The pioneer of all things Outside-In?

Who started #customerexperience ? Well, there has always been a customer experience, however, it is only in the last 20 years that companies have realized the need to get scientific about shaping and innovating #CX. Who was the pioneer that did that first? And in doing so shifted the emphasis from Industrial Age thinking to Outside-In practice. Let’s jump into the time machine and rediscover Steve Jobs back in 1997.

Moving from Product to Customer-Centric

Back then it wasn’t understood that designing Customer Experiences and delivering Successful Customer Outcomes went way beyond being product-centric. Steve Jobs anticipated this shift towards customer-centricity, and evolved Apples approach to rapidly shift to Outside-In strategy and operations.

Many of the concepts we accept, such as defining the customer experience from the customers perspective, and not the organizations, were developed in the cauldrons of Apple mountain. In fact, one of the key techniques within the CEMMethod™ was initially referred to as the ‘Apple Innovation Approach’.

Why so many still get it wrong

Here’s a great mini video explaining the difference in viewpoint Inside-Out v. Outside-In.

The CX Rockstar tells us why many get the definition of CX wrong.

James Dodkins aka CX Rockstar has many similar takes over at rockstar.cx

We saw that at work in Outside-In design of products like the original iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Now taken for granted the last century was a mish mesh of competing chunks of technology (think the early MP3 players) that often required an MSc to understand the menu system and driver updates.

It isn’t what they want, it is what they NEED

Nowadays the major consumer product companies understand the requirement to articulates the needs of customers, and only then design products that meet those needs. That is Outside-In in action.

You would be right in saying he was the pioneer of Outside-In.

If you would like to dig deeper I talked about the difference in approaches of Industrial Age v. Customer Age/Outside-In in this article.

This item has caused quite a stir over at LinkedIn, you can join that discussion here.


Other Outside-In resources to Explore

Steve Towers
www.stevetowers.com

LinkedIn (24K followers)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

BP Group
www.bpgroup.org

James Dodkins
www.jamesdodkins.com

Lean Six Sigma – let’s bridge the Gap

In my encounters I am frequently asked the question of what is the difference between Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Customer Experience Management method (CEMMethod™). Often the question is prompted as a consequence of the huge investment many large corporations have made into up-skilling their people and processes to LSS. Many times those same executives are querying the return on those investments and hence now looking at more progressive alternative approaches to evolve their business performance.
For those familiar with Outside-In thinking and practice the difference is fundamental however if you haven’t been exposed to such training or working in one of the worlds leading Outside-In companies it would be good to have a short comparison of the key thematic differences.
In the interests of full disclosure I was an Industrial Engineer qualified as a Lean Master and Six Sigma Master black belt and I see and witness the significant differences everyday. Does the implication of the difference mean we should abandon LSS? No, far from it. In fact integrating the Outside-In perspectives into existing programs is a proven tried and tested way of advancing LSS to the centre stage of winning performance.
Case in point is a North American plastics extrusion company. They had previously been a powerhouse of Six Sigma, grown into and become a Lean ‘Toyota way’ dynamo only to run into the problem of diminishing returns. Investing just as much in getting better the decreasing returns and eroding margins made it an issue at the top table. In true pragmatic Texan style (their CEO is from Dallas) they embraced Outside-In big time. Over 6-9 months people were upskilled and let loose to transform the organisation. Not only did they save their bacon they are now a world leading company. And what do they call their program? OIL – Outside-In Lean. Nice eh?
So be pragmatic. Look for the bridges from here to there and you can have the best of both worlds.

Table 1: Comparison of some differences between Lean Six Sigma and the CEMMethod(tm).

Element
Lean Six Sigma
Customer Experience Management/Outside-In
Mind-set
Industrial Age
Customer Digital Age
Focus
Improve current work
Align to achieve SCO’s
Intent
Process will exist at the end of a review
Processes may be removed
Results
Focused on improving outputs
Focused on delivering Outcomes
Cost reduction
Triple Crown achievement (Cost/Service/Revenue)
Structure
Accepts the functional hierarchy
Proposes the appropriate structure to deliver SCO’s
Techniques
Effect based activity (value/non value added – waste identification – SPC etc.)
Causal based activity (what creates the work in the org. then let’s fix the causes)
Intelligent Processes
No mechanism exists to ensure processes are intelligent
Specifically designed to implement and mature intelligent processes
Customer
End to End working e.g. SIPOC
Centric working – the customer is at the heart of everything that happens
Are at the end and beginning of processes
Are enlightened, Promiscuous, Rebellious, Prosumer, Multi-channel, high expectations
Enterprise objectives
Operational and tactical. Aims to fix process.
Strategic and Operational. Aims to implement a sustainable architecture.
Scope
Process based improvements
Enterprise wide transformation
Other resources to explore:
Outside In The Secret: www.outsideinthesecret.com
CEMMethod™: www.cemmethod.com
Certified Process Professional: www.certifiedprocessprofessional.com


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