Business Outcome Help 5¢—The Process Doctor Is In

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Earlier this year I made my process-oholic resolutions:

1. Use my process powers only for good
2. Bring process to the people
3. Introduce the next generation to the next generation of process
4. Explore process for the digital business transformation

Here it is September, and I am still actively working on (most of) them! Must be some kind of record as far as keeping one’s new year resolutions go. As part of my goal to bring process to the people in a consumable way, I introduced “What is BPM?” in five words: process, people, context, actions, and outcomes. I have already covered people and context in detail; today’s blog is focused on outcomes.

The process doctor is in

Outcomes should be the heart and driving force of successful process initiatives. The desired business outcome determines so many things: Which business problems and activities should be tackled first? Which type or style of process is right to solve the problem? What parts of the business should be optimized first?

So many options and choices make it sound confusing, but it really isn’t. One of the things I do to make this more manageable is pretend I am the process doctor, and the business is my patient. I think of it like this for a few reasons:

  • There are symptoms and causes. Bad business outcomes are the symptoms, and the business problems are the cause.
  • Symptoms (bad outcomes) can easily masquerade as the cause (problems). It isn’t always clear at first glance which is which and requires some more analysis to bring this to light.
  • Treating the just the symptoms (outcomes) versus the disease (problems) is rarely effective. This is a common issue in medicine as well as businesses!
  • There can be a very complicated relationship between different symptoms that all come back to the same (not so obvious) cause. There can also be multiple related or non-related root causes with many symptoms.
  • If you spend too much time self-diagnosing on the Internet, you can easily convince yourself that it is terminal.

This isn’t where the process doctor role-playing ends. The process (see what I did there?) of a medical diagnosis and business diagnosis are the same.
under diagnosis are the sameNow replace Patient with Business and Physician with Process Doctor and you have the perfect methodology to follow for diagnosing your business and achieving the outcomes that you want.

under process doctorStart simple

under start simple

To begin with, you can start your diagnoses off simple with the basic three outcomes then work your way up to the fancy-schmancy ones and start mapping the relationships between business problems and outcomes.

under outcomesWhen you are ready to expand into the fancy-schmancy area, a great resource to check out is Gartner’s Business Value Model. They provide information around several more advanced outcomes (see table above) and guidance on what to measure to gauge your success in that area.

Now bring it all together

If your top desire is to provide a delightful, personalized customer experience then…

Don’t start tackling employee onboarding problems first.

Don’t implement a traditional process solution focused on cutting costs and standardization.

Do tackle customer facing issues first.

Do implement contextual processes solutions that encourage a personalized experience.

Do optimize your customer service representatives and channels.

You can learn more about how TIBCO ActiveMatrix BPM supports your process, people, context, and actions for better business outcomes, and test out a free trial here. Stay tuned for last two installments in the series! Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel. Process and actions will be published soon.