CRM systems and the KISS Principle

I’ve recently been working on CRM implementation projects, and I am astounded at the level of complexity that some systems have managed to impose on the organisations that deploy them. Paradoxically, the complexity is usually the result of either data models that are far too rigid, or data entry standards that are far too flexible – so that users have to find “work arounds” or create a whole new business operating model to accommodate their CRM….

For example, changing some data labels can be impossible (e.g., “Client” may have different applications, but the system only recognizes one type), and I have seen a client name entered in multiple ways within the same database: J.P.Morgan, JPMorgan, J P Morgan, J. P. Morgan.

When working with such CRM platforms, I’m frequently reminded of the KISS Principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) as being the preferred approach to systems design, or as the architect Heinrich Tessenow eloquently put it:

“The simplest form is not always the best, but the best is always simple.”

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