Back in my CRM days, we had this phrase thrown at us repeatedly by CRM software sellers. Frankly, it’s left me with “rabbit ears.” Our approach back then was to align strategy with customers, process with strategy, and technology with process (which together create major organizational waves. Despite our successes, software sellers and others taking a narrower approach to CRM kept applying the “trying to boil the ocean” label to us.
Today, our practices are very similar – although we’ve dropped the “CRM” moniker, and we’re now more involved in organizational design and change management plus more clients handle strategy internally, in which case process is the first step. And once more, we’re hearing “boil the ocean,” this time from the process side. The specific reference is to performing enterprise or division-level flow scanning as the first process step. In our opinion, in front and back offices – where process most relevant to customer-centricity occurs, process is cross-functional, interdependent, and woven together. Starting with a full flow scan is the only way to avoid improving one function or flow without adversely affecting others, and the only way to planfully align strategy, process and technology.
To make a candid remark that may spark negative feedback, I suspect most of the “burn the ocean” commenters from both eras are compensating for their approaches and methods not supporting such wide scope work. And if that’s the case, and these practitioners start designing customer-centric process, we’ll have “another CRM” on our hands, and that would be awful.
So yell at me.