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“We achieved phenomenal results leading to an extremely efficient organization. The time required to process commissions with accurate results was reduced by more than 50% with the new process implemented. The capacity gained eliminated the need for additional resources to accommodate Cisco's growing sales force and transaction volume.”

JuneAn Lanigan
Director (former)
Cisco Systems

 

How Data Unveils Clues to the Solution – Part 1

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.40.19 AMIf there were only one analytical technique the business process improvement (BPI) team could use, it should be quantitative data—and then I would expand quantitative data to include baseline data, customer data, and analytical data.

Baseline data is data that provides quantitative values to the measures for each of the two or three BPI improvement targets (goals) that the Process Owner specifies for the improvement project.  This baseline data says how the process is performing today. It provides two clues towards process solutions.

  1. Should we even be working on this process?  If the baseline data does not objectively prove that the process is critically underperforming, well, maybe this is not a process that really needs to be analyzed and improved.
  2. The baseline data gives the Process Owner quantitative values for how the process is currently performing; with this actual data he sets the goal values for the process once it is redesigned and implemented.  Everyone will then know the size of the gap and the expectations for the future.  If the expectations are large, there are implications for  future budget investments in automation, technology, and major organizational or role changes.  If the expectations are smaller, there are implications for less dramatic smaller changes that probably impacting fewer functions in the organization, and will be easier to implement. 

By customer data, I mean voice of the customer data, e.g. from structured customer interviews, customer panels or focus groups, usability testing, going out and observing the customers in their work environment, and other methods (See blogs How to Learn From Your Customer Parts 1 and 2)  Customer data must be collected from the mouth of the customer and not assumed. 

Customer data

  1. Identifies what is valuable in the current process
  2. Clarifies the size of gaps from today to what is desired
  3. Suggests countermeasures to fix current problems from their perspective
  4. Identifies varying needs for different customer segments
  5. Requests functionality and services that are not in the current offering
  6. Hints at new possible products that are not even developed

Customers provide a wealth of information right from the ‘horse’s mouth’.  The challenge for the BPI team is to figure out which are the critical elements and then figure out how to design for them and execute them.

Part 2 will discuss Analytical data to understand your process more thoroughly. 

Want To learn more about how to identify and capture baseline data and customer data, register for Starting and Organizing a BPM Project, May 21 and 22, 2014 or see my new book,  The BPI Blueprint.

 

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