The ABCs of Customer Relationships 0

Know your customer 1

OHS diagram
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Source: Engelbart's Bootstrap "Paradigm Map"

Using the ABC Model, map out your organization or initiative, with special focus on the relevant A, B, and C activities that have a stake in your initiative, including your own activities, as well as the activities of your team(s), your customers, peers and providers.

  • Who are your customers (targeted users/beneficiaries of the capability you are improving)? If your initiative is a C activity, your customers are B activities; if B then your customers are A activities. If your customers are outside your organization, then your initiative is an A activity of your organization, and your customers are outside your organization (part of a C, B or A activity in their organization(s)). And, if you are bootstrapping, then your initiative would be one of your customers, as would any other activities that will be fielding your products to their customers.

  • You can also map providers to customers within a particular A, B, or C activity. For example, your accounting department is an A activity, and its customers are all the other A activities (as well as the B and C activities).

  • Next identify related improvement activities, within and outside of your organization, who could be valued participants in your efforts at some point.

  • Map any similar/complimentary pursuits your peers are involved in.

Know you're a customer 1

It's also useful to map your "providers" (we need a term that connotes a collaborative relationship):

  • Which activities are you a customer of? In other words, who are your “providers” – service providers, experts, consultants, developers.

  • Identify key providers you would want represented on your innovation team; you might also encourage them to do this exercise to map and systematically engage their customers, including you.