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PMP Practice Questions #31

A project manager is implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product for the sales and support group of a retail store. The initiative comes from senior management, but there is a noticeable lack of interest from the organization in using the CRM system. What should the project manager’s next action be?

A) Assess organizational culture.
B) Provide communication about the CRM product being implemented.
C) Explain the benefits the CRM product can bring.
D) Provide training to key members on the new CRM product.


In the scenario presented, a project manager is overseeing the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, mandated by senior management. However, there’s a distinct lack of enthusiasm or acceptance among the intended users within the organization. The project manager needs to determine the next course of action to ensure the successful adoption of the CRM system. The question underscores the importance of understanding and navigating organizational culture and resistance to change, emphasizing the project manager’s role in facilitating organizational change and ensuring that project outcomes align with business objectives.

Analysis of Options:

Option A: Assess the organizational culture: This option prioritizes understanding the internal workings of the organization, including reporting relationships, existing systems, employee dynamics, power structures, and possible reasons for resistance to the CRM system. By opting to first understand the culture, the project manager can tailor subsequent actions, such as communication and training, in a manner most likely to resonate with the team. This approach aligns with the initial stages of change management methodologies, like the ADKAR model, which emphasizes the importance of awareness and desire before moving onto knowledge and reinforcement. Given the scenario, where the exact details of resistance are unclear, this option provides the necessary foundation for all future change efforts, making it the appropriate choice.

Option B: Provide communication about the CRM product being implemented: While awareness of the new system’s features is crucial, this option doesn’t address the root cause of the resistance. Communication about the system’s capabilities is only effective if the audience is receptive, and without an understanding of the organizational culture and the specific reasons for resistance, this communication might not be impactful.

Option C: Explain the benefits the CRM product can bring: This option, akin to option B, focuses on communicating the advantages and potential returns of using the CRM system. Although understanding ‘why’ is a key driver of change, this action, if taken prematurely — without an understanding of the cultural context and specific user objections — might not be as effective. The benefits need to be communicated in a way that addresses specific concerns or pain points, which can only be identified through an assessment of organizational culture.

Option D: Provide training to the key members on the new CRM product: Training is an essential step to ensure proper usage and adoption of the new system. However, it’s primarily effective once there’s a basic level of acceptance and willingness to use the new system. If the resistance is due to factors other than a lack of knowledge or skill, then training alone won’t overcome the resistance. Furthermore, without understanding the organizational culture and reasons for resistance, the training content may not address the users’ specific concerns or learning needs.

Conclusion: Option A, “Assess the organizational culture,” stands out as the most prudent initial step. It’s the foundational action that informs and enhances the effectiveness of all subsequent actions, including communication, explaining benefits, and training. By understanding the cultural dynamics and root causes of resistance, the project manager can tailor the change management approach to address specific concerns, communicate in a resonant manner, and provide relevant training, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful CRM adoption. This comprehensive approach aligns with best practices in change management and the responsibilities of a project manager as outlined in the PMP exam content outline tasks.

PMP Exam Content Outline Mapping

BusinessTask 4: Support organizational change
PeopleTask 5: Ensure team members/stakeholders are adequately trained

Topics Covered

  • Organizational Change Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan

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