BPM.com
  1. Peter Schooff
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. BPM Discussions
  4. Tuesday, 26 September 2017
  5.  Subscribe via email
What would you say is a clear sign that a company needs to go digital?
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The absence of digitalization . . .
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
You can easily see papers in their offices.

Thanks,
AS
Comment
Paper's not such a bad thing. Rows and rows of filing cabinets, and drawers and drawers though...
A reminder about "digital" - Digital organisation is an organisation building life cycles of its primary artefacts on the primacy of explicit, formal, computer-readable and computer-executable presentation of those artefacts.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The digital is such a wide approach and never the goal it self just the means....

1. The most pressing sign is that the service provider is loosing customers because of cumbersome processes. Maybe the competitors or an innovative start up have developed more effective and efficient "digital" approach to serve the need.

2. The company may feel the pressure for lower cost and they see opportunity to automate some high cost activities. Though in most cases the activity it self to be automated or digitalized may not be so costly, but variation, mistakes, deviations and waste create the cost. Some times important criteria for digitalization is responsiveness, 24/7 services etc.

3. If you recognize any kind opportunity for better and cheaper service through digitalization, you should think about the investment, because out there somebody is any way thinking it and doing it already.

br. Kai
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
They exist.
Of course, the tricky bit is in understanding what "going digital" actually means, for any given organisation.
It's going to be some blend of digitising customer experiences, creating digital products and services / platforms, digitising operations and creating digital workplaces (employee experiences). Different organisations place different emphases on these four perspectives.
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The recognition that "Digital" can now close that gap between people and the inside out silo system processes. The lack of one version of the truth, real time feed back on business operations and true accountability have frustrated business for many decades. Once it is recognised Digital Business Platforms can start to reflect the real world of work putting people first and orchestrate legacy cutting across those silos as required then the time has come for "Digital" ....
Comment
@David

Just wondering if corporations really "put people first", because they sure spend a lot of time trying to get rid of people.

I think we underestimate the impact of automation that displaces people - the notion that they can be re-trained to do "other work" needs to be challenged. I don't think claims adjusters can transition to writing algorithms that eliminate claims adjusters.

The other thing I keep seeing in the forum is concerns about making sure that attention is paid to the "customer journey".

Since when was this not job #1 unless you specifically want to sunset a particular business unit. Why fuss over the customer journey? There are two parts to it - outreach and inreach. You need excellence at both.

We can easily achieve planned outreach by including customer steps along BPM processes and accommodate ad hoc outreach at any time. As for inreach, give the customer access to a menu of services and they pick, OR, they phone.

Live chat is totally maddening to a customer when they click and get a response, "our office hours are from 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs, thank you for calling".

If Civerex were to do that in our Major Crimes Case Management (MCCM) software supporting homicide investigations at crime scenes, we would have gone out of business years ago. Criminals are notoriously uncoordinated - they do most of their "work" at odd hours.

I don't see a problem at all with silos, having worked in functional, project and matrix organizations. All three models work well under the right setting if you put a focus on making them work well.

Same for flat versus empire organizations. Flat is best if you can live with it. If you take the empire model to extremes (governments are notorious for empire building) you end up with a department in charge of the preservation (just an example) of monuments that no longer exist.

I seriously wonder who is going to visit Charlottesville, VA once all of the monuments have been removed. The department in charge will probably continue to be "in charge".

Enough rants for a Wednesday!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Their revenue >= $0
They hope to remain in business in 2023
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Equating "Going Digital" with improving the company's processes and operations by the means of technological platforms like BPMS and ECM, a powerful compound indicator in that directions would be the quantity of reprocessing that occurs per business process.
A high number of process cases that have to be re-worked, due to errors, is usually indicative of lacking process definitions, elevated levels of manual efforts, lack of technologies and related disciplines.
The process classification framework from the APQC for instance suggests a couple of related measurements - for example: metric ID #102698 - "Report Time" = (Number of total time records returned to field/employee for validation and/or correction / Number of time records processed) * 100
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
Comment
I am a fan of real-time error checking - pre-conditions upstream from steps along process instances, rule sets at step forms that filter out such things as a start date later than an end date, post-conditions on exit from steps to highlight not-as-expected results.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Benchmark overhead costs and benchmark service or process costs are widely available by industry and sector (Hackett and Everest or many consultancies for example). Profit is a trailing indicator (from market share loss), but at least a motivator ( "we need to catch up" ). And if internal measurements are out-of-whack with industry standards, then time to look at remediation (benchmark costs and performance are likely leading indicators). Depending on industry model, process costs or alternatively customer service sensitivity to process performance may (or may not) be a big part of any potential remediation programme. And digitalization may be the answer (hello BPM). Notice though that "digitalization" is the last thing we think of. Start with the "why". (Starting from why also ensures against poorly conceived digitalization-for-digitalization programmes.) Benchmark costs and performance can thus be a driver for digitalization; a possible second category of "why" relates to flexibility. One can make an argument however that flexibility is really about cost. And that there's comparably no case for flexibility-for-flexibility's sake. Maybe there's no absolutely clear sign that a company needs to go digital!
Comment
Sure about starting with WHY. But, it is necessary to ask WHY 4 (min) times.
For example:
Why we can’t improve our customer services? We spend 2 business days to inform customers.
Why we can’t send documents to customers by e-mail? Those documents must be printed and signed.
Why we don’t handle our documents digitally? We always work in this way.
Why we didn’t start our digitalisation? Digitalisation is the last thing we think of.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4548
+1 @Alexander digging in on "why". My suggestion is to compare the answers to your questions to benchmarks. For example, if the industry standard is 2 days to inform customers now, then spending money and precious management bandwidth on improving the response time doesn't make a good business case -- UNLESS there's a big picture strategic reason to do so -- for example that we are making a bet on future industry benchmarks evolving to 1 day, or even 2 hours.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
'when people on the floor are frustrated by the procedures and talk about process improvements'
'when customer churn rate is high' - time to retrospect
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
OK, well all the good (for a given definition of “good”) snarky answers have been used, so I guess I won't contribute my “if it's 1985 or later”.

Digital business is:

  • Transparent (with opacity determined not by necessity but by design)
  • End-to-end and straight-through (without artificial detours or unnecessary transformations)
  • Consumer-focused (driven by the vision of the customer, partner, or team, rather than by the limitations of the system)


If your organization and its products and services can't easily be described that way, you may be a dinosaur.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png
-Scott
Comment
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4549
Here's a question @Scott: How are the three admirable attributes of "digital business" listed above distinguishable from just plain 'ol business? My question can be expanded to cover digital itself. What is it about digital business as such that makes digital a useful business concept? Or a concept "beyond virtual signalling"? ("We are Digital!!!") If there are business dinosaurs, led by people who might take inspiration from BPM.com, then we would want to be able to say "what is digital about digital business". And be able to show that this "digital" enables an organization to do, as you say, transparency, STP and consumer-orientation cheaper, faster, better. (My answer is "leading edge automation of the work of business for better productivity" . . . and further given the unique and powerful nature of BPM software technology, "BPM is a big part of the answer".)
LOL "1985 or later"! : )
I feel like you're giving "plain ol' business" way too much credit. ☺ I don't think that, until recently, most organizations thought of transparency and straight-throughness (yeah I made that word up) as being that significant at all. And to the extent that a business considered itself consumer-focused, their idea of what that meant was probably obsoleted by the nature of customer interactions online, and the megaphone that the web offers to customers whether satisfied or otherwise. Arguably it's this last point that is driving the whole "digitization" phenomenon in the first place: digital interaction and follow-through are now required to support the types of experiences your customers (internal or external) demand.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4551
Your point is well taken that many businesses are likely now better managed, in multiple dimensions -- especially regarding transparency, straight-throughness (!) and customer focus. And certainly technology has been an enabler of this progress.
It's also an interesting question of business history as to how bad (or not) previous generations of businesses actually were. It's often surprising to learn of the marvellous pre-computing automation practices and technologies that have been used in business even in the 19th century -- using everything from multi-part paper business forms, to pneumatic message tubes, to specialized adding machines etc. etc. (Along these lines, when I was just starting out I worked for a company that required me to punch in and out every day -- and the punch card machine was an old IBM model built around a grandfather clock mechanism!)
My view is though that the business practices which are enabled by technology are separate from that technology. Take for example an STP process deployed in a BPMS. There is the technology, and then there is the associated business knowledge and management attention which enables successful use of the technology. Both sides of the equation are challenging and unique; to mash them together means one side or the other is likely to be short-changed in management's mind, contributing to the failure of the project.
For anyone interested, here's a PDF history of IBM's time recording machine business, circa 1956: http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/cc/pdf/cc_2407TED1.pdf
"How bad (or not) previous generations of businesses actually were? "

Answer: Really bad, in many cases, but it did not matter until things went global.

Tech destroys entire industries

Example #1 Traditional retail, thanks to Amazon.
Example #2 Wedding photography, where the competition is a smartphone and the bride/groom/guests no longer care about the quality of the end product.

This does not mean "tech" is bad - the stakeholders and players just have to move on.

Tech definitely needs to be second-in-line - if management does not know what its business is or should be, and insists that all requests for funding be summarized to one paragraph., the organization probably does not need tech. It should just be allowed to boil in its own pudding.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4555
+2 Walter - for plain speaking and for evocative metaphors (see "pudding") too.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I find it strange that a corporation would need a consultant to tell them that they need to "go digital" - surely management knows that robots, machines and software are capable of delivering good ROI and that if the organization does not go digital, the competition will, with obvious implications.

Corporations new to digital are unlikely to have on-board staff capable of giving the organization a smooth ride.

"Been-there-done-that" consultants can reduce false starts and outright fails.

One important point IMO is there is no point streamlining parts of the operations side of a business and leaving others as they were.

Discussions regarding operations quickly expand to strategy and the periodic identification of initiatives and extent to which they tie up scarce corporate resources.

Just as there are best practice protocols in the operations area, there are bad, good, better and best ways to evolve corporate strategy - going digital in this area can help with the identification of initiatives, assessment of risks, prioritization of promising initiatives across competing initiatives and tracking ROI performance
References
  1. https://kwkeirstead.wordpress.com/
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 11
  • Page :
  • 1


There are no replies made for this post yet.
However, you are not allowed to reply to this post.