Participating in the TUCON 2012 event two weeks ago, it was clear to me that every concept that was introduced has its foundation in the business processes that underlie the way work is done. There is danger in not realizing this. Organizations that don’t understand are far more likely to trip over their own pursuit of technology and suffer setbacks and entropy from change that isn’t well thought out.
Breaking it down based on the hottest topics in the marketplace today:
In our headlong pursuit of bigger data sets and better analytics, are we making sure that we’re not creating privacy concerns within our own staff? Are there processes in place to make sure we’re not creeping out our customers? How do we set boundaries and make decisions on where we’re going?
Big Data creates a shift from silo’d approaches to process and process improvement to a broader approach that allows business transformation on the back of enormous data sets that potentially change the game. Forrester’s Clay Richardson calls it, “Methods and techniques that provide a more holistic approach to process improvement and process transformation initiatives.”
As Richardson puts it, you can’t drive real business value without the four C’s of customers, chaos, context and cloud. Big Process is broad process.
Consumerization of IT
Adopting technology from the consumer world without first studying its impact on our work is risky. Everyone can have an iPhone but if the organization doesn’t have a way to deal with lost or stolen items (there’s a two-year contract on an iPhone), things break down quickly. The same goes for marketing having free rein to use consumer-facing applications. Is there information security? Is there a way to make sure no one is drunk tweeting on Friday night? These things happen all to often.
There’s no way to reverse the direction of information technology spread without having a way to measure its impact and understand the changes that are necessary across the enterprise. Consumerization is forcing organizations to rethink their procurement, data security, system access, training and infrastructure requirements. It becomes a question of how and where to change processes.
Digital Customer Experience
A pizza recently arrived over an hour late and the box was wet from the rain. We posted our dissatisfaction on Twitter, and sure enough, had a response from the pizza chain within minutes. It linked us to a site where we could describe our experience. Within a short time of hitting ‘send’, we received an automated apology that called their business “family-oriented” (what does that even mean?) and showed no indication that they’d read our complaint.
We would have been better off calling the local store. It was clear that they built automation systems around a goal of quick response to customer complaints but created no real processes for satisfaction or improvement. It brings into question our value as customers, but I’m sure they didn’t set out to do that when they implemented technology.
Digital customer experience is about making connections that are personal and social. Without process backending the shift, companies will end up more like our pizza restaurant than not.
Social tools are all the rage and tibbr is an excellent business platform. But any organization moving toward collaboration technology needs to also look at how it get implemented, how information is initially structured, and then be process-oriented in moving people and conversations away from inefficient email. A good friend told me that his company implemented a well-known system without thinking about the impact to the workplace or how to create successful outcomes, and merely gave people one more place to try to find information. Have you been there?
There are smart processes that make things happen efficiently and avoid reinvention of the wheel.
No matter how bright and shiny the technology object, there’s a need to understand organizational process before taking any leaps. Process, much-maligned for all of its ragged edges and old-school jargon, remains at the dead center of how work gets done and value gets created.