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Customer Experience – The Holy Trinity of Information, Communication and Ambition June 16, 2011

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Others, Service Oriented Architecture.
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1 comment so far

Recent buzz around Customer Experience, Business Process Management and Business Architecture got me thinking. Can we ever architect our customer experience? Would we know if we change any existing service or introduce a new one, what objectives, media and interfaces will they impact? And I reckoned, why not give it a wild shot?

And what better way than to be inspired by the principles of Business Process Management and Business Architecture to create what I call my Customer Experience Model. A Model driven by the invisible Holy Trinity of any organization’s customer management – Information, Communication and Ambition.

So here we go, check out the below image.

Nothing significant about the model though. A mere simplistic attempt at a sample model of a bank’s credit card services.

As you can see from the Customer Experience Model sample, it is driven by a 4 layer architecture, namely, Business Service, Objective, Media and the Interface.

Business Service

This is nothing but the service or the product that the organization wishes to deliver to the customer. In this case, Credit Card Services. Be careful to separate them if you have multiple service grades, say, a Classic and a Platinum. They must be considered as different services as they will cater to different customer experiences; which is why we’re on this page šŸ˜‰

Objective

The objective may vary from organization to organization depending on the campaign at hand. It may be an awareness campaign to inform the customer. It could also be a sales campaign driven by the sales channel. yet again, it may be a promotion campaign (one of those fine-printed ones that every credit card firm uses to hoodwink the customer and make the same amount of money ;))

Media

Now that we do have a direction for our ambition having identified our services and our objectives, it is time we managed communication and the key to that is medium through which we will communicate to our audience. My image is only a shallow example and realistic models can have the media defined by being specific or being generic. For example, you may mark it as Social Media or as Facebook/Twitter etc. I would actually recommend the Facebook/Twitter approach. And even your Partners and your Sales Force are a form of Media that communicates to your customer.

Interface

Having the media alone is not enough. The media must have information to carry and for that you need your carriers of information or as I call it – the Interface to the customer. The Interface does not necessarily need to be customer facing like Training material for the Sales Force. The Interface is thatĀ artifactĀ which will carry the information that needs to be delivered to the customer, directly or indirectly.

Now, imagine yourself undergoing a re-branding exercise. The challenge of identifying and structuring everything that needs to be re-branded can be a daunting and demanding task. This model may make life just that much easier. Trust me, you’ll probably learn of your own organization and its process gaps without even having drawn a process flow diagram yet šŸ™‚

For tools to architect this, while I used the Process Landscape template of Aris Express (because I haven’t got Visio), you may use any drawing tool including PowerPoint or even a Mind Mapping tool.

The cost of implementing this Model is also ZERO as I would not be charging for this. However, if you are willing to donate in GoodĀ SamaritanĀ spirits for using this Model or would like to call on my part-time services to support you, do email me on sanooj.kutty@gmail.com and we can talk šŸ™‚

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Architecture & Governance II – There’s something about BPM… February 27, 2011

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Others, Service Oriented Architecture.
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4 comments

There’s something about BPM… that’s missing…

This post is definitely not my “eureka moment”. No such great discovery coming from me yet.

After all I am neither in my bath nor am I running around naked.

But, I have tried to define processes.Ā ModeledĀ them in EPC and BPMN and yet somewhere I face the frustration of not having got it just right. There is always some cross-link missing or some exception not managed. Arguments haveĀ advisedĀ me to focus on the 80% of Pareto’s law. However, if we are to run a 100 million dollar business, that 20% is a whopping 20 million dollars! For sure, I do not want to be the one losing that 20 million.

This is where your Business Architecture or also known in some corners as Business Process Architecture kicks in to help you structure your processes. Conventional Architectures start from the top and they tend to start with a Service. As some call it a Service, others have gone on to call them Process Landscapes, Process Areas or Scenarios. Ultimately and fundamentally they are on the same page and a typical such architecture is shown below.

However, I disagree with this model because this starts from what we want to serve our customer and not vice versa.

This is where it happened to me.Ā It happens to all of us. We learn many things during our academic and vocational journeys that we leave behind and then suddenly it pops up out of the blue and knocks us so hard that we wonder why didn’t we think of it before.

My moment came to me during a recent marketing workshop where some of the marketing jargon lead me back to the basics of marketing. It’s all about the needs and wants of a customer. If we only have to cater to what the customer needs, great. If the competition also caters to the customer’s needs, then we have to give them what they want.

This was missing from the aboveĀ architecture. It starts with a “sales orientation” by aiming to deliver what we have to serve them. What we must put in place is definitely a “market orientation“.

One must move from a “push to customer” architectural principle to a “pushed or pulled by customer” principle. Thus, our business architecture starts from the customers needs or wants as defined by the diagram below:

I believe a business always starts with the customer and if the customer wishes, it can always be brought to an end. Hence, applying the basics learnt from our marketing classes in our business architecture, we go closer to the customer and the closer we are to our customer, the closer we are to our objectives.

Architecture & Governance I – Invisible Pillars of Successful BPM January 14, 2011

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Service Oriented Architecture.
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I am among those of you who have failed in a BPM implementation. I am also among those who have found satisfactory success in BPM.

Interestingly, the failure involved integration and automation. The success had neither of the two. A better view of this is echoed in this interesting article by Neil Ward-Dutton, ā€œ5 things you need to know about BPM ROIā€.

Better Performance, Reduced Redundancy, Cost Savings, Customer Experience and the like have always been the key reasons driving the BPM motors forward! However, except for the legendary KITT, motors even today require them to be manually driven, remote-controlled, or set to move towards a pre-defined target or path. BPM implementations behave mostly in a similar manner, no matter what the objective, the journey is pre-determined.

Business, though, behaves totally dynamic and spontaneous. A simple attempt by myself to enhance my social media presence was thwarted by simply the innumerable number of channels, each channel being driven by various mechanisms from hash-tags to status to micro-blogs to blogs among others. Now, how could I define a process to manage my social media presence. Most businesses today face the same challenge of managing their product or solution. And in reality there is no ā€œprocessā€ to doing this.

However, a business can be managed through structure, ethics and discipline… and a lavish dollop of innovation.

Innovation may be creative and for the sake of maintaining pure rationality in this blog, letā€™s leave it out. Especially, as all business need not be innovative, but merely implementors of someone elseā€™ innovation.

Let us though consider the other 3 traits of structure, discipline and ethics. As a discipline, I truly endorse BPM (no link.. just google and youā€™ll be flooded). However, is there ever discipline without structure and ethics? Unlikely!

For a successful BPM implementation, it is, therefore, important to have Ā both our structure and ethics drawn up first.

Structure can be derived from having an architectural view of oneā€™s business by applying the principles of Business Architecture (my preferred available architecture is the ā€œService-to-Process-to-Activity-to-Taskā€).

Governance doesn’t need much explanation from myself. Enron has made it more popular than my humble blog can ever dream to. However, being ethical definitely helps run better businesses and more managed processes. After all, you donā€™t run your business to execute fraud and abuse. If at all, you would have processes to prevent them.

More on Business Architecture coming up in Part II. So, watch this space.

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