Empathy for the Customer
Subject-oriented business process management provides high-speed creation of transparent offers
S-BPM is a process description method which takes into account the living process, including communication among the involved parties. Using it in the offer process ensures that the offer truly reflects the original wishes of the customer.
All of us probably know a game called “Whispers” or “Gossip” from kindergarten. The object of the game is to transmit a message or short story by whispering it from one person to the next. When the message reaches the last person in the chain, the original and the final version are compared. This was great fun for all of the children because, as you can easily imagine, the original and the final version of the story frequently differ significantly.
While this may have been charming and funny in kindergarten, it is neither intended nor desirable during business procedures and processes. Yet it may well happen – during the submission of offers, for example – that serious discrepancies appear in the communication chain between the customer’s wishes, what the seller understood, and what is really wanted. Or the query is modified during the course of the business process to such an extent that the customer barely, if at all, recognizes the request or discerns only hints of it. When a number of people are involved in the creation of offers, it is thoroughly possible that the process will take on a life of its own. The offer process is one area in which we have methodically applied subject-oriented business process management (S-BPM). We have sensed that this method leaves room for empathy among the subjects during the analysis, in the design, and during the implementation – completely in accord with customer wishes.
Still, one of the most important objectives of BPM is the automation of processes. How does that fit in with empathy? We maintain as a working hypothesis that empathy is possible while automating processes with S-BPM.
The highlights of subject-oriented BPM
S-BPM shortens the process analysis as well as the development and implementation time for the processes, paving the way to the realization of cost benefits. The key point is the reduction and the focus on the essentials. When applied properly and in the light of carefully considered action, S-BPM fulfills the function of an enabler for the simultaneous mining of decentralized potential and centralized synergies.
Major success factors for the application of the methodology are the well-structured BPM toolkit containing five elements for a decisive contribution to reduction of complexity. The subjects involved in the process can be providers of information. But they become especially valuable when they slip into the role of the modeler or, even better, lose themselves in this role completely. Empathetic discussion among the involved parties is relevant for success as it clears the view for reality, the way the process is actually lived. The involvement of the process stakeholders leads to a high level of acceptance for the adaptation of the processes being implemented to fit demand. Potential, hidden know-how, and corresponding process knowledge are identified and made available by everyone acting in unison.Next page