Do businesses need to change their business process management strategy?

If you are unaware, there is a groundswell occurring in the business process management arena. Business analysts and business process management practitioners are leading us in a new direction – one of “customer centricity” or “outside-in”.

Particularly since the 1980s, businesses have been bombarded with various methods of business process improvement and quality management, including Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM), Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), Lean, Business Process Management (BPM), etc. And now we are presented with “Advanced BPM (ABPM)”, “Outside-In” and “Customer Expectation Management (CEM)”.

Do we really need yet another new strategy in business process management and performance improvement? Is this just another fad? Why should we adopt yet another strategy or set of tools to manage our businesses?

When we first tried to impose structure and strategy to our businesses and workflow, the world was a much simpler place. We focused on just getting the work done and doing as much of it as possible. The volume of output was often seen as the measure of business success.

Today, the difference is that we, as consumers, have changed. We now have more choice, are more informed and have greater expectations than ever before.

The way we conduct our business, along with the changes in customer expectations, are the reasons why we need to change the way we manage our business processes. We no longer have the luxury of just “telling them and they will buy”. Companies are differentiating themselves by placing themselves in their customer’s shoes. In doing so, they are opening their businesses to greater success through reductions in cost, increases in revenue, and improvements in customer service.

Does this mean that the old process management tools are no longer valid? Do we have to scrap them and start again? I don’t think so. They still hold value and many remain very necessary within our businesses.

What we do need to review is the focus of our businesses, and therefore the tools we use in business process improvement.

What do you think?

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