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BPM must sync with company strategy

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BPM is all about simultaneously reducing costs, growing revenues and improving customer service, says BP Group's Steve Towers.
BPM is all about simultaneously reducing costs, growing revenues and improving customer service, says BP Group's Steve Towers.

Business process management (BPM) should be part of every organisation's strategic plan.

So said Steve Towers - coach, mentor and consultant for the BP Group - in a keynote address at the ITWeb BPM Summit at the Forum, in Bryanston, this morning.

According to Towers, strategy means many things to many people. However, from a BPM context, it means to create a high-performance organisation.

"In BPM, strategy is the ability to connect the dots from the front line to the boardroom, and demonstrate how every single activity contributes to the strategy of the organisation."

He also pointed out that BPM is about simultaneously reducing costs, growing revenues and improving customer service.

On improving customer service, Towers noted that customer needs have changed drastically, thanks to digitisation, which means everyone is connected intimately all the time. "The customer experience is the process and we have to get scientific about the customer experience."

He also noted that the customer should be at the centre of everything the organisation does and that organisations should work to identify factors that will not contribute to the overall success of the enterprise.

He revealed that many organisations do not understand their business processes or their customers' needs, which is why they fail in the end. "If you don't understand your customers, you'll end up failing like Kodak and Nokia."

He, therefore, urged organisations to go out of their way and be innovative in order to determine their customers' needs.

On the other hand, he pointed out that organisations should not make promises to their customers that they will not be able to keep. "I like it when people say you have to go beyond customer expectations. That is impossible because people will always have their own standards. Rather, promise them the best service you can manage."

Towers also urged organisations to understand and develop successful customer outcomes, create process activity lists, identify moments of truth, identify breakpoints, identify business rules, perform risk assessments, and develop action plans before managing delivery.

"The starting point will be determined by the nature of the challenge. It is, however, essential that a clear and objective understanding of customer needs is articulated. This specifically involves the needs of the customer and goes way beyond traditional voice-of-customer insights."

Revealing a successful customer outcome project, Towers said organisations must ask: 'Who is my customer? What is the customer's current expectation? What is the process the customer thinks they are involved in? How does what we do impact customer success? What does the customer really need from us?'

He added that the primary purpose of crafting successful customer outcomes is creating a fundamental focus for a process or set of processes, or a complete enterprise strategy.

"The standard choice offer extends way beyond the legacy inside-out thinking to create an actionable strategic and operational objective for the entire organisation."

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