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Test your CRM management and administration IQ

David Taber | Sept. 17, 2013
Sure, there's admin certification to verify knowledge and experience, but even certified admins make errors. While these errors are easy to spot, preventing them may mean sending employees back to school.

The story's as old as system administration: Some parts of the job are straightforward and risk-free, but other tasks are fraught with high error rates and nasty consequences.

Think back to the infamous rm rf * command that erased most of Toy Story 2 before it ever made it out of Pixar. Or go further in time to the Bell Labs study of UNIX users' made mistakes with shell scripts. The vast majority of the mistakes involved the IF statement.

Think things have changed that much with today's all-GUI, all-the-time model of system management?

8 Common CRM Management Issues
I've been tracking the errors my clients and my own people make when managing CRM systems. An amazing number of CRM mistakes fall into just a few categories.

Here they are, in no particular order, along with a set of "IQ test" questions you can ask your team to reduce the likelihood that errors surface in the first place.

  1. Fuzzy ideas about the CRM system's object model, and the consequences of record types, constraints and lookup versus master-detail relationships. 
    Question: What are the disadvantages of using master-detail in your system?
  2. Weak understanding of table joins and how they work. 
    Question: How do you create a report showing only the companies that don't have any employees?
  3. An almost complete misunderstanding of CRM system security primitives such as roles, profiles, groups, queues and sharing rules. 
    Question: How could you set up an object (no code allowed) so that it's generally read/write but that, when it reaches a particular status, some users will be able to edit it, some will only be able to read it and some won't be able to see it at all (even in a search or report)?
  4. Confusion when using formulas, particularly when mixing different data types. 
    Question: Why won't IF (Date='') ever be true?
  5. A real weakness with compound Booleans. 
    Question: Write the expression that will yield TRUE for even hours of the day during most years but for odd hours during leap years.
  6. Difficulty working with dates and times. 
    Question: Write a formula that computes the number of business hours between, say, Thursday at 3 p.m. and Monday at 10 a.m.
  7. Chronic inability to set up time-based workflows that will take action if there's no activity and a deadline expires. 
    Question: Set up a workflow that records when a status field changes its value and sends an alert if the value isn't changed again for 30 days.
  8. Anything regarding Regular Expressions. 
    Question: How do you write a Regex filter that will flag a "CxO" job title such as CEO, CFO or COO no matter where it appears in a job title string?

The 12 Places CRM Management Issues Appear


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