How to engage customers in business process transformation?

Business TransformationToday, in a complex economy, we see CIOs focusing on their processes largely to achieve greater efficiency, improve operations, deliver a better customer experience and transform existing business models. Business process transformation is not new to the biz world, but there are instances that the strategy has failed miserably. One of the prominent reasons for the failure is that most of the initiatives taken to transform the processes were IT driven without any contribution from the business.

In this scenario, CIOs must take enough steps to ensure that transformation of processes are standardized, create shared services, business process management (BPM) suites are installed and involve people within the organization in the process transformation. They need to transform the processes based on the view point of the customers.

In fact, many companies are into this transformation process but they have done it only on a limited basis. This is because most of the CIOs focus on the project rather than on the business process as a whole. For example, they may put effort to attain six sigma in one department and install BPM suite in another department.  Change agents are of the opinion that if the firms’ efforts on transforming process are project oriented, then the firm can attain only a marginal growth in their respective market.

The following tips will definitely help to achieve the vision of transforming your business processes.

  1.  CIOs must try to align IT strategic plans with business strategies and by this they can benefit by linking the business model with BPM technology.
  2. Explain the need of business process transformation to your people in terms of the business services, financial benefit, business capabilities and the productivity outcomes.
  3. Try to engage customers in transformation processes. Transforming the business process based on the customer’s viewpoint will always bring in better achievements. The firms should use lean management to handle major problems and six sigma in areas where the issue is crucial and hard to find.
  4. Bring in the presence of the senior business executives, change agents, CMOs and CIOs to drive the process transformation at all the departments.
  5. Do adopt BPM suite only for modernizing IT functions. Many firms adopt IT modernization to develop new applications and platforms, which will benefit the IT infrastructure but not the business. The suggestion is to go for a top-bottom transformation because this approach will put the customers in front, who are the real beneficiary of the process change.
  6. Make a team of top management, process executives and operation executives to build up BPM centers of excellence.
  7. Bring in data in the process of transformation initiatives. Integration of data in the transformation process is becoming crucial as the business world is seeking every minute detail that is relevant for their success.
  8. Extract the big data from customers and business stake holders by using imaginary sessions.
  9. Do not go for automation process that leaves customers confused. Sometimes this automation will help your business to achieve efficiency and lower costs, but more often they stand in the way of process transformation.
  10. Utilize the transformation process and BPM to build up your career. Taking the responsibilities as Chief Process Officer (CPO) along with those of CIO is an opportunity to take your career to a greater height.

Business process transformation is not an easy business. It requires a high level involvement of people within the organization right from the top to bottom but if adopted you can build up new business model that will redefine your industry.

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