Take any random sample of articles, blogs, case studies and any marketing material that you have read on Business Process Management or Business Process Re-engineering, most of them talk about this common business lingo –
Return on Investment (RoI)
Technology Cost Optimization (TCO)
Reduced Operational Costs
Accelerated Process Times
And so on…
While these maybe true (and yes they are most of times the end objectives that enterprises would need to achieve by implementing BPM or BPR), there is one objective that is less talked about and probably not marketed enough (J) – that is Quality of Service.
Again, Quality of Service has two facets to it – (1) ‘Quality of Service’ with which you serve the customers and (2) ‘Quality of Service’ with which you enable your employees to deliver their services
While RoI, Reduced Operational Cost etc are most of the times served as the driving factors and used as metrics to define and measure your success, it is always recommended that one must center their efforts around ‘Quality of Service’ when they plan to reengineer their business processes. This will not only help you meet your today’s objectives but would help you sustain over a long run and keep in tune with the ever demanding ‘change & growth’ aspects of the business.
So, what is the difference between the two approaches that we are talking about here? It is mainly the approach to the problem. Let us say, you are trying to reengineer a business process, say for example, due diligence of a customer boarding your business and you want to reduce the typical process time from weeks to days. If you have planned your approach to the solution only in terms of accelerating the different steps involved in the process, probably you would be building an interim solution. But if you have planned your approach to the solution by understanding and analyzing the process gaps thoroughly which involves the Quality concerns associated with the two ends of the coin – the customer and your business delivery team – then probably you would be building a long-term solution.
Another important difference is that the ‘Quality of Service’ approach involves your employees or business-delivery teams participate in the definition or re-definition of your business processes. It helps you identify ‘why they are not able to deliver their services to their fullest, what are the areas where they are spending more time than desired to perform a given task and why, what are the areas they are going back and forth with their peers, managers or subordinates in delivering their duties and why, and so on…”. They need to be consulted and listened to than just being imposed with your ideas and implementations. The approach may also probably help you pre-identify tomorrow’s concerns and have a solution built in for that in your present reengineering implementation.
So, it is always a recommended approach having ‘Quality of Service’ at the center of the circle as a primary and long-run objective and other lingo and metrics that we talked about here as by-products to validate our short-term or mid-term objectives.