning the various stages and activities of the project it is necessary to identifying the relationship between the tasks, the relative and overall impact of each of the tasks, and the ability to complete each task within the establish time frame – amidst the constraints (Eve, 2007). Accordingly, it would be necessary to ascertain the skills and competencies of the project team and their perspectives on how the project needs to be performed. This would help in establishing a collaborative project management environment. It is noteworthy that the team members would need to possess a comprehensive understanding regarding the aspects pertaining to CRM and the manner it could be properly applied within the given organization (Yu, 2008).

As the project team would be able to establish the parameters within which the project needs to be conducted, it would be able to identify the potential constraints the project would be subjected to. This would enable it to plan the remedial measures that could be applied (Thomas, 1997). In this context, the most appropriate project management tools include; brainstorming, templates, forms, registers, software and checklists (Kim and Kim, 2009). This would enable in setting realistic and achievable aims in terms of timescales and costs. As a result, a number of deficiencies and problems that could arise during the implementation of the project, could be overcome (Kerzner, 2003).

A main technique that could ensure the effectiveness of a CRM project is focusing on the aspects that have a significant impact on the overall project, whilst simultaneously identifying aspects that are not immediately or directly consequential, but are still essential to the project (Concentrix, 2008). This would help in using the aforementioned approaches such as the BRM system, lean project management system, event chain approach, traditional approach, etc. As a result, the project team would be able to set realistic and achievable time tables for the completion of each project action, establish evaluation systems, identify risks, and involve the relevant parties in an effective change management process (Gefen and Ridings, 2002).

Effective communication is an essential aspect in project management as it helps the personnel involved in the project to obtain comprehensive knowledge regarding the project, whilst gaining the support of the relevant stakeholders towards the proper implementation of the project (Concentrix, 2008). This would help in building a collaborative effort towards the successful completion of the project. Also, by defining the roles and responsibilities of the persons involved in the project the contribution of each stakeholder could be identified and evaluated, and the areas that need to be improved could be effectively communicated (Abdollahi, Ghezelbash, & Eskandari, 2012). This could be performed by holding regular meetings and evaluating the performances – in order to portray the contribution level of personnel involved in each task, and the areas that need to be improved (Kerzner, 2003).

Furthermore, it would be necessary to provide adequate training before and during the project, to the persons involved in the project. This is because, it would help in meeting the necessary competency levels and the set targets, whilst effectively adapting to the contemporary changes (Eve, 2007). In the event of evaluating the progress it is necessary to maintain transparency in order to convince the stakeholders regarding the benefits of the project, and gain their support in the change management process (Concentrix, 2008).

It is important to implement follow-up measures subsequent to completing the project, as it would help in identifying the achievements as well as the mistakes, and thereby establish procedures to maintain the desired standards in the long run (Serra, & Kunc, 2014). This would enable an organization to continue with its CRM system and alter it according to the changing business environment (Richet, 2013; Kim, et al., 2012).

2.5. Relationship of CRM and project management in terms of the hospital

A CRM project has a distinct series of tasks and activities that produces a set of tangible outcomes within clearly specified constraints of time, quality and cost. While the investments are made, the companies have to work towards the CRM systems to be a success and the intended results are achieved through the implementation of the CRM system. The implementation of the CRM system would take place in the context of the project (Wennberg, Brandt and Révay, 2006). The projects have to be well planned in order to achieve the results that is expected from the implementation process. The success of the overall CRM system will start from this stage. Thus the implementation stage remains highly important for the CRM systems in consideration (Öztayşi, Sezgin, and Özok, 2011).

One of the main challenges that have to be achieved through the implementation process is to have the right and the needed infrastructure (Chahal and Kumari, 2011). All the parties have to support the implementation and all those who work with the system should have adequate training to achieve the results. It is a must that the companies work towards selecting the best of the CRM systems that matches the needs they have. This will also make sure that the CRM system implementation becomes an overall success (Gottschalk, 2006).

The project management will be successful provided that the project is completed within a number of parameters; one of the main aspects is the cost of the project completion (Chahal, 2010). The project cost has to be in line with the market needs and the expectations. Then the time of the completion also would define if the project were a success (Moosmayer and Fuljahn, 2013). Thus the time and the cost considerations remain two of the key areas that define the total success of the project completion activities. The long run outcomes are likely to be positive if the projects are completed within an appropriate period of time. There are many literature discussions available on the project management and how that leads to successful completion of the projects (White and Daniel, 2004).

The hospitals have to maintain the records of the patients; this is due to the fact that the patients will have to have appropriate relationships with the hospitals over the long term and the hospitals should have the details about the patients with them (Wang, 2013). This will allow them to provide a high quality patient care and ensure that the patients will be able to work with the hospital for maintaining their health levels (White and Daniel, 2004). Thus the CRM systems of the hospitals has a higher level of requirement compared with the companies who are in trading etc (Chahal, 2010). The hospitals will have to maintain the required CRM systems to achieve the appropriate long term results (McElhinney, and Heffernan, 2003).

The patient details can be stored and the patient can be contacted through the system. This will allow the hospital to provide health advices to the patients and make sure that they follow the instructions as needed. The progress of the situation also can be monitored through this approach (Chahal and Kumari, 2011). Thus the overall outcomes associated with the situation indicate that there are many benefits in place. Thus the role of the CRM and the contribution that this will make towards the hospital management is an area that has to be identified in detail and appropriate results has to be provided as needed. This will increase the quality of the patient care in the hospitals and the personnel who are working in the hospitals will be able to benefit from the process overall (McElhinney and Heffernan, 2003). Thus the role of the CRM in the context of the hospital management remains an important area that has to be considered. Appropriate implementation will maximize the benefits (Kim et al., 2012).

2.6. Conclusion

The chapter discussed the benefits that could be achieved through effective CRM and project management, and the manner in which the CRM system at a hospital could be implemented through a project management approach. This provides a clear indication that the efficiency of the project management system would have a direct impact on the current and future effectiveness of the CRM system. Hence, it illustrates that the overall success of the CRM systems would depend on a number of aspects and each of these areas have to be managed to achieve the needed results. The next chapter would discuss the methodology in which the research would be conducted.

Chapter 3

3.0. Methodology

This chapter focuses on how the research would be conducted. Accordingly, it describes aspects pertaining to the philosophy of the research, the research design, the techniques used for sampling and choosing the population, the design of the questionnaire, and the manner in which data would be collected and analyzed. These aspects would help in ensuring that the research is conducted in line with its objectives, and that the authenticity and reliability is maintained.

3.1. Philosophy of the research

The philosophy of the research entails understanding the point of view of the researcher as well of other parties which have forwarded their opinions regarding the subject that is being researched. In this context, the research design is highly important as it enables to understand the manner in which the research is conducted – in terms of the strategies and methods used by the researcher. Accordingly, determining the suitability of the research design is essential in order to ensure the validity, authenticity, and reliability of the research.

As a result of the research being a social research, it would involve the assumptions adopted by the researchers (Blaikie, (2000) This is because, the research could not be conducted as the researches in natural sciences, since the nature of relationships between human beings are highly volatile. In this context, the perceptions of the stakeholders of the research would need to be obtained in line with the contemporary environment, whilst the outcomes of the research would need to be evaluated basing on a predetermined set of objectives.

Accordingly, in the event of choosing the suitable methods of performing the research, it would be necessary to identify the various methods of performing research, and comparatively evaluate them against each other (Collis and Hussey, 2003). It is important to note that the conclusions of the research would have to based and the perceived reality of the findings, and thereby the knowledge and information gathered through various processes would have a major impact on the accuracy of the overall research. In this context, the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches would be appropriate, as it helps in identifying the practical and theoretical aspects relating to the study. Also, the comparative analysis of the two approaches would enable to provide interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations in an acceptable manner to the parties affected by the research (Miles and Huberman, 1994).

A positivist approach is used by the research since it needs to portray that the interpretations made by the researcher is based on the realistic fact that have been collected through the research, and thereby makes the conclusions of the research authentic (Creswell, 2009). However, in order to maintain the uniqueness of the research it is necessary to lay emphasis on the ideas of the researcher, as it could reveal new dimensions of the subject which previous researches haven’t. This involves the use of interpretivism (Petty, Thomson, & Stew, 2012).

3.2 Research Design

The design of the research provides a framework to collect and analyze data. This would depict the plan, strategy and the theoretical structure in which the research would be performed (Creswell, 2009). In this context, the literary sources would be used identify the different opinions and ideas relating to the subject, that have been forwarded. This would necessitate using previous researches, books, journals, and online sources. On the other hand, the practical implications of the research could be ascertained by conducting a field research. This represents the quantitative element of the research. In this context, the research intends to comparatively analyze the information obtained through the literary sources and the field research, and thereby forward interpretations regarding the similarities and differences of the data obtained by the two sources. This in turn would help in obtaining reliable answers to the research questions through the data gathered and its interpretation.

3.3 Research Methodology

The study has to identify the results in the context of the CRM implementation process. The CRM implementation process sin a project team has carried out the case of the hospital; the project team will know the details about the project and how the project was implemented. Thus they will be able to provide information about the role of the project management in the case of the project implementation process.

The customers will be able to indicate how successful the system implementation has been from the functional aspects. Accordingly, the customers will have to be interviewed to know the details about the success of the system and how this has impacted the relationships that they maintain with the hospital. This would indicate as to how beneficial the systems have been for the customers and how the customers have benefitted from the system implementation. The customers can compare the situation before implementation of the system and after, and thereby the customer insights will indicate as to how the CRM system has contributed to their benefits.

The employees on the other hand will show us as to how the system implementation has impacted the work and the success in the fronts of the customer management. They will also indicate the benefits as well as the issues that they have faced due to the new system in place. Thus the insights in this context would be of highly useful to know the role of the system in shaping the hospital and the relationships that they have with the customers.

The above aspects indicate that there are three groups of stakeholders that have been in consideration. From each of the group, ten (10) respondents are used for the discussion. Although a larger sample could generate better results, due to the limited time and resources, each group representation is limited to 10 respondents. These groups can be defined clearly and this indicates that a random approach can be used when selecting of the respondents. This will allow a better and unbiased representation of the people involved.

3.3.1. Method of interview

For the purpose of collecting information, an interview is used. The main advantage with the interview is that we can probe into the areas that respondents discuss and identify the details associated with each of these areas in suitable manner. The flexibility is important in this case and the information that has to be collected from each group is different. A rough interview guide is used to base the interviews on with the intention of reaching the appropriate results. The outcomes will show as to the direction that has to be taken to achieve the required results.

The interviews will be recorded and transcribed to identify the points given by each of the groups of the respondents. The similarities as well as the differences on these points are identified and appropriate outcomes are developed based on these understanding. The information they provide is used to understand the main information areas that have been covered under the above objectives. This will eventually make sure that appropriate insights are given to the area of the CRM project implementation and how this has impacted the hospital.

3.3.2. Resources needed

The study needs a number of resources since, having these resources in place will enable to conduct the study in a manner which the results are optimized. Thus approaches have to be developed to plan for the resources needed and make sure that such resources are available for the purpose of the study. This will benefit the parties involved. In this instance, the main resource required can be listed as below:

1. The ability to communicate with the respondents – The communication costs with the respondent groups is one of the costs and there has to be appropriate resources in place to achieve the communication. However, due to the necessity of obtaining authentic information it would be appropriate to conduct face-to-face interviews.

2. The lists of the customers, employees and team participants – the company has to provide the details of the persons belonging to the aforementioned groups, in order to choose the respondents. The random sampling approach would be adopted when choosing respondents from these lists.

3. The recording devices to record conversations – The recording devices are needed to record the details of the conversations and use such to transcribe the conversations in order to analyze the context of the discussions.

4. The software needed to analyze the data and compile report – In this case, the best software is the general office packages that will provide the basic working tools. This will allow analysis of the data and eventually develop the report as needed.

3.4 Sampling Technique

The random sampling technique is used to conduct the research. This is because, the researcher would be initially obtaining information regarding each group of stakeholders and subsequently choosing the respondents randomly. This approach is mainly used due to the time limitations of performing the study, as well as due to the existence of a considerable population in each group of stakeholders. Accordingly, 10 respondents from the stakeholder segments of customers, employees, and management would be chosen for the study. These stakeholders have been chosen due to the impact that the CRM system has on them and as they could provide valuable insights regarding the pros and cons of the system, and the areas in which it needs improvement. The knowledge of the respondents would enable to ensure the accuracy levels of the study. This in turn would enables researchers to obtain information that is most relevant to the research questions and successfully achieve the objectives of the research.

3.4.1. Data collection

The research mainly uses primary and secondary sources to collect data. The information obtained through the responses of the survey refer to the primary data sources whilst the information discussed in the literature review refers to the secondary data sources. The primary data would be used in order to clarify the information of the secondary data, and the comparative analysis of the two sources would enable to reach conclusions and identify the implications of the research. Importantly, the primary data would be collected through direct interactions with the chosen population of respondents, whilst the secondary data has been obtained by referring to books, journals, and online resources.

3.4.2. Design of questionnaire

The research questionnaire entails characteristics of an open ended questionnaire. This is because, the respondents would be provided with the ability of providing answers of their choice, instead of restricting their answers to a predetermined structure. As a result, any aspects that would be overlooked by a structured questionnaire could be revealed through the open ended questionnaire. However, this restricts the ability to quantify the data as in a structured questionnaire. This barrier could be overcome by attributing values to certain aspects, basing on their relative importance – in line with the answers of the respondents. The questionnaire is annexed at the end of the report.

3.5 Data Analysis

The data gathered through the questionnaire would be documented by using the Microsoft Excel software. This would help in comparing the responses against each other, whilst simultaneously depicting any possible relationship with the intended variables for analysis. As a result, an in-depth understanding regarding the manner in which the marketing/advertising techniques are used in organizations, and the subsequent outcomes could be obtained.

3.6. Reliability and validity of the research

Since the research uses the data obtained from the main stakeholders who are impacted by the CRM system, the validity of the data could be confirmed. This is mainly because, the respondents would possess a sound understanding regarding the manner in which the system is implemented and its ramifications. The personal interactions that the researchers have with the respondents in the interviewing process would enable to ensure the reliability of the data. Furthermore, as the researchers would ensure the confidentiality of the information provided, the respondents could provide honest answers without the fear of being exposed. Importantly, the questions would be directly aligned with the objectives of the research and thereby the answers to questions of the research could be obtained appropriately. This would help in ensuring increased levels of accuracy and in forwarding an objective view regarding the overall subject matter.

3.7. Limitations to the study

The main limitation to the study is the difficulty in gaining the information regarding the employees and the customers. This is because, the hospital authorities intend to preserve the confidentiality of their patients and do not prefer external persons gathering information from their employees. However, this was overcome to a certain extent by explaining the circumstances of the research and gaining the authorization of the management. Yet, the management only provided information regarding a selected number of employees and customers, which made the researchers to identify and contact customers through personal sources. The time and resource limitation also affected the research in choosing a larger population of respondents. However, an adequate population participated in the research. Also, there were barriers when convincing the respondents to provide honest answers, since the employees were hesitant and the management was initially reluctant to reveal information regarding their operations. However, the impact of the limitations have been minimized through the design and methodology of the study, and also due to the ability of the researchers to convince the respondents to provide realistic answers.

3.8. Conclusion

The chapter illustrates that the study uses qualitative and quantitative methods. However, since statistical approaches are not used to collect the information, the study depicts qualitative characteristics. On the other hand, by quantifying the information during the analysis of the findings, the study would be able to use the quantitative method as well. This provides the researchers freedom to identify the main areas that require attention and apply suitable analysis methods to reach the expected outcomes. This will provide maximum benefits in terms of the insights formulation. Also, the resources will make sure the report is formulated as needed and with appropriate benefits.

The next chapter illustrates the findings of the research and provides a critical analysis.

Chapter 4

4.0. Results, analysis and discussion

The chapter focuses on presenting the results, analyzing it, and discussing the outcomes of the results. Effectively analyzing the data obtained through the survey is important in order to ensure that the research objectives are accomplished. In this context, the results of the interviews would be presented and critically analyzed – basing on the different responses provided to the questions. Charts and tables are used along with numerical data to present the findings. Subsequently, the findings of the field research would be comparatively discussed in line with the theoretical knowledge gained through the literature review. As a result, the chapter intends to identify the practical aspects of CRM and project management which conform to the theoretical underpinnings, and the areas that are different to the literary information. This would provide a comprehensive understanding regarding the implementation of CRM and project management in the Al Salama hospital, and whether these aspects are relevant to other organizations or are distinct from other organizations, when being applied.

4.2. Presentation of results and analysis of the survey

The results of the survey would be presented and analyzed according to the responses provided to each question in the questionnaire.

Q1. The first question revealed the number of respondents in each category. This helps in proving that 10 respondents were chosen from each category.

Q2. Understanding level regarding the CRM system of the hospital.

This helps in identifying whether the respondents possess an adequate knowledge regarding the hospital’s CRM system. Accordingly, the results that were obtained could be quantified in the following manner.

Figure 1. Understanding of CRM

The data in the above figure shows the extent to which each category of stakeholders possess an understanding regarding the CRM system at the hospital. In this context, the majority of the customers only have a general understanding regarding the CRM system while 25% of them have a high understanding. It is noteworthy that the customers who have a comprehensive understanding as well as customer who have low and not much of an understanding regarding the system are very low in number. This illustrates that the customers only have limited knowledge regarding the implementation of the CRM system and that their perceptions would be based on the benefits they receive.

On the other hand, 79% of the employees have a very high and high understanding level regarding the CRM process, whilst the rest of the employees have a general understanding. In this context, the understanding of the employees plays a critical role in ensuring that the CRM system is implemented in line with its objectives. As a result, the employees would be able to direct their tasks and performances in the interests of the customers whilst ensuring that the organization maintains customer relationships at the desired level. However, the existence of 21% of employees who have a general understanding regarding the CRM system indicates that the organization should take more proactive measures to increase employee awareness and knowledge on its CRM process.

The very high level of understanding among the management is critical towards ensuring the effectiveness of the CRM process. This is because, the knowledge of the management would enable them to alter the strategies in line with the changes in the market environment and simultaneously ensure that the CRM process is aligned with the organizational objectives. Further, the management would be able to determine whether the CRM process needs to be improved by identifying the areas that need improvements, and subsequently implement the necessary measures.

Q3. How long has the CRM process been in existence?

90% of the customers believed that it has been in existence for more than a decade, whilst the rest of the customers were of the view that the CRM process has been in existence within the past five years.

80% of the employees said that there have been different CRM systems that have been implemented within the past two decades, and 20% of the employees said that they know only about the CRM systems that have been implemented within the past ten years. This illustrates that different CRM systems have been used by the organization at least during the past 20 years. This notion was confirmed by the management of the hospital as they revealed that they had implemented different CRM systems to various degrees within the past 20 years. However, they revealed that the systems were changed from time to time in order to maximize efficiency and optimize the benefits. In this context, the managers pointed out that the current CRM system has been in existence for the past two years.

Q4. Involvement in the planning activities of the current CRM system.

The following table illustrates the extent to which each stakeholder category was involved in the planning activities of the current CRM system.

CustomersEmployeesManagement
Yes2%11%100%
No10%17%0%
To a certain extent11%69%0%
No idea77%3%0%

Table 1. Involvement in planning CRM

The data above indicates that most of the customers did not have an idea whether they were indirectly involved in the planning process of the CRM system, since their ideas were not obtained directly. However, the customers who responded as yes and to a certain extent revealed that they had been either indirectly or directly involved in planning the CRM process, and that they were consciously aware of it.

Most of the employees had been consulted when planning the CRM system, and their ideas had been taken into consideration. However, they had not had a direct impact on the planning activities. The 17% represents the employees who directly got involved and influenced the planning of the CRM system. It is noteworthy that these employee had been with the organization for a considerable time period (i.e. ten years or more) – according to their responses – and thereby the management involves them to a certain extent in the decision making activities. On the other hand, the employees who claimed not be involved in the planning process or had no idea regarding their involvement, were employees who has recently joined the organization (i.e. within 3 months to 1 year).

Q5. Did the CRM process use project management techniques?

The answers for this question cannot be quantified since only the managers and very few of the employees had knowledge regarding the techniques used to plan and implement the CRM process, whilst even the customers who were involved in the planning process did not have knowledge on the techniques used in this context. However, the managers revealed that the hospital has been using project management techniques in its CRM processes during the past ten years. Accordingly, the techniques that have mainly been used include; setting SMART (i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) objectives, determining the resources and timescales of its implementation, forming project management teams and allocating responsibilities for each team, making risk assessments and formulating strategies to overcome unprecedented adversities, and evaluating the progress of the project and ensuring that its completed within the allocated time frame. In this context, a notable aspect is that the organization had not implemented a follow up program after the completion of the project. This could be considered as the reason for the organization adopting new CRM systems from time to time.

Q6. What is your perception regarding the current CRM process?

The responses to this question could be quantified as the respondents provided answers that could be generalized and categorized as follows;

Figure 2. Perception on CRM process

Out of the 30 respondents 38% of the respondents view the CRM process as satisfactory. Also, 21% are of the opinion that further improvements are required to the CRM system. This mainly represents the ideas of the customers, whilst also including the ideas of several employees. On the hand, only 24% have agreed that the CRM process provides the desired benefits, whilst only 17% agree that it is highly effective. This illustrates that amongst the 33.3% of the respondents who represent the management, only half of them have agreed regarding the effectiveness and the benefits of the system. This illustrates that it is imperative for the hospital to increase the level of customer satisfaction by enhancing its current CRM process. Such measures would consequently result in generating more benefits for the customers and the organization and thereby increase the effectiveness of the overall CRM process.

Q7. Are the outcomes of the CRM process in line with the organizational goals?

The responses for this question could only be obtained from the employees and the management. However, when assessing the results of the responses provided by the employees and the management, it is evident that the majority of the managers (98%) believe that the CRM systems conforms to the organizational goals. However, the responses of the employees are split in terms of 60% disagreeing with the question and the rest (40%) agreeing. This could be attributed to the fact that the employees have not been provided with adequate training regarding the current CRM system, and they have found it difficult in adjusting to the change from the previous system to the new one. As a result, the employees who disagree with the question are of the opinion that their lack of training, understanding, and inability to comply with the system, restricts their ability in its implementation. This in turn restricts them from achieving the expected quality levels and targets set by the organization.

On the other hand, the management as well as the employee who agreed with the question forwarded the opinion that subsequent to implementing the new CRM system, the organization has been able to increase its customer retention levels and at the same time increase its revenues. Further, the management said that the organization’s customer centric strategy has been aligned with the CRM system, and the employees are directed towards maximizing customer satisfaction. Accordingly, the organization has implemented measures to increase the accessibility to customers – by facilitating online transactions and interactions (i.e. providing feedback, suggestions, and complaints) – whilst also directing employees to be cordial towards the customers and ensure that the requirements of the customers are quickly and efficiently catered to.

This illustrates that the organization has taken progressive measures to ensure the alignment of the CRM system with the organizational objectives. However, it is evident that the organization would need to be more proactive in integrating its employees into the CRM process, and thereby would need to take measures to enhance the training activities and the dissemination of information.

Q8. The monitoring and controlling mechanisms used in the CRM process.

The answers for this question could only be derived from the employees and the management as they possess the knowledge pertaining to this aspect. The table below illustrates the monitoring and controlling mechanisms used by the organization and the relative importance (i.e. weightage) given to each aspect.

Monitoring and control mechanismsRelative importance
Monthly evaluationsHigh
Individual performancesHigh
Employee knowledgeMedium
Responding to customer suggestionsMedium
Number of customer complaintsHigh
Time taken to resolve customer issuesMedium to high (basing on the nature of the issue)
Online interactions with customersMedium
Personal interactions with customersHigh
Extensive employee trainingMedium
Number of new customersHigh
Number of customers retainedHigh

Table 2. Relative importance of monitoring and control mechanisms

The information provided in the above table reveals that the hospital lays high emphasis on certain aspects relating to customer relationship management, whilst a moderate emphasis is laid on the other aspects. Accordingly, aspects such as monthly evaluations and employee performances are directly related to monitoring and controlling the activities of the employees involved in the CRM process. This helps in identifying whether the employees have been able to achieve the desired levels of performance and to guide them regarding the measures that need to be taken to improve their competencies and performance levels. However, by laying medium emphasis on extensive training the organization restricts the employees from obtaining adequate knowledge regarding the CRM process and from improving their competencies in the event of engaging in CRM activities. The main reason for this is the lack of time and financial resources to provide extensive training to the employees, as the management of the organization expects the basic training (provided to the employees) to enable the employees to conform to the needs of the organization.

The table also depicts that the organization has laid high emphasis on attracting new customers and retaining the existing customers. This is because, such efforts would result in increasing the sales revenues of the organization whilst ensuring that it possesses a sound customer base in the long run. In this context, the organization has laid high emphasis on reducing the number of customer complaints, whilst also concentrating on strengthening the relationships with the customers through increased personal interactions. Accordingly, by personally interacting with the customers the organization would be able to gain first-hand information regarding the perceptions of the customers whilst portraying a customer centric image. This would help in generating high levels of customer loyalty and thereby complement the objectives of customer attraction and retention.

A medium emphasis is laid on online interactions since it does not have a strong impact as personal interactions. However, the areas focused in online interactions involves facilitating convenient transaction mechanisms to customers (i.e. in booking, paying bills, etc) whilst also enabling the customers to obtain information, provide feedback, suggestions, and complaints, and resolve their basic queries.

It is noteworthy that the hospital lays medium emphasis on responding to customer suggestions. This is because, the administrators are unable to implement all the suggestions made by the customers. However, the organization ensures that it sends a polite response to all suggestions and thereby illustrates that it values the ideas of the customers. Finally, a moderate emphasis is laid on the time taken to respond to customer issues due to the fact that the issues of the customers would be diverse in nature, and thereby different time periods would be taken to resolve different issues. However, the hospital strives to ensure that the customer issues do not remain idling, and that efforts are made to resolve the issues at the earliest possible time.

Q9. Is it necessary to further improve the current CRM process?

The responses for this were unanimous in terms of the customer, employees, and the management. However, the reasons that they provided are different from each other. Accordingly, the management suggested that improvements are necessary to enhance the financial performance of the organization and to increase its customer base. Also, they were of the opinion that improved CRM would enable them to enhance their competitive position in the industry and simultaneously increase their market share. This could further aid in their expansion objectives.

The employees were of the opinion that improvements in the CRM process would enable them to gain more understanding regarding its execution and also enable them to implement it with more convenience. Accordingly, they expect the organization to provide them with more training and knowledge in the field of PR (personal relationship) management and enable them to cater to the needs of diverse customer segments.

The customers sought out improvements in order to enhance their comfort and convenience when using the hospital’s facilities, while also seeking more opportunities to influence the decision makers in the areas of quality management.

Q10. The main areas that could be improved

The respondents identified several areas that could be improved in the current CRM process. Accordingly the main aspects that the respondents emphasized on and the percentage of respondents who prioritized each aspect is being illustrated in the chart below.

Figure 3. Areas of improvement in CRM

The data in the chart above enumerates that a similar level of emphasis is laid on aspects such as adding value to the services, constantly adopting new technologies, and providing more training to employees. In this context, the customers could benefit through value added services as they would be receiving higher quality services and/or additional services with no extra charges. This would enable to increase customer attraction as well as customer retention.

The adoption of new technologies would be vital towards increasing the efficiency of the CRM process. This would require automating the CRM process in a manner which increases the speed and accuracy of responding to customer requirements. Also, the value of the services provided and the overall image of the organization would be enhance, in the event of the organization using the latest technology for its operations. This could also enable in further reducing the deficiencies in the operations and ensuring that the organization maintains quality standards that are in line with international standards.

The requirement for increased employee training is depicted in this context (as in the responses for the previous question) since the employees as well as the management view that enhanced employee training would increase the overall capabilities of the organization. This in turn could enable them to increase the efficiency of the CRM process whilst curtailing the errors and deficiencies in the long run.

The suggestions to provide concessions to long term customers is also given considerable emphasis in this context. This is because, especially the customers are of the opinion that they should be provided with certain financial discounts and/or other benefits for remaining loyal to the organization. The management also holds a similar point of view, since such measures would help their marketing activities and enable to retain customers in the long term.

As delays occur when responding to certain issues of customers, the customers as well as the management are of the opinion that measures need to be taken to increase the response time. This aspect would need to be combined with aspects such as enhancing employee training and adoption of advanced technologies, in order to ensure that the expected outcomes are achieved.

Q11. Do you think applying project management approaches in the CRM process would be viable?

The respondents to this question included only the employees and the management. 87% of the employees responded as yes, along with 100% of the management. This illustrates that the application of project management techniques in the CRM process, would be a feasible option.

Q12. To what extent could the project management approaches be used?

Basing on the responses of the employees and the management, the following aspects could be identified as the areas in which project management approaches could be used in the hospital’s CRM process. The following table illustrates these aspects.

Areas of project managementRequired level of usage in CRM
PlanningMedium
Developing project teamsMedium
Monitoring and controllingMedium
Prudent allocation of resourcesHigh
Defining roles and responsibilitiesMedium
Establishing clear cut time frames to complete tasksHigh
Risk managementHigh
Change managementHigh
Follow-up activitiesVery High

Table 3. Use of project management approaches

According to the above information, the areas that require implementation of project management approaches to a high level have been determined basing on their application in the current context, and their requirement to improve the CRM process. This portrays that the organization has laid very high emphasis since it has not enforced follow-up procedures in its former and current CRM processes. This has led towards changing the former CRM systems, whilst not using follow-up mechanisms in the current system could lead to it becoming obsolete in a short time period. In this context, the management and the employees are of the opinion that by incorporating follow-up mechanisms the organization would be able to overcome its current deficiencies and also establish measures to mitigate the impacts of adversities that it could face in the future.

High importance has been laid on change management since the management needs to adopt measures to ensure that all the employees conform to the changes in the organization’s CRM strategies. This subsequently would enable the employees to perform their duties more efficiently whilst helping the management to adopt progressive strategies with minimal impediments. Also, it would be necessary to integrate the customers into the change management process by portraying the benefits that could be achieved in the long run, and gaining their support.

High emphasis is laid on prudent resource allocation and establishing clear cut time frames to complete tasks. This could be attributed to the objectives of the organization to maximize the utilization of resources whilst simultaneously catering to customer requirements without any unnecessary delays. As a result the overall efficiency of the CRM process would increase.

Medium emphasis is laid on aspects that are currently implemented by the organization. Hence, the respondents believed that these aspects need to be maintained at the existing levels whilst focusing on enhancing the areas that high emphasis is laid on.

Q13. What are the barriers that would be faced in the future, when changing the CRM process?

The respondents of all three categories forwarded similar opinions in this context. Accordingly, they identified the following barriers;

  • Financial constraints.
  • Lack of skills and knowledge of employees.
  • Estranged relationships between the management and employees, which in turn would hinder the quality and efficiency of the CRM process.
  • Differences in the attitudes of customers and employees when adopting to the changes of the CRM process.
  • External negative influences that could bar the implementation of the planned changes.

Q14. How could the aforementioned barriers be overcome?

The measures to overcome the aforementioned barriers, are depicted in the following diagram. Each aspect has been attributed the percentage of respondents which proposed it.

Figure 4. Measures to overcome CRM barriers

Accordingly, the respondents mainly have identified aspects such as higher levels of stakeholder integration, improvements in communication, and collaboration in implementation as the main modes of overcoming the aforementioned deficiencies in changing the CRM process in a beneficial manner. Importantly, considerable emphasis has also been laid on focusing on continuous improvement, and establishing risk mitigation procedures. Effective implementation of these aspects would enable the organization to avoid the adversities of unprecedented circumstances, whilst ensuring the perpetuity of a highly beneficial CRM system.

Q15. The future outcomes expected through the CRM process.

The outline of the different responses illustrates the following factors, in this context.

  • Increase in customer satisfaction.
  • Providing more value and benefits to customers.
  • Increase in number of customers.
  • Enhancing financial revenues.
  • Improving employee competencies.
  • Perpetuating the CRM process whilst performing necessary changes.
  • Boosting the image of the organization.

4.3. Discussion

When assessing the results of the quantitative research in line with the information of the literature review, many similarities could be identified. This could be attributed to aspects such the objectives and expected results of the CRM process, the use of project management approaches, and the effectiveness in using project management techniques in CRM. On the other hand, the organization has experienced negative outcomes due to not implementing measures such as follow-up activities in its CRM process. This has resulted in requiring the organization to change its CRM systems from time to time.

Another key similarity between the literature and the survey is the necessity of aligning the CRM activities with the organizational objectives. Also, the necessity of integrating the operational, analytical, and collaborative CRM processes has been illustrated through the results of the quantitative research. In this context, a very close relationship between the literary evidence and the empirical evidence could be seen.

4.4. Conclusion

The results of the field research illustrates the different perspectives as well as the similarities of the three stakeholder groups. However, the results have been quantified and its outcomes reveal conformance to the theoretical factors previously illustrated. Hence, the validity of the research could be directly related to its conformity with previous research.

The next chapter discusses the conclusions, implications, and recommendations pertaining to the research.

Chapter 5

5.0. Conclusions, implications, and recommendations

5.1. Conclusions and implications

The research indicates that the hospital has achieved success only to a certain extent in its CRM process and thereby it would need to rectify several aspects in order to ensure its efficiency and long term success. Accordingly, the research shows that further emphasis needs to be laid on enhancing employee competencies, by the organization. Also, the organization would need to focus on higher level of integration and collaboration between the stakeholders of the CRM process. Moreover, the management of the hospital would need to take measures to effectively communicate with the stakeholders and disseminate information, in order to gain their support towards implementing progressive changes. It would also be necessary to emphasize on the adoption of advanced technologies and improve the response time (to customer issues), in order to enhance the value of the CRM process and to overcome the barriers which would impede the effectiveness of the CRM process in the future.

It is important to note that the outcomes of the research have provided direction regarding the measures that the hospital will have to take in order to improve the performance of the hospital system in the future and how project management approach would contributed to this cause. The long-term impact of the research has a number of practical benefits in the management of future projects by the company. It is evident that such approach will allow the hospital to attract more patients and continue to expand their services to the patients. Thus the role of CRM remains highly important in reaching the outcomes that they seek. It is beneficial that CRM systems would reach the outcomes that are in line with the needs of the customers.

5.2. Recommendations

5.2.1. Recommendations for management

Focus needs to be laid on enhancing customer value. This is because, the value generated through the services would help in generating financial benefits as well as in increasing market share – due higher customer attraction. Also, it would be necessary to adopt a renewed approach to increase customer confidence – especially by increasing the transparency of the organization’s operations and actively integrating the customers into the CRM process. Moreover, it would be essential for the organization to conducting constant research regarding customer perceptions and improve its customer centricity, in order to enhance the efficiency of its CRM process.

5.2.2. Recommendations for further research

It would be necessary to involve a larger population in the research – especially in terms of customers – in order to gauge their understanding and perception regarding the CRM process. Also, more employees would need to be interviewed to identify their level of understanding and their perceptions regarding the CRM process. Moreover, further research would need to be conducted by taking several organizations in the same industry as well as organizations in different industries, in order to ascertain the success level of their CRM processes and the manner in which they could be implemented in the same industry as well as in different industries. These measures would enable in providing a better understanding regarding CRM implementation, its relevance to project management, and its subsequent outcomes.

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