Since I am selling Questetra BPM Suite, a Cloud-service for Business improvement, sometimes I have been consulted by customers about how to improve their business when I am on a sales visit.
I myself am not a Business consultant, so I can’t give a great advice. However, many of the points which I advertise to sell Questetra BPM Suite overlaps with the way to organize challenges that lurk in the customer’s business. So, I would like to introduce that method to you briefly.
Considering from the Perspective of the Business Process
To determine the kind of customer’s challenges will our service, Questetra BPM Suite, give solution to, I make sure if the target business is properly visualized or not, by looking at it from three perspectives.
The three perspectives are “Rule”, “Progress (status of proceeding)”, and “Performance”. When you consider these three perspectives, the kind of problems there are for not being properly visualized are the ones that bring up the challenges that lurk in that business.
If the Rule was not Visualized…
What I mean by when a “Rule is not Visualized” is a state where the standard flow for the business operation is unclear, or set vaguely. In such a state, there will be problems where each business issue flows differently, or overlooked and missing issues happen.
In an operation of inquiry handling, for example, checking before the submission of reply is performed or not depending on the personnel who wrote the answer.
If Progress was not Visualized…
What I mean by when “Progress is not Visualized” is a state where you do not know the situation at this particular moment, about who is working on which work-step, or how many issues are currently ongoing, despite the rules of the operation being determined.
In such state, there will be problems, such as unnoticed delays of issues, unnoticed burden on staff, or inability to understand in which step are many issues stagnating at.
In inquiry handling operations, even if there are many inquiries for the contact person, you do not know whether or not he or she is properly resolving them.
If Performance was not Visualized…
What I mean by when “Performance is not Visualized” is a state where you cannot understand the result of jobs that are already done regarding the number handled and the time it took to handle them. That is, for example, how many issues an employee has processed during a month or a year, which work-step the personnel worked on, or how long it took to process each work-step.
In such situations, you cannot set goals of work volume or time, which could be an indicator of business quality. Which makes it difficult to work towards the goal.
For inquiry handling operation, there will be the issue that you cannot set a target response time because you do not know the average time between reception of an inquiry and the corresponding reply.
Relation with PDCA Cycle
You will get closer to an improvement when you organize challenges in business processes in the manner I have mentioned above. That is to visualize your business in the aspects of Rule, Progress, and Performance. I would like to leave the explanation about visualization methods for another time. So I am going to briefly talk about the relation between three aspects of visualization and the PDCA Cycle.
(I will omit the explanation of what the PDCA Cycle is.)
An activity of Business improvement is to iterate PDCA Cycle. And that is closely related to activities of visualization of business processes.
You will understand by the explanation given so far, that the four steps of PDCA Cycle can be associated with the visualization of the business process as the following list shows.
- Plan: Visualizing Rule
- Do: Visualizing Progress
- Check: Visualizing Performance
- Action: Discussion for improvement → Reviewing on Rule
You will hardly know what to do if I tell you to iterate the PDCA Cycle, but if I tell you to visualize your business process for the three aspects, you could easy work on it.
Business improvement might become easier when you consider it as the improvement of business processes.
That’s it for today!
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