Customer Orientation: The Overlooked Driver of Sustained BPM Success


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Many companies have eagerly embraced the principles of Business Process Management (BPM) over the past decade. However, in hindsight, it is clear that results are not quite as positive as they first appeared. Recent studies suggest that the BPM success rate (i.e., the frequency with which BPM initiatives achieve, sustain, and continuously improve on performance targets) may be as low as 20%. Many executives confirm that the heady early savings from BPM has quickly dissipated. In short, benefits are not sustained over the long term.

What has gone wrong?
A core problem is that companies often undertake BPM too narrowly, viewing the issue solely as a matter of identifying and grouping related business process activities, often defined through the “lens” of the internal customer. This is compounded by a focus on related information and data which further reinforces a ‘within the walls’ view of process. Although many would argue this approach is essential to the BPM method, it is simply ‘not of this time’ and does not understand the changing dynamics of the 21st century customer.

If BPM benefits are to really stick and continue to drive on-going value, much more is required—companies must adopt a new perspective on process which is driven from the ‘Outside-In’. This imperative requires companies to identify their ‘real’ customers – the ones who generate revenue and sustain the organisation – and empower the “process leaders”—the business unit or functional managers who lead the revitalization of business processes and who are accountable for its success.

We articulate this shift to Outside-In thinking and delivery as going way beyond the inner confines of legacy BPM. It liberate the people in the organisation to get on with doing what they know achieves results in both the immediate and long terms. That is achieving Successful Customer Outcomes.

Is your BPM initiative on track? How are you measuring its success? Are you really delivering what is needed in the short term? How’s about ensuring the success that is needed in the long term?

Outside-In (aka Advanced/Enterprise BPM) measures success simply.
For instance in the last year by how much have you achieved simultaneous (a) reduction in costs, (b) growth in revenues and (c) improvement to customer service? Ultimately it is about changing to this customer perspective and achieving these on-going results. Leading companies of the 21st century are already delivering on that promise.

Are you inside-out or Outside-In?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Towers
A seasoned practitioner with over 30 years of hands-on experience, Steve Towers is one of industry's noted experts in BPM, Customer Expectation Management and Performance transformation. Towers heads the Research & Professional Services network within the BP Group, the world's first and premier network for Process & Performance professionals.


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