Innovation Games – Why do I have to keep repeating myself? #SpiderWeb

I’ve been busy recently on a lot of activities and my blogging has suffered as a result. Now that my kids Hockey Seasons are winding down, I find myself having a bit more time. I’m hoping that my pent-up blog posts will become much more frequent in the coming months. One thing that drives my Blog posts is having the time to read. It turns out I usually find the spark for a blog post from an article that I have read.

And that is what generated the idea for this blog post.

I came across an article that listed the following five tactics to “Focus your Business on your Customer”. It seemed simple enough and I was motivated on reading it as I was getting more involved with Business Development. So what were the five tactics? Well, I’m glad you asked.

  1. If you have a Client Relationship Management system or are considering Client Relationship Management System I want you to rethink why you need it.
  2. Tie all of your systems together to create an Integrated Customer Service System.
  3. Provide your customers with a portal to your system.
  4. Write a customer service manifesto that ties together the mission, vision and values of your organization.
  5. Put a new face to customer service if the old one has failed, and failed again.

Oh Boy

The article promised that “Do these 5 things and your customers will love you!”

Why do we need to keep talking about these things? In all the things being discussed, not a single one involves talking to the client! What does the client feel? What are their pains and gains? Do clients really care about your systems or the value they provide?

Why I love Innovation Games

I love Innovation Games for their singular focus on the customer. I adore playing Spider Web to highlight the interactions most of us don’t have with our clients. If you have never played the game, the idea is that you place your name at the center and the people you most interact with in a circle around you. You then draw lines to the people you interact with most frequently. Make the lines thicker for those people you interact with more frequently.

After all this is done, you ask the people to see how many actual clients they interact with frequently.

99% of the time this causes an audible gasp. And we wonder we why have challenges with our clients. We hardly ever talk to them!


Author: Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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