Understand Your Stakeholders: A Case Study in Agile Salesforce CRM Planning

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PATH is an international nonprofit organization and the leader in global health innovation. They accelerate innovation across five platforms – vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations – that harness their entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity. They mobilize partners around the world and work alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs.

We encourage you to learn more about PATH’s global impact on their website.



PATH has grown substantially over the past decade, more than tripling their operating budget to more than $300M in 2016. About 97% of their funding comes from foundation and government sources, with relationships managed by the 25 person Philanthropic Development department of the Global Engagement (GE) division at PATH. This team has been using DonorPerfectOnline (DPO) since 2009, in combination with Cvent for event management, but began the process of converting its legacy awards tracking system to Salesforce in 2010. Team members continue to use systems such as Cvent and Campaign Monitor, but these systems are not yet integrated into Salesforce.

Teams at PATH, including some teams within the Global Engagement division, have increasingly used Salesforce to manage compliance and realize business efficiencies over the past few years, but without much consistency.

The goal of this project is to streamline the use of Salesforce as a true CRM across the Global Engagement division at PATH, and eventually across all of PATH, utilizing shared business processes wherever possible. Through this effort, PATH seeks to provide the framework for cross-department collaboration on complex fundraising proposals and relationship management.

Project Scope

To improve user buy-in within the Global Engagement division and incorporate Salesforce as a true CRM for the department, PATH hired DaizyLogik to help them facilitate this process.

Over the course of six months, the DaizyLogik team joined members of PATH’s GE division for over 46 discussions to define use cases and identify process-related requirements and business rules, collecting over 900 user stories. Our team provided guidance on process improvements while effectively communicating Salesforce and Nonprofit Success Pack functionality, evaluated data migration needs, and prepared an implementation plan.


Case Study

This Case Study provides insights into how DaizyLogik applied our consulting and project delivery methodology to a cross-organizational, complex Salesforce and Nonprofit Success Pack implementation. It also discusses the questions and challenges faced by core members of the PATH and DaizyLogik teams during this extensive requirements collection process. We describe our approach and share some key takeaways that we hope others will find useful.


The Approach

True to our Agile project delivery methodology, DaizyLogik partnered with the PATH project team to identify the needs of the various stakeholders and define the desired state of the new Salesforce CRM. Read more about our how we work here.

At the center of this process is the User Story, a brief statement which articulates a specific goal, identifies who the goal serves and what it accomplishes. You can think of the user story as a piece of Lego that will become part of a larger structure.

Identify Clear Roles and Responsibilities. From the beginning, it was clear that there were going to be a lot of people involved in this project, so it was imperative that roles for core team members were clearly defined. PATH staff, for instance, were best positioned to coordinate the stakeholders’ participation in the requirements gathering process to ensure that the necessary business processes were captured. The DaizyLogik team guided the process by facilitating the conversations and organizing the stakeholder input.

Ask The Right Questions From the Right People. The project team decided early on to organize user story collection meetings by key topics, keep the meetings small, and steer away from too much design and implementation detail. To this end, DaizyLogik designed a simple set of questions that was used to drive the user story collection sessions and promote thinking about the desired state of the future system.

By organizing meetings by key topics, we were able to ensure that the team members who best understood the processes were in attendance and helped form the framework of the implementation plan once user stories were collected. By keeping the user story collection meetings small, we were able to make sure that each stakeholder was able to have their voice heard. This helped each team member feel engaged in the long-term success of the project.

Groom Stories and Look for Patterns. Through this process, the DaizyLogik and PATH project team collected over 900 user stories that would become the building blocks of the new CRM.It was time to groom, consolidate, and look for patterns. With the help of tools such as Basecamp and JIRA, the project team prioritized the user input, consolidated duplicate user stories, and was able to surface patterns and opportunities for additional efficiencies in the internal business processes that could be addressed in the future CRM.

Remember the Psychological Impact of Change. Managing change, whether at an individual, team, or organizational level requires patience, focus, trust, and empathy. At PATH, the project team was sensitive to the fact that some team members at the organization, in particular organizational leadership, were somewhat wary of this project since a similar project had been tried before without much success. To help alleviate concerns, the PATH and DaizyLogik project team provided monthly newsletter updates about the project to all team members, shared the collected user stories and requested feedback, and provided opportunities for hands-on training and demos of the Salesforce NonProfit Success Pack.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Trust. At the core of the PATH and DaizyLogik project team was trust and respect, and from there, strong organic relationships developed which helped keep the project moving forward quickly and with open communication channels. Within PATH, as well, team leads understand how important it is for their team members to trust them and know that they have their best interests at heart.


Lessons Learned

Successful projects embrace change. Throughout this body of work the DaizyLogik and PATH teams continually fine-tuned the process by keeping the goal in focus.

Collect Stories by Letting People Talk. We found that user story collection worked best when people were given an opportunity to describe in their own words the existing process and way of doing things before being asked to imagine the possibilities of the new system.

Carefully Set Expectations. We found that one risk of asking people to describe their perfect CRM and outline everything they want to be able to do in the new system is that some incorrectly understood that all of the new features would be possible all at once.Our team addressed this by asking people to prioritize their requirements from the start and to focus on the “must have” features.

It is also important to carefully set expectations when communicating with an organization’s leadership about the project’s timeline and expected functionality. The entire user collection process used a substantial amount of resources, and it was important that meeting participants understood that their participation was considered a priority by their division and organizational leads.

Think Holistically. PATH is undergoing a digital transformation at many levels of the organization, which at times can result in conflicting priorities that can make it challenging for certain tasks to be done quickly. On the other hand, team members throughout PATH are recognizing the value of the CRM and are requesting additional functionality. Using a phased approach driven by clear priorities set against the organizational goals helps ensure that the most important needs are addressed first.

Clarify End-to-End Work Streams vs Individual User Stories. A key challenge with the User Story Collection process is that many meeting participants only want to see end-to-end work streams, and do not see the need to break down the process into bite-sized pieces. Ultimately, there is a need for both, as each piece is part of a larger puzzle. By collecting individual user stories, we ensure that developers understand the details of desired functionality for the new Salesforce implementation. As part of the broader process, user stories help clarify the current state of business processes, which also serve as a baseline for future training and documentation efforts.



The user story collection process was the first step toward building the new CRM system. The process was an opportunity to educate and obtain buy-in from the stakeholders who would soon be using the new CRM, and laid the groundwork for a multi-month implementation and development phase to build out functionality.

The team prioritized the need to accurately and efficiently build a complete framework of the system its users required, and developed a process to identify key functionality. The success of this phase of the project was due in no small part to the fact that team members trusted, respected, and communicated well with one another throughout the entire process. A united project team encouraged other team members to believe in the goal of the project and ultimately give their time and energy to help it succeed. As a result, the team was fully prepared to dive into the implementation phase of the project, which we look forward to sharing in a follow-up case study soon.

Read Part 2 of this Case Study: The Power of a Phased Approach: Implementing the Nonprofit Success Pack in an Existing Salesforce Instance


Want to learn more? Contact DaizyLogik to learn more about how we can support you with specialized consulting and custom development and help you get the most out of Salesforce.

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