Business Process Management (BPM) is about managing everything that is done in an organisation to provide successful customer outcomes (hence it is a customer-centric effort). You need a plan, which includes a description from the organisation regarding how it will roll out and upkeep the Business Process Management (BPM) initiative, select processes for development and train people to lead the actual implementation. All this requires professional, leadership and communication skills. Janne Ohtonen has published a new book called “You Think You Are Doing Well? Become a Winner With Customer-Centric Process Leadership!” which is aimed to help you to grow those skills on a weekly basis. There’s no book available that can tell you what exactly has to be done in your specific situation. Therefore getting new and inspiring ideas on how to take your personal skills and the organisation forward are valuable.

For example, in the early twentieth century, Henry Ford wanted to expand the market for his cars. His approach was to make his workers more productive through better-designed processes. He could then pay them better, which he did— instituting an unheard-of $5 a day minimum wage at his factories in 1914, thereby doubling the wages of many of his workers. This then led to a larger market for his cars, as many workers were now able to afford cars for the first time. The point here is that Mr. Ford developed a sustainable solution based on novel ideas (which people at his time thought were crazy) that lasted for years. Increasing your skills on continuing basis to generate inspiring ideas will bring you better results in the long run.

To get inspiring ideas on customer-centric process leadership, download this new book and inspire yourself into new actions. The book includes important topics such as:

  • How do you meaningfully align your revenue, costs and service strategy?
  • What are the problems in leadership?
  • How can you think your way to success?
  • What are the important questions in process management projects?
  • Does more interaction mean improved customer experience?

Prominent business blogger and author Janne Ohtonen has published a new book called “You Think You Are Doing Well? Become a Winner With Customer-Centric Process Leadership!” which helps contemporary leaders to improve their process flows and personal leadership skills. This book is available as a downloadable version at http://www.bpmleader.com/download-e-book-become-a-winner-with-customer-centric-process-leadership/

Some business process leaders are doing much better in changing their work practices compared to others. What do well-performing leaders know about adapting their organisation’s processes swiftly and adequately, that others don’t? And how well you are doing well as a process leader?

New book from Janne Ohtonen, takes inspiration from the Greek phrase “panta rhei” (or “everything flows”) once spoken by philosopher Heraclitus, indicating that everything is susceptible to change. This still holds true, 2500 years after these words were first spoken. Organizations are changing constantly, under pressure of market demand, competitive forces, technological inventions and new legislation. This demands also for new kind of leadership.

I wrote this book to help business leaders develop a culture of agility and adapt their way-of-working in response to external impacts on their business and value proposition,” says Ohtonen.

With over 150 pages and 52 articles, one for each week throughout the year, the book concisely articulates a number of best practices for business leaders to turn their organizations around towards the new way customers act.

Ohtonen continues, “Today’s customers expect to be treated personally, instantly, and through their own preferred channel – be it online or offline. They are members of a socially hyper-connected world with all information right at their fingertips. Organizations simply need to adapt to this new customer, not only by opening an online store or a Twitter account, but also by changing their mind-sets, behaviours and leadership styles to become truly customer-centric. I wanted to share my ideas on how these tools can help with everyday leadership processes.

To find out how you could improve both business and your leadership and to make sure you will be doing financially better this year, get your hands on this book and inspire your thoughts. The first 12 weeks in the book include important topics such as:

  • Are you still working with outdated business methods?
  • Ingredients for process culture that brings the results!
  • How to launch a BPM programme successfully?
  • How to build customer satisfaction into business processes?
  • What could help to make change more sustainable?

Prominent business blogger and author Janne Ohtonen has published a new book called “You Think You Are Doing Well? Become a Winner With Customer-Centric Process Leadership!” which helps contemporary leaders to improve their process flows and personal leadership skills. This book is available as a downloadable version at http://www.bpmleader.com/download-e-book-become-a-winner-with-customer-centric-process-leadership/

Janne Ohtonen has published a new book called “You Think You Are Doing Well? Become a Winner With Customer-Centric Process Leadership!” which looks into business process management and leadership from a fresh perspective. The world is full of recipes for success, but too often we forget that success comes from within ourselves through the work what we do (for our customers, with our colleagues). One could even claim that success is mainly about attitude. When you have the right attitude, you focus on the right things, you overcome obstacles, you feel better and you work more efficiently. Surely you know what happens if you have a bad attitude: nothing seems to work, world is just a bad place. This book presents to you some questions to ask to become more successful through your own attitude towards work, other people and life.

Download this new book and become a winner with customer-centric process leadership. The book includes important topics such as:

  • How can you become a coaching leader?
  • Understanding your customers through research
  • Using metrics to build customer loyalty
  • How can I provide great employee experiences?
  • How can I become a better person?

Prominent business blogger and author Janne Ohtonen has published a new book called “You Think You Are Doing Well? Become a Winner With Customer-Centric Process Leadership!” which helps contemporary leaders to improve their process flows and personal leadership skills. This book is available as a downloadable version at http://www.bpmleader.com/download-e-book-become-a-winner-with-customer-centric-process-leadership/

Process innovation is very important in any organisation, because it is the way everything is produced from products and services to customer experience. Organisations should do more systematic process innovation to get the benefits that are available. To make process innovation happen properly it should be domain of all employees. This article looks into most effective ways of harnessing the power of process innovation.


Process innovation should always begin with a goal in mind. Traditionally, it is based on finding a solution to a problem. To my opinion, that is too late. The time to repair a roof is when the sun is shining, like John F. Kennedy said. The goal should be to have a process innovation culture build into the organisation, so that it will not be a one off project, but part of natural way of improving the organisation. If you can make all the employees to think that it is normal to think outside the box and try to make things better, then process innovation becomes much more common in the organisation. You can achieve this by making innovation as a core part of your leadership agenda and train most employees to innovate processes. Maybe you could even start every day with a discussion of process innovation and corporate culture that could support it until you get it in place?

The second important factor for harnessing the power of process innovation is not to be penalized for failures; this will only discourage the risk-taking needed for the next important process advancement. Best practices are easy to see and test, because everyone else is already using them. That will not bring competitive advantage or real process innovation. Focusing on best practises may lead to a situation, where a dramatic process innovation idea will lead other people to doubt whether it will work. You can test dramatic innovations to a point, but there will come a time, when it just needs to be tried and seen. Most of the times those innovations will succeed when well thought out, but sometimes they may also fail and that is something we need to cope with. It is more fruitful to focus on next practices, instead of best practices.

“I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
– Thomas Edison, father of mass production light bulbs.

A future orientation and outcome-based thinking are very beneficial to process innovation. It is unlikely to succeed, if no one invests time in getting better both with processes and innovation. Usually we are too busy with running our daily lives, leaving little time to grow as professionals and persons. We can only innovate ideas that are size of our thoughts, so what we need to do is to seek ways to expand our ways of thinking. One very powerful and practical technique is outcome-based thinking. If you focus on what is it that you want to achieve, then your mind will stay focused in the future and find ways to realize those aspirations. Everyone in your organization needs to have a clear grasp of where you need to go. That is how they know what has value and what is irrelevant. The question is that will some process innovation idea, if implemented, help move you closer to the outcomes you have specified?

Let’s take an example of process automation innovation, which is used by certain council in United Kingdom. The rubbish is collected in specific colour of bags, so that the rubbish collectors will know the recycling fee has been paid. Earlier those bags were sold from council offices, person to person. At some point they decided to automate part of that process. So, they installed machines next to the council doors, where you can choose the number of rubbish bags and pay for them. After you have paid for the bags, you will get a receipt that you need to take to the reception desk at council and someone from there will give you the bags. At the end of the day, the only automated part was the payment, but delivering the rubbish bags to the customers was still traditional person-to-person interaction. What do you think was the outcome the process optimisation people in that council were thinking about exactly?


To harness the power of process innovation, you should always begin with a goal in mind. That goal needs be to have a process innovation culture build into the organisation, so that it becomes domain of all, not just selected few. Crowdsourcing will work for process innovation, if you give most of the employees a chance to participate it. The second important factor for harnessing the power of process innovation is not to be penalized for failures. People need to have possibility to try new things and get proper, constructive feedback from those trials. Also, a future orientation and outcome-based thinking are crucial to process innovation. They will help you to think about and realize the outcomes you want to create through process innovation endeavours.

What tips could you share with us to harness the power of process innovation?
And maybe you could share with us your most interesting experiences?


Get Janne Ohtonen's latest BPM book for free at http://addvalueto.me/download-a-free-process-leadership-book/

Janne Ohtonen has done a scientific research on business process management capabilities through expert interviews, surveys and case studies with three international companies. Through that research, he has been able to identify the top ten most important BPM capabilities that organizations should have. Improving your BPM capabilities will ensure more likely success in business process management initiatives. The success is built through people, process and technology aspects, which all contribute to BPM.


Here is the top ten of most important BPM capabilities in order of importance:
Co-workers have confidence and trust in each other.

The employees of an organization implement processes. Those employees need to be able to work well together and have trust in each other. Otherwise, employees will have to check what others have done and they are not willing to share their load with others so easily.

There is open communication between you and your managers.

Open communication between the management and the employees is crucial. Employees need strong but fair leadership, which removes obstacles from their way while executing the processes. If there is no open communication, then problems tend to be hidden and they hinder smooth operation of processes.

Managers share vision and information with you.

Employees need to know which direction the organization is heading to. Vision, mission and strategy cannot be just fluffy words with lots of management talk behind it. People need to feel connected to vision and managers need to be able to make the vision to come alive for the employees. Also sharing information is very important, so that employees do not have to second-guess what is going on.

The organization is able to respond to changes in markets quickly.

Business world today is very turbulent. Customers have changes quite much from what they were ten years ago. For some reason, most of the organizations still treat those customers as they have done always. It is important to be able to respond to changes in markets quickly and that comes from aligning your processes to successful customer outcomes as well as implementing adaptive process management.

Senior management has confidence and trust in you and your managers.

Senior management’s support is very important. Many companies have problems both between employees and middle management as well as between the middle and top management. Senior (or top) managers need to be able to trust their middle management and employees, so that the atmosphere stays open and creative. Also board of directors should have open mind towards ideas coming from lower levels.

There are efficient communication channels for transferring information.

Nowadays there is so much information that it is already overflowing from people’s head. People use mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and many other mediums to acquire information. The communication inside the organization (and with the customer) can get lost in that jungle. People need to have the right and effective ways to communicate with each other (for example only one intranet website and instant messaging system).

The organization has appointed responsible people for processes.

Processes need to be identified and they need to have appointed responsible people. It is job of those people to make sure that the processes are running smoothly and if there are ways to improve them. It is easier for others send ideas and ask directions from a responsible process owner.

The organization extensively uses information systems.

Information systems are everywhere. Too many times those information systems are not used extensively or cleverly. Also legacy information systems may hurdle BPM initiatives. The IT strategy should be aligned with the BPM strategy so that the technology is used to optimize and automate anything that is worth it.

No one has to worry about losing his or her job because of process changes.

Security is important for people. No one wants to improve and change processes if the first discussion is that who is going to get fired. But there is no need for that. After using BPM you can transfer those people who are not doing productive work to other phases or process where their contribution is more meaningful. Nobody wants to do the dumb stuff, so giving your employees a good reason to do something cleverer they will gladly take it.

Managers support changes in processes.

Managers need to be on top of changing processes. Employees may have good ideas on how to improve processes, but have you actually asked them? And how do you handle those situations when they give suggestions? Do you listen to them and evaluate if there’s something to do, or do you just disregard them? Try to create an organizational culture, which fosters change in positive way.


You can evaluate how these capabilities are in your organization and then make a roadmap for improving them. Each of these capabilities contributes to success in business process management initiatives; and if they are not on an adequate level, you may face problems. If you are not sure what level your capabilities are on, then you can do a BPMC research, which will use survey and case study methods to find out the current situation. That information can then be translated into a change roadmap, which will lead to increased BPM capabilities over time.


Get Janne Ohtonen's latest BPM book for free at http://addvalueto.me/download-a-free-process-leadership-book/

You may have come across the saying by Dwight David Eisenhower, which reminds us that it is not only necessary to do the right thing, but to do it in the right way also.
By aligning the process excellence to business strategy you can make sure that everyone in the organisation is contributing to the same goals. Many times business strategy is just a fluffy word to employees and does not bear real meaning to them. By focusing on business from an Outside-In perspective using customer centric processes techniques, you can make the strategy come alive in daily work.


First, let’s define the term process excellence used here. PEX Network has made a video about that which says that process excellence is the way that businesses create and deliver value to customers. So, when we ask how can you align your business strategy to process excellence, we actually ask how can we guide everything that is done in an organisation for the customers in a standardized and meaningful way?

To be able to do this, we may have to redefine how we create our business strategies. Traditionally, a business strategy is the means by which it sets out the organisation’s mission, vision and policies to achieve its desired objectives. It can simply be described as a long-term business planning that is concerned with the scope of a business’ activities i.e. what and where the company produces products or services.

The problem with this perspective is that it looks at the strategy from the organisation centric perspective (Inside-Out). Since the purpose of process excellence is to control how we deliver products and services to customers from the customer value perspective, these two things do not meet each other.

There is nothing wrong in business strategies as a concept, just in the focus we have when we build them.

So, to align business strategy to process excellence, we need to start building our business strategies from the customer centric perspective, optimising the value we create for the customer through our work. One of the key concepts for the business strategy is customer segmentation. If we use the traditional ways of segmenting such as demographics, psychographics and purchase behaviour, we will miss the opportunities we have in deep understanding of customer outcomes.

Therefore, outcome-based segmentation will be able to identify the gaps between the jobs customers are trying to do and the products and services they have available to achieve that. The traditional segmentation makes the mistake of believing that customers can be put into boxes based on their generalised characteristics. But when you build your business strategy based on identified customer outcomes, your focus will support innovation, marketing and aligning processes to maximum efficiency.

To achieve process excellence through business strategy, it must contain valid information not only about segmentation (who we sell to) but also why we sell. For example, the successful customer outcome (SCO) technique can be used to identify why customers buy our products and how can we offer them unique value. This information can be used as a solid base for process redesign and optimisation projects where everything that is done in an organisation is aligned back to the customer centric business strategy. Many times employees feel disconnected from the customer and that is why they have lost or never build a connection to both the customer outcome and business strategy. After you build your business strategy on serving the customers rather than the organisation, the employees will also see how they are part of the whole system, producing successful customer outcomes.

In summary: To align business strategy to process excellence, firstly you need to build business strategy from the Outside-In perspective using outcome based segmentation and customer identification techniques. Secondly, you need to align those back to everything that is done in your company from top to bottom. You can use e.g. process optimization methods such CEI (Customer Experience Innovation) to do that. You can even use these ideas joined with Lean and Six Sigma process optimization, as long as you take that information as a guideline for the optimization instead of plain organization centric waste removal.


Here are some reflective questions for you to ask regarding this topic:

  • What is the value base your business strategy is build on? Is it organization or customer centric?
  • Is everything that is done in your organization aligned to customer outcomes?
  • How do you drive the process excellence, i.e. the way to deliver value to customers?
  • Is strategy a fluffy work to your employees, which does not have true ringing to their daily jobs?
  • Are you still using the traditional segmentation methods, which do not give you proper information to deeply understand your customers?
  • Is your value proposition aligned to customer outcomes?


Get Janne Ohtonen's latest BPM book for free at http://addvalueto.me/download-a-free-process-leadership-book/