BPM, Balanced Scorecard, EA and High Performance (presentation)

At a recent performance appraisal this comment was made seriously,
“If you pay me for doing dumb things, I will get really smart at doing dumb things”.

Do you measure people with ‘dumb’ metrics – activities and outputs, or with Outside In measures of results and outcomes? If Balanced Scorecards (BSC) and Strategy Maps fail it is largely as a consequence of having dumb metrics in there – activities and outputs.

So how can we measure the right things and encourage success? Instead of people rushing to deal with a call (because all calls must be less than 2 minutes) how do we measure the meeting of a customer need – effective resolution of a query? Using the appropriate process and performance metrics within an articulated Enterprise Architecture is a good starting point. This presentation leads us to the how of that. Enjoy.

BP Group 20th Birthday – Bridging the Business IT Divide

Yesterday we posted BPM and Scorecards……

Today we cover the Challange of bridging the IT Business divide.
In a few weeks time the BP Group will be twenty years old. As part of the celebration we are publishing an article a day – all are evergreen and provide an insight as valuable today as when they were originally published. 

Business Process Management 2 Bridging The Gap Between Business And Technology from Steve Towers

In our fourth article we will cover Virgins Crown Jewels – winning with Successful Customer Outcomes.


BPM and the Balanced Scorecard

Yesterday we posted wrt Skill and competences within BPM (see http://bit.ly/BPMskillsets)

Today, the third in our series celebrating the run up to our 20th anniversary we cover the challange of Balanced Scorecards and BPM 🙂
In a few weeks time the BP Group will be twenty years old. As part of the celebration we are publishing an article a day – all are evergreen and provide an insight as valuable today as when they were originally published.

BPM and Process Excellence is changing the world

Join the growing number of monthly readers following Steve Towers and his BPM column on the PEX network, BPM Leader and the BP Group – 8,600 strong now and growing.
Steve has consistently received great reviews by his clients and readers and it seems people are telling their colleagues to check these columns out. 
Steve is the founder and CEO of the BP Group (established in 1992), a Keynote speaker and workshop leader with the PEX Network, and featured author on the BPM Leaders blog.  He is the author of FIVE books on business process and performance transformation and is a member of the prestigious California based BPM Forum.
Because of his activities with the BP Group, leading international corporates, including Citi, Apple, Disney, Zara and many others, Steve can be found always at the pragmatic leading edge of what is going on in Advanced BPM and Outside-In.   He believes that his work with these organisations and his exposure to a broad range of situations through global leaders and their approaches provides insight into the problems and issues leading BPM professionals face every day. 

Steve says that these experiences have caused him to look at BPM in a remarkable way. As the catalyst for global transformation BPM and process excellence is the means to realign our organisations on behalf of its employees and customers to achieve spectacular results.
If you’d enjoy sharing some of the insights and the secrets of 21st century organisation success you will enjoy his columns.

You can find Steve’s latest columns at on:


Great illustraton of Outside-In thinking and practice.

Jeff Bezos provides his viewpoint..

.”I would hope people would say that Amazon is earth’s most customer-centric company, and that we work backwards from customers. Many companies sort of look at what their skills are and they work forward from their skills. They say this is what we’re good at, and this is what we’ll do. It’s a very different approach from saying here is what our customers need, and we will learn whatever skills we need.”

That really describes the dfference between inside-out thnking (examine your capabilities and figure out how to optimise them) to Outside-In – figure out the Customer needs and align everthing to deliver the Successful Customer Outcome.

A New Order of Things – Outside-In – Six steps to Success

There is no easy way to introduce a new order of things however there are some principles that can be followed based on this type of mind shift.

1, Objective and immediate.
The results we achieve with Outside-In are significant and substantive e.g. Triple Crown*. Accordingly any effort should first of all identify the clear tangible benefits.

2. Talk is cheap.
Fine words and phrases will not win hearts and minds without substance. Delivery is key, hence the ‘start where you are’ sentiment. In current projects (where support may be lacking) introduce the techniques within the CEMMethod(tm) by stealth.
Lift the heads of those around you to think of Moments of Truth, Break Points and Business Rules for instance. “Nothing new mate, just some stuff other guys have used within… Six Sigma../..Lean../..EA../..complaince etc. (delete as appropriate)”

3. Build support.
With (2) underway you will build support. That is the point to shift focus and begin the more practical discussion of where and how.

4. Go for broke.
If you are extremely lucky/persuasive and have the top team already onboard go for broke. Discover the worst most problematic issues and set to righting ’em. By fixing the Cause you will remove the Effect.

5. Move on.
It is a 4-500 year shift in mindset (Dee Hock, VISA founder).
It will ultimately transform the planet. The jury is in fact back and the results speak for themselves. So when all looks desolate and casting your pearls before swine is depressing, remind them that they are part of the problem and move on.

6. Make it so.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE it just feels that way when surrounded by flat-landers (doh).
Learn, exchange and do.

Join the worlds first and largest Outside-In community at: http://www.oibpm.com

Once on-board review the subgroups and join the specialist communities – you will
find friends and support as we transform the planet one person,one process, one organisation at a time!

PS. The Outside-In book published in 2010 reviews in detail this emerging trend.
Here is the hardback – http://amzn.to/Outside-In
Here is the eBook version – http://bit.ly/OutsideInApple Link with Steve Towers – http://bit.ly/LinkWithSteve
Follow Steve Towers on Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/stowers

*Triple Crown: Jim Sinur (Gartner) coined this phrase. Through the delivery of advanced BPM you will simultaneously reduce costs, enhance service and grow revenues. In public sector/not for profits replace revenue growth with delievry of strategic objectives.

Part 3 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.

In the first two articles in this four part theme we reviewed ‘Understand and applying Process diagnostics‘ and the ‘Successful Customer Outcome‘ map. We now move our attention to the third  way we can rethink process forever

Reframing process for an Outside-In world

A fundamental principle of Outside-In is the understanding of where your process starts and ends.

In the 20th century many techniques and approaches developed to better understand and create processes. In its earliest form pioneering work undertaken by the United States Airforce created modelling approaches based on the Structured Analysis and Design Technique (SADT) that produced iDEF (Integrate DEFinition Methods). iDEF became recognised as a global standard as a method designed to model the decisions, actions, and activities of an organization or system[1].  iDEF as a method has now reached iDEF14 [i] and embraces a wide range of process based modelling ideas. Concurrent with the development of iDEF technology providers created proprietary modelling approaches, and subsequently developed into modelling language standards, used by many organisations to represent their systems and ways of working. The convergence of business process modelling and business process management (BPM) has now produced a rich set of tools and techniques
able to model and ideally manage an organisation. In fact one of the more accepted definitions of BPM (based on the British Journal of Management[ii]): “Business process management (BPM) is a management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organisation with the wants and needs of clients. It is a holistic management approach”

Until a few years ago process management approaches looked within the boundaries of the organisation and the combination of modelling and management approaches were adequate to understand the enterprise. The impact of process management in improving organisation performance has been profound however we now face a different reality driven by the customer.

As a consequence both disciplines now present a series of problems that include

(a)    understanding the beginning and end of the process,

(b)   the techniques used to model process are inadequate and focused  on the wrong things

Strangely customer involvement in a process often appears as an afterthought and the actual representation systems (left to right, top to bottom) create an illusion that fosters the belief that “the customer isn’t my job”.

Let’s deal with each in turn by example:
a.     The beginning and end of process

To aid the discussion let’s look at two airlines, British Airways and Southwest, and we’ll review how they ‘think’ about their business through the eyes of process. If you sit down with British Airways executives and asked the question “where does your process start and end?” the response reflects the main source of revenue, seat sales.

So the answer “the process is from the ticket purchase to the collecting the bags off the carousel” is no great surprise. In fact that is the way we have mostly thought about process in that it starts when it crosses into organisation, and finishes when it leaves. We can easily model that, identify efficiency improvements, improve throughput and optimise apparent value add.

As far as British Airways is concerned what you do outside of that process is no concern of theirs, after all they are an airline and that’s what they do. Now let’s change our perspective and visit Love Field in Texas and meet the executive team of Southwest. Ask the guys the same question “where does your process start and end?” and the answer is a whole different viewpoint.

The process begins when the potential customer thinks of the need for a flight, and only ends when they are back at home following the journey. The scope of this process is defined by the phrase “the customer experience is the process”. That’s an Outside-In perspective and creates opportunities across the whole customer experience.

More than that it raises the prospect of additional revenue streams, spreads the risk associated with a dependency on seat sales, reinforces the customer relationship and develops an entirely different way of doing business.  So let’s ask another question of our friends at Southwest “guys, what business are you in?”, and the answer changes everything you ever thought about airlines forever “we’re in the business of moving people”.

Downstream Southwest may well turn the industry further on its head as they move from being the low cost airline to the ‘no cost airline’ and give their seats free of charge. What would that do to your business model if 95% of your revenues, as with British Airways, comes from seat sales?

The business challenge for Southwest becomes one of controlling the process to benefit and maximise the customer experience. That involves partnering, sharing information and doing all necessary to make customers lives easier, simpler and more successful.

Now how do you model that?

b.     The techniques used to model process are inadequate and focused on the wrong things

We have reviewed the ultimate cause of work for all organisations is the customer. Organisations exist to serve the customer though the provision of products and services and in this way develops revenue that goes to the profit and onward distribution to the stockholders.

In other organisations without the profit motivation, for instance the public sector, then the effective delivery of services is measured by citizens and stakeholders.  Accordingly it stands to reason that everything happening within the organisation should be organised and aligned to deliver customer success and anything that isn’t is potentially ‘dumb stuff’. The techniques we use to ‘capture’ process are however not suitable to understanding the causes of work and focus attention instead on the visible tasks and activities that are perceived to create value for customers. In the context of the enlightened customer[iii] this is at best misleading and at its worst actually part of the broader problem. In Outside-In companies the focus has shifted to understanding the causes of work, and then engineering those causes to minimize negative effects.

Once more to go Outside-In we need a perspective shift and we can achieve this by identifying those three causes of work and then set out to reveal them and their negative impact.

How big is the size of the prize? Efficiency and productivity gains of 30% to 60% are common. Cost reduction of services by 50% is not unusual.

Cause elimination is a seek and destroy mission. It’s the challenge to weed out the “dumb stuff” in our organizations.

By truly fixing the Causes of Work, rather than messing around with the Effects (a bit like moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic) we will all find our customers and employees life simpler, easier and more successful. Are you ready to challenge your assumptions and start eliminating those causes of work? Fix the Cause, remove the effect.

[1] http://www.idef.com/IDEF0.htm

[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDEF

[ii] Understanding Business Process Management: implications for theory and practice, British Journal of Management (2008) (Smart, P.A, Maddern, H. & Maull, R. S.)

Join us on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1062077

Visit additional resources www.oibpm.com
Become a Certified Process Professional www.certifiedprocessprofessional.com 

Apple v.Amazon – Two Outside-In behemoths slug it out

Both organisations are VERY successful and represent the embodiment of Outside-In:
Steve Jobs “the Customer Experience is the process”, and
Jeff Bezos “..rather than ask what are we good at and what else we can do with that skill, you ask who are our customers? What do they really need? And then you say we’re going to give them that..”

In the light of recent product launches from Apple e.g. iPad2. So how do their business models compare?

Here is an excellent review of the difference and an indicator of who is going to win the race…

Process & Organisation Maturity – ORCA

Within the CEMMethod(tm) we talk extensively of Organisation Maturity. The Organisation Readiness and Competence Assessment (ORCA) is designed to help with that endeavour. Now in its 5th year it has been extensively deployed by organisations seeking answers to the three questions:

1. Where are we now?
2. Where do we want to get to?
3. How big is the gap?

Certified Process Professionals have access to the full toolkit – for more information visit www.bp2009.com

Here is the ORCA overview: