Can You Lump Customer-Centric, Outside-In Process Together with BPM?


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The first question back from most will be: “How do you define BPM?” True to my proclivity for defining terms including “BPM” by their real world use, rather than aspirational musings by thought leaders, I define BPM as:

“The totality of formal, structured business process design/management methods developed for use by trained process professionals.”

If that’s how we define “BPM,” does O-I process fit under this umbrella? No, it does not. While O-I process approaches including Visual Workflow, the CEMM Method and Human Process fit the first part of the description, when we get to “developed for use by trained process professionals,” that’s inaccurate. None of the primary O-I approaches requires employee training except for initiative facilitators/leaders?and some of these folks find Visual Workflow, for example, so intuitive they can pick it up on the fly.

Outside-In practitioners don’t need belts to hold up their process pants.

Not needing heavy training in process techniques, process-speak, process-symbology and the like makes O-I process very accessible to a broad spectrum of employees, which is critical to O-I’s success. O-I process focuses on work directly or indirectly affecting the customer experience?which is another way of saying front/back office and service work, much of it performed by knowledge workers. Knowledge workers don’t “just do what they’re told.” Nor do they have the time and inclination to go off and attend process classes. Process approaches for the O/S (office/service) either heavily involve knowledge workers without prior process training or they don’t work. That’s why LSS, Six Sigma and Lean, when applied in the O/S, suffer from a much higher relapse rate than diet programs.

So no, Outside-In process stands apart from BPM, IMHO. It’s “process to the people,” instead of process for professionals.

Other opinions?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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