More from Andrew Spanyi…
There are many potential pitfalls in leading substantial change in operational performance via BPM.
Emphasizing methods before or more than outcomes occurs whenever a selected method of improving or transforming operations takes on an identity of its own and overshadows the desired outcomes for customers and shareholders. This can happen with any codified improvement method be it Lean Six Sigma, BPM or Reengineering. Since most improvement methods require a shift in leadership mindset from a traditional stovepipe view to a customer focused, value chain point of view, it’s understandable that there is a certain amount of fanaticism and proselytizing involved. However, it is problematic when the selected method of improvement takes on a life of its own and overshadows the underlying reasons for engaging in fundamental change.
As with any project, you should be looking for a ‘successful outcome’. In the case of Business Process Management, you should be looking for a customer focused outcome. Instead of looking at the business from the inside out, look at it from the outside in – from the customer’s point of view.
Typically, when taking on a BPM project, you identify the process steps. You identify the activities at each step and the person(s) performing those activities. You identify what they need to perform those activities – tools, drawings, documents, etc. You identify their output – finished goods, new drawings, documents, etc. You look to eliminate non-value added tasks. You may even look to use software to automate some activities. But, have you looked at the customer touch points?
How will your process improvements make it easier for your customer to buy from you? How will your process improvements increase customer satisfaction? How will you manage your customer’s expectations?
A successful outcome is far more important than the methodology chosen to get there.
What does a successful outcome mean to your company?
More efficient business processes lead to increased revenues, lower costs and improved customer relationships. It can differentiate you from your competitors. It can be the key that allows your company to break out as the market leader.
What steps has your company taken to be a market leader?