Bite Size Chunks

AKA the bit of advice I give to everyone these days

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I Keep finding myself coming back to this again and again.<span>  </span>If you have read my post about KMP Digitata adopting a<a href=" link.aspx?_id="8AA0644DA7AB4B6CB6ECF4C552ACBCB9&_z=z'" /> lean agency model then you’ll have an insight into where this comes from.  One of the things I’m finding myself saying a lot more is this – don’t try and solve it all at once, or along a similar vein, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just better than where we are at right now.

If you are reading this and you would like a magic answer for moving your digital world, in fact moving your personal world forward and fast the answer is to break it down and break it down small. 

In my head I hear you saying– ”Isn’t that just how an ‘agile’ thing works?” It kinda is yes, but it is better than that;it is a powerful and effective way of getting big stuff done and not being paralysed by the “it’s too big to tackle” fear.

An Example

Let me give you a real example – we’re working with a client on a CRM project, the scope of the project is enormous and involves all kinds of lofty aspiration (which is a great thing) and will likely revolutionise the client’s business.  Only problem with this is that it’s been 12 months in the planning and gotten nowhere with the clients CRM Agency.

Here is the deal

  • The goal is to create a joined up sales process that reduces manual effort and maximizes conversion through personalised journeys and automation.

Right then, capture the requirements for that I dare you.  12 months in and there were discussions around whether a contact should be classed as a lead or a contact, what email marketing software to use and whether the correct CRM had been chosen in the first place. I’m going to call this ‘too big paralysis’. The client is stood at the bottom of Mount Everest, is looking up and wanting a sure fire, guaranteed way that they’ll get to the top to take the perfect picture. It is too hard to even consider, how do you know if the weather will change half way up, what if one of the party get’s sick, should we have plans in place for this, do we have the right colour rope?  Does the colour of rope even matter?

It is daunting and overwhelming so let’s take a different approach, let’s go small.  First step for this client and the one that gets them past basecamp and part way up the mountain is to replace their old CRM system with the new one, replicating like for like functionality.  That is a 3 week job, eliminates all of the manual labour involved in updating and maintaining 3 systems and gives one person their sanity back.

So 3 weeks in, the site is communicating with CRM and CRM is communicating with the sales team, we’re better off than we were.  Next, we look at evolving the forms on site and improving the tracking so as to facilitate the personalisation and automation, we’re working on this right now, give us 3 more weeks and we’ll be there.

Thing is while we are developing the tracking side of things the client is using their CRM system now and a few things have transpired that could work better – we’ve already improved that, and released it so the CRM process is already working better

What next? We’ve worked out a bit of functionality to facilitate profiling our users and customers and capturing that to identify where they are in the sales cycle. We’ll implement that bit assuming that all of the previous work is working out. This will be delivered in 8 weeks.

We’ll release and test in the real world to make sure that this is delivering on the original outcomes of process improvement and increasing conversion. We’ll keep the elements small enough that they are easily achievable, low risk and adaptable, because, let’s face it the weather can change quickly up here.

What are the takeaways? 

Within 6 months we anticipate that the project will be beyond delivering on the original outcomes and be something entirely different, we made it to the top of Everest, bit by bit, learning more as we go, celebrating each move forward and recognising that each move forward is a win.  It is credit to a strong team on both client and agency side and required a lot of trust – as we pushed our way through some hard truths and decisions, but each one was only a small part of the whole and that made it far less daunting.

The client has made a big change, and really rapidly, considering the scale of the challenge.  If you are struggling with a massive project or huge challenge I have a few of bits of advice for you:

  • Deal with it in small parts, it makes things achievable
  • Don’t get hung up on ‘perfection’ – better is, well, better
  • Just start it – you’ll be amazed at how far this gets you
  • And if you need some assistance getting there I’ll be more than happy to help you.