Life of a (business) solution owner - or something like that

November 11, 2022

Written by
Terhi Tuuna

So your company has implemented a CRM some years ago. The implementation went ok (there are always some hick-ups, but that’s life). You’ve written tons of epics, user stories and what not (or at least it feels like that) and most of the developments have been implemented (sort of at least), but something's not right. People are complaining about the lack of user-friendliness with their new tool and not getting any additional value out of it. Adoption rates are falling, so you react by attending webinars to get great ideas and f2f events (what a relief they are finally back) where you hear your partners in crime in other companies complaining about the same things; lack of budget, lack of understanding, lack of resources, people complaining that no-one can help, etc. It seems like the only ones who know how to do it correctly and who have got it right are the ones on stage - or you wonder if they even managed to achieve it or is it just a nice story…

You’re getting frustrated, you start to think if you should change your job or maybe you need to purchase a new tool which people could be excited about for a while again, or how about just changing your whole career - gardening sounds like a tempting option! No more tech and complexity, one could just be moving their lawn and be complaining like a customer themselves when they want to - ha! Does this sound familiar? ;)

Yes, many of us have been there and guess what, it is the same starting point where you were a few years back when you originally kicked off your CRM, data hub or whatever complex multi-stakeholder implementation. New development initiatives have to take place again. However, this time around the solutions are more advanced than last time. Need more licences? Most likely not. Need more technical development? Yes, but most likely business operations should be in the focus first. Remember how you implemented the old processes and decided to do the business development part later?  Perhaps you were enthusiastic about coding it to make it user-friendly for the past needs of the end users, but the needs have now changed. Would it be time to change all that…? Does not sound tempting, but that might be the key to change.

It is always dark before sunrise. Who remembers how messy it was to get rid of the old custom coded excel-meets-90s-CRM or something similar to that? THAT was not easy. Unlike then, when implementing new technologies nowadays, you at least have people in-house who know what tools and technologies have been implemented and they seem to have an idea or two how things could be developed - you are no longer alone! Yet there’s still a lot of work to be done: processes need to be updated  (they are not even trendy) team structures need to be reviewed (always a pleasure to step on the toes of others), cross-org-collaboration needs improvement (could we please skip this?) measurements need to be broader and more accurate (oh no, do I really need to touch the topic of KPIs as well), and yes, there might be a flow or field, or integration or two that should be fixed too, of course.

Despite the amount of work ahead, somehow you start feeling the rise of the excitement. Maybe this is the beginning of something new, we might actually get this done! Rutger Bregman said in his book “Humankind” that most people are good and want to do good things in life. Maybe you should consider this a human centric project where the focus is on making the work of your hard working colleagues in call centers or in the back-offices a bit less painful, maybe even a bit more fulfilling, so that they could enjoy more of the leisure time with their kids or that Emily in Paris show in the evening. It is time to Go Beyond the easy fixes and get things done! Bring me the shovel!

But where to start? And how? Bigger picture or something smaller first? There is so much to think about, so much to plan, so much to do! And it will be messy and cumbersome…. The good news is there is not just one right way, there never is. However, if you need help, there are a bunch of people here who have been walking these same paths a few times before and can offer you a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on. No single project is the same as the other and the wisest things learned are not only the methodologies or technologies (they are important as well!) but understanding the context, sniffing the culture, being able to adapt to priorities, targets and other circumstances is key to success. Ice-hockey is ice-hockey but every game is different. Playing indoors in +20’c or outside in minus 25’c  is different - you get the point. So here we are, team Growberry, ready to Go Beyond with you!


Terhi is a customer oriented business development professional with over 15 years of experience focusing on loyalty, CRM, customer data management and its utilization in business development and in daily operations. She is used to working and getting things done, in complex, fast-paced environments and transforming organizations. She’s a big fan of multidisciplinary teams.