Blackbaud CRM™ Project Management Governance: Roles and Responsibility

by: Heather Todd

Retired NBA player and coach, Phil Jackson once said, "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." A Blackbaud CRM™ implementation team effort is the sum of all individual members. Each team member has a role that contributes to the team’s implementation progress and success.

Whether initiating a new Blackbaud CRM™ implementation, upgrade, or post-go live project, a Blackbaud CRM™ delivery is a team effort. Each of the team roles should be identified during an initiation phase with an Organization and Staff Management Plan to provide the project with the right level of staffing, skills, and management support through the project lifecycle.

Who to include in an Organization and Staff Management Plan? It depends on scale, complexity, and organization governance. If a system implementation or a consider a project board or steering committee as well as identifying project roles. If a new customization, integration or upgrade, then only key project roles to be identified.

Project Board/ Steering Committee

If you are embarking on an implementation start with your project steering committee or project board. Identify who will be on the committee or board, define their role on the project. Include the role name, person fulfilling the role and responsibilities. For example

Key project roles

Key project team members identify each role by name, such as Project Manager, Subject Management Experts (SMEs), Developers, Testers, and detailed list of project responsibilities, which can be scaled from project to project. If required, highlight time commitments, include the project allocation percentage with a note that the allocation percentage will vary based on the project phase.


  • Create a project escalation matrix and tolerances. Be clear on how risks and issues will be handled by the project team and steering committee. Your committee will likely meet on a regular cadence during the implementation, such as monthly or twice monthly. Identify the process for when risks/issues/escalations occur outside the meeting with the name of escalation point, acceptable resolution time, and description of mitigation resolution and communication path.

  • Staff attrition is likely during a project, the recommendation is that the organization and staff management plan document is amended to reflect staff updates. This will also assist with any onboarding or knowledge transfer with the new team member.

  • Completing this exercise, for smaller projects is recommended, even if just the key project roles to assist with staffing needs and time allocation.