Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old Technology, New Bottle.

Technology doesn’t Change … as was pointed out to me the other day by a senior colleague, only the interpretations evolve into new application scenarios. Sometimes they even come full circle in shiny new packaging.

A case in point is the Outside In approach or philosophy which evangelizes a Customer focused model for all business processes. Sound familiar? Customer Centricity Anyone?

There are currently in existence more than 6000 known BPM methodologies focused around the customer, so this begs the question “Why do we need another one”? As per Steve Towers of the BP Group and founding father of Outside In however, this approach is really a philosophy and work ethic rather than a business methodology wherein getting a grip on all aspects of the customer experience is the key to consistently delivering successful customer outcomes (SCOs). 

The message here is simple – “Stop doing irrelevant processes to free up costs by examining each process for customer centricity”. Translating this to measurable results, for those companies following the Outside In approach, order of magnitude has significantly improved by 20% in a period of 3 months and these results are being claimed as the bottom tier of actual figures. Speaks volumes for a renewed approach to customer focused business practices doesn’t it?

What is supposedly different about Outside In is that in the usual customer approach, most CEOs view customer centricity through the functional silo way of working while as per Outside In, every process should really exist only to achieve a SCO. The key enablers to this approach are Process Diagnostics that provide insights into worthwhile process engineering.

There is an underlying belief that even companies who have done some process improvements can derive benefits from the Outside In approach. Function based KPIs related to customer accounting, customer service, customer retention etc. don’t guarantee SCOs but designing processes around SCO is bound to work.

In e-governance for example, SCOs can be achieved through a single window, ‘Anytime Anywhere’ delivery of citizen services rather than the one portal for each service approach.

So even if technology doesn’t change at the speed of light, our ever changing business eco system calls for distilled philosophies based on proven track records and experience.