Best Practice vs. Best Practical Performance Approach to CRM

July 15, 2016 (comments: 0)

What is a "best practice" really? By definition, it is the most efficient and effective way of accomplishing a task, based on a repeatable process or set of procedures that have been proven over time.

The clincher is that all too often, banking technology vendors promise that their products provide a best practice solution, especially when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM). Yet all too often, the organization's current day-to-day business realities aren’t taken into consideration when implementing these solutions. As a result, the new technology often fails to gain user acceptance and falls short of the institution's overall expectations for process improvement.

Enter "best practical performance"-the blending of current, day-to-day organizational processes and procedures with the possibilities provided by a new technology. This blending provides the organization with a deeper understanding of how the intended best practice solution truly fits into its current business operations; it leads to user acceptance which ultimately drives a successful transition to a new technology deployment.

Let's take a closer look at how a best practical performance approach can eliminate common barriers associated with deploying best practice solutions and enable institutions to extract the greatest value from new CRM technologies:

  • Tap into organizational knowledge. Every organization has its best performers, the people who are always on top of the sales volume reports, or the team member we count on as the "go-to-person." These folks have a wealth of organizational knowledge and practical experience. Factoring their insight into the set-up of a new technology solution brings relevancy and legitimacy which is critical in gaining user acceptance; again the key to success when implementing any new solution.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Collaborate with and engage the user community. Create a focus group of users who can provide input into the requirements and the custom design of the solution, accommodating some of the top priorities of the group. Members of this group would also continue working with the project team by participating in the testing and quality assurance efforts as well as leading the communication effort targeting the entire user community specifically aimed at generating excitement, awareness, and user acceptance of the new solution.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Small wins make for a successful project delivery. Achieving best practical performance is about managing change. Introducing new practices at a pace the organization can absorb determines the success of a new technology project. A staggered introduction of functionality and process change, enables a more manageable deployment and allows users to gradually adapt to changes. Getting those small wins first is better than a much larger introduction of new process that never quite gets accepted by the users.

In summary, the important distinction between deploying a best practice or a best practical performance solution is that the latter is essentially best practices through the "eyes of the beholder," It is designed specifically to support a particular institution's day-to-day reality. Somewhere along the way, best practices have failed to deliver the expected value for many institutions. It's only through the best practical performance approach-engaging the user community through partnership, user participation, collaboration and communication-that a new technology can be successfully deployed and begin to add value to the organization.

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