6 Ways to Transform Process and the Customer Experience (at the Same Time)

Steve Towers Keynotes

Where do I start?

I was keynoting a conference in Europe recently, and senior executives in the room were getting the rationale behind moving Outside-In. However, there seemed to be two perplexed groups in the place.

One was what a refer to as the ‘traditional process guys’, and the other ‘the customer is first people’, and interestingly they both asked the same question “Where do we start?”

My honest and most direct answer is “You do not have a choice. You have got to start where you are and go from there!” OK, I get what you’re thinking, how could they take that away and begin to transform their organizations?

So, I walked them through TWO distinctly different ways to navigate to Outside-In working and practice, depending on your mindset, enterprise history and maturity. For the two categories of customer in the room, the NEEDS are the same, just the way they navigate to achieving them is different.

What are the Results?

From a results perspective, both approaches focus on winning the triple crown, that is Improving Service, Growing Revenues and Reducing Complexity (and hence lowering costs).

ApproachProcess EngineeringCustomer First
FocusProcess is the starting pointStarts with Customer Needs
ScopeReengineering the ProcessesAligning everything to Customer Needs
IntentionBuild out from Process to Department to Division to EnterpriseArticulate Successful Customer Outcomes and Remove the complexity of things that do not contribute to it
BenefitsLocal wins building to business-wide transformationImmediate delivery against Triple Crown benefits
Executive Buy-inSlow burn, however when they see the benefits and ‘get it’ the support is significantStarts at the strategic level so influences everything the organization does
RecommendationIf your remit is just ‘improving processes’ this approach will get you their steadily, however, the challenges facing traditional business are seismic so is there time? So, make immediate gains but push hard for more quickly.By demonstrating the value of ‘customer first’ in terms of the triple crown the enterprise can align quickly and effectively. Importantly avoid the ‘soft and fluffy’ sentiments expressed by many in the customer experience world.

How can I Implement?

Back in 2006 the BPG launched the CEMMethod™ and built out an approach, using the 50+ techniques based on global next practice from companies like Virgin, Zara, BMW, Zappos, Apple and Emirates. Since then more than 3,000 companies in 116 countries have become accredited and certified to transform their processes and organizations.

Now in version 11, the choice you make in deployment is based on your ambition and remit within the enterprise.
If you are a leader needing to embrace the digital customer ‘Customer First’ leaps out as the main option. Alternatively, if you are in a traditional process-based business (lean, six sigma, BPM etc.) the more conservative ‘process engineering’ approach may be preferred.

You can access the following resources that will help you make an informed choice:

CEMMethod™ – review its potency and pedigree:
www.cemmethod.com

Outside-In The Secret of 21st century companies (free access): http://bit.ly/StevesOIBook

The Accredited Customer Experience Program 2018-19: https://www.bpgroup.org/acxp1819.html

The Certified Process Professional Program: https://www.bpgroup.org/certifiedprocessprofessional.html

I look forward to guiding you to transformation when you are ready!

6. Breakpoints – 5 steps to heaven (continued)


Best Practice Tip:
As you name your breakpoints try using the syntax
do something, to something to get something.
An example might be
open the email to action the request

Make sure you follow the instructions we’ve provided in identifying the Break Points in the target area. Getting this right will play a very big part in determining the degree of benefit achieved.

Also, make sure you write them in a descriptive enough way that you can come back a day, a week or a month later and know what each Break Point is…

Enter this information into your template.

Step 3 – Describe your Actions

You are now ready to describe Actions that can be taken to eliminate Break Points. You have the Break Points documented, now what would it take to eliminate some of them from your target area?

For each Action you identify you need to know what the Action is (describe it) and what Break Points it eliminates. Most often Actions will eliminate multiple Break Points.

The number of Actions you identify and describe will depend on many factors. Try and get as many good Actions as you can, doing so will help you create the most beneficial cost reduction plan.

Enter this information into your template.

Step 4 – Do the Cost and Benefit Assessment

What else do we need to know? We need to place our Actions into perspective, which we do by answering three questions:

How Much? How Long? How Beneficial?

“How Much” is the cost (time, expense) of taking the Action? It’s best to judge cost by using the three categories of High, Medium and Low*.

“How Long” should be expressed in days, weeks or possibly months – but never years. Because eliminating causes of work is actually much easier (and less complicated) than fixing effects, most Actions will take 90 days or less*

(*many Actions will take less than 30 days to complete).

“How Beneficial” is the number of Break Points that would be eliminated combined with our judgment of the overall benefit of the Action. It’s also best to judge benefit as High, Medium or Low.

* The use of the High, Medium and Low scale plays an important psychological role in this technique. We really don’t need more detail than this to know which Actions we should take. By choosing to do a more detailed cost/benefit analysis we will create more work and distract ourselves from the goal – which is eliminating costs!

Enter this information into your template.


Step 5 – Build your Cost Reduction Plan

Choosing which Actions are to be taken should be pretty obvious at this point. From the information already gathered we can see which Actions have the most “bang for the buck.” But for the order of the Actions it’s important to create a mix that makes it easy for us to be successful on a regular basis.

Try starting with a “quick win” to get people enthused about the plan. Mix other “quick wins” into the plan to create “breathers.”

Also consider prioritizing an Action that addresses glaring issues – those we all know are “not right.” Doing this communicates your understanding of the people in your organization and your empathy with their concerns.

Number your Actions in the order in which you want them to be taken. Use the same number for Actions that should be taken simultaneously.

Process Outside In – vidblog

The BP Group compiles a bi monthly update of all things process which gets listed on the blog and syndicated all over. The latest can be Process Performance Update. However one of my close colleagues suggested I should produce the update as a travelog, where ever I am, whatever I am doing – just say it! – so here it is. Depending on your point of view it is either an informative light hearted look at process, or eight minutes of relevant pertinent stuff for business professionals. You choose 😉