PEX Sydney a very good customer experience

My annual visit to present, judge and deliver the PEX CPP Program at this splendid event on Darling Harbour did not disappoint.
See below for my presentation on the theme of raising the bar to win customer gold.

This year an eclectic mix of speakers and subjects kept us enthralled throughout. Chair this year was evergreen Morgan Jones (BOC) who lifted energy levels, provided great entertainment (I noted a few of his cheesy jokes) and most of connected everyone with a mix of insight, professionalism and skill.

Morgan can be rightfully pleased with himself as this year he was the recipient of the Best Improvement Manager of the year Award, and recipient of a very well deserved Most Valuable Contribution to BI in Australasia Award.
Morgan Jones, BOC received not one but two Awards!

It isn't often we see Morgan speechless however that evening was one of those occasions!

A feature of the event is the cocktail evening which provides opportunities to network and exchange those new war stories. Lisa Ao and Ross Clayton of IQPC did a splendid job as hosts to keep proceedings moving and ensure we all had a great time.

The winner of the Best BI Award was Sven Verbreek Wolthuys - D.E Coffee and Tea. His work across Sara Lee is an inspiration to all.

The presentation I was asked to deliver addressed the theme of new customer expectations. How can we get in front of the song and make sure we control our processes to deliver Successful Customer Outcomes? Enjoy!

The customer can't be king at the expense of your business, says Steve Towers

Steve Towers  Interviewed by NASSCOM's Goutam Das
Steve Towers
Steve Towers
Steve Towers is a business process and customer satisfaction expert and the author of "Outside In - The Secret of the 21st Century Leading Companies".

In India, he advises the Tata group, Wipro and other BPOs on ways to organise their processes and people better to deliver customer outcomes successfully. Towers, a speaker at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum , took time off for a conversation with Goutam Das. Edited excerpts:

Q. Have organisations started to worry more about customer centricity these days?
. It is top of the pile in terms of themes. Customer centricity, however, is not always understood. We tend to talk about it from a technology-centric point of view - we tend to think of information technology and front-end systems. We talk about CRM (customer relationship management) systems and things like that. Organisations need to move beyond what we refer to as 'inside out' thinking. One of the reasons to move forward is that customers themselves has changed. They have become promiscuous - they are not as loyal as they used to be. They have also become very rebellious - highly choosy in terms of who they want a product from. This causes them to move very quickly versus the longer-term relationships of the past. All our organisations are collections of customers and their expectations have risen with the availability of technology, which gives them access to a lot more information. Those organisations that understand that have been able to look at customer centricity in a different way. We refer to that way as "outside in".

Q. Explain your philosophy of 'outside in' and how companies have benefited from this.
It means identifying what customer needs are and then working backwards to organise the company accordingly. Those organisations that are struggling - the Kodaks, the Nokias, RIM - they are still looking at the world inside out. Those who have been successful have seen the world outside in. They are aligning their business to deliver against customer needs, which can be created. Emirates Airlines creates that need by talking about the experience that they are going to give you once you arrive at the destination. Disney tells a very good story on the difference between wants and needs. They often say the customer does not know what they want. When you arrive at a Disney park, the first question a customer may ask is: "Where's the toilet?"

The second most asked question is "What time is the Three O'clock Parade?" Customers are articulating a need within that question and the answer is in the context of that question. A woman with two small kids is not asking what time the parade is - she already knows the time - what she really needs to know is a place where she can go and stand with the kids, where there is a water fountain, an ice-cream vendor. She wants to be away from the hot sun. She hasn't articulated that but the organization understands that need. Disney works on the basis of needs, not wants. Similarly, Nokia was very successful 10 years back and went on building devices that customers wanted. Other organizations thought differently. Apple made an observation on how many interactions one needs to pull up a telephone number. In an inside out phone, that will be seven-eight key presses. Everyone of those key presses is a moment of truth. And you have to build functionality to support that moment of truth. More functionality means a more complex system. Apple redesigned the interface and there are three moments of truth instead of seven-eight. It is less expensive to do that and offers a better customer experience. That is a principle Nokia has missed.

Q. Do Indian companies have an outside in perspective?
There are two kinds of organisations. One: those who are carrying on building efficiencies and effectiveness and use things like Lean (a methodology of eliminating waste in a company) and Six Sigma to remove waste. Eventually, you get to a point where you optimise processes and can't go any further. Other organisations say Lean and Six Sigma are fine but we want to challenge if a process actually deserves to exist. In India, there is a clear distinction between those organisations that are getting it and those that don't.

Q. How do you measure who is getting it right?
It is winning the triple crown, which is simultaneously growing revenues, reducing costs and enhancing service. The triple crown can be directly linked to customer success. Instead of starting with resources a company has, then going to market strategy and then finding customers, you start with customers and their needs and then align everything in the organisation to deliver that. In India, IndiGo (Airlines) is a prime example of looking at the world in a different way. Contrast IndiGo with Kingfisher - they talk about the customer being the king but the customer can't be king at the expense of your business. The reason customer is king is that we can grow shareholder value, can create profits and deliver service. Other examples of companies looking outside in are Tata Motors and the transformation of Jaguar. 

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Where are you this week?

Where are you this week? We are in Brisbane, and the weather is just fine for mid winter.
The CPP Masters program with 15 folks is great fun! #cppmaster

And where are you next week? Still time to book for Sydney CPP Masters
Link here and join us for the annual Darling Harbour Masters:

The BPM Summit is coming to San Francisco (great case studies, speakers and diverse agenda)

The BPM community are chatting about the upcoming San Francisco Summit:

Here's a snapshot of the discussion:

Don’t let your existing capabilities and processes hold your business back.

Market volatility. Globalization. Data proliferation. All of this coupled with unprecedented operational, regulatory and economic pressures in a heightened risk management environment. The most effective way of dealing with these global threats?  Remaining focused on what matters: your customers. And that means enhancing enterprise performance to improve customer responsiveness and the delivery of business value.

PEX Network's Business Process Management Summit offers you the opportunity to drive real customer-centric business transformation while ensuring you are prepared for the challenges - and the opportunities - ahead.

Taking place September 17th – 20th in San Francisco, the conference includes over 20 international experts that will help you visualize, integrate and optimize your business operations landscape.

Atul Bhatt
Vice President, Business Architecture
Wells Fargo

Carol Guedez
Global Head, Quality & Efficiency
Orange Business Services

Mallikarjun Angalakudati

Head of Operational Performance
National Grid

Seth Marrs
GM Sales Force Enablement
GE Healthcare

Paul Harmon
Executive Editor, Business Process Trends
Chief Methodologist, BPTrends Associates

John B. Bertolet
Director, Global Process Management
Schneider Electric

Recently qualified Open session Certified Process Professional Masters (CPP-Masters)

9 countries – 32 CPP Masters® – 15 companies - Congratulations to all!

Aditya Godbole, Adrian Leith, Alejandro Rodriquez, Amit Kualagekar, Amjad Shaikh, Anneke Fourie, Ashish Sakharkar, Clare Soper, Darren Bryant, Ebey Philip, Elize Lessing, Ernst Kriek, Girivasan TC, Ibrahim Echu, Janine Claasens, Jary Brenes, Jatine Dhaya, Jummai Hassan, Keenan Malinich, Kim Elliott, Luis Benavides, Nilesh Bhawsar, Nirja Sonawane, Parthasaradhy Vuppalapaty, Rahul Jain, Saakshi Sapre, Saroj Shendey, Sinead Goldman, Stuart Soper, Sumeet Khedkar, Uthman Tijjani, Vikas Atri

Since 2006 we have helped qualify more than 25,000 Certified Process Professionals® through the BPGroup open programs - Review the latest

Australia this week - Fantastic PEX event

The PEX roadshow continues this week in Sydney. 

Monday we have the PEX CPP Levels 1&2 (sorry sold out) and Tuesday and Wednesday the Annual Conference at Dockside. Some terrific case-studies and the Awards programme Tuesday evening.

We will be reporting via #cppmaster and if you can make the trip come on down to:

We have got to get scientific about the Customer Experience (CX)

Customers have become sophisticated, promiscuous, rebellious, choosey and have access to more information than ever before. In fact they know more about your products and services than you do!

Make real the mantra "the customer experience is the process" and let's get scientific about CX. Join with us as we explore this virgin territory on the way to gaining a true and real understanding of CX across all walks of life. Beyond process and performance we will seek collaboration and turn thoughts into leadership, dreams into action and learning into experience.

To join our tribe and follow us as we launch CX scientifically :) <Enter your email on the left>

The process is over only when the customer says it is.

Are your processes bounded by the myopia of the organization? 

For instance Procure to Pay,   Order to Cash, Prospect to Customer and so on? 

If so you are in danger of fixing things and doing things right, rather than identifying what you should be doing and doing the Right things.

  The customer experience is the process. Does that work in your organization?

Technology is the means to the end, not the end in itself. It is just the same with pen and paper.

We are all citizens of the Information Age. Fifty years ago the first mainframes were being
deployed and provided us with a fantastic way to automate processes. Unfortunately the industrial age mindset prevailed and we now often have the tail wagging the dog. The technology dictating how we do business rather than the real needs of the customer.

Break out of the left to right, top down, linear straightjacket and create solutions that deliver customer success. After all technology is just todays pen and paper.

Is technology constraining your ability to change?
Does technology slow innovation in your company?
Return to the basics and figure out if it is really contributing, if not scrap it.

If things are changing faster outside than in, you will fail.

Sound obvious but is it really. How do you set about improving your business? Continually improving what you are doing, analyzing, leaning and removing variance? Oops. They say the road to hell is paved with good intention and so it with organizations working hard at the wrong things.

You need to go out and figure what the Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s) look like, then come back into your business and ensure everything you are doing aligns with that SCO.

Otherwise you can end up like RIM, Nokia, Kodak and so many other once famous brands now in terminal decline.

What is the balance in your organization. Have SCO’s been clearly articulated and do you know how your work explicitly contributes to them?

The Customer Experience is the process.

Where do your processes start and end?
Procure to Pay? Enquiry to Invoice? If so you are in the wrong place.

Where does the process really start, and end. It certainly isn’t contained by our functional specialist silo’s. You have to go out to the customer need and finish with the successful delivery.

How do you define process start and end? Is that really complete?

To link process with performance we need to rethink what we mean by performance.

How do you measure performance? Is it via the task, activities and outputs your organization achieves? Think about the call center for instance. The number of calls answered, processed and dealt with. Wrong.

Performance should be measured directly by the Outcomes and Results that are achieved. Stop measuring success by number of calls dealt with in 180 seconds and instead ask yourself did we deliver a Successful Customer Outcome?

Look at the Key Performance Indicators. How many measure how much to those that measure what was achieved?

Process is just another name for the work we do.

You have to like those folks who do not understand this. Everything that takes place in the
organization is part of a process. Marketing, Strategy, IT it is all the same thing. 

Knowing this is fundamental to an organizations success.

Linking everything we do though to the Successful Customer Outcome is all that we should be doing. If it doesn’t contribute to the Successful Customer Outcome then stop doing it.

How can you share this insight with your colleagues?

We shouldn't keep looking back at the past to define the possibilities for the future.

When great change happens new thinking is required.

When we all thought the earth was flat we didn’t build big ships (why we didn’t need them and could fallen off the ends of the world – who would have been so dumb to do that?).

Here we are again, mass customization, customer promiscuity, choice and high expectations. The Age of the digital consumer. Dee Hock, founder of VISA, says it is the biggest thing to happen since Renaissance Europe (about 500 years ago!)

Does your organization meet these new challenges with fresh thinking, or they simply extrapolating the (redundant) past.

How much do you need to know, to know you know, you know enough?

Many so called Performance Improvement approaches involve detailed analysis. In some cases

Go beyond the software prescriptions and excessive analysis.
When you know enough stop and move on.

What techniques are you using to understand (rather than analyze excessively) the nature of the work the organization does?

analysis paralysis!

Honestly though how much time should it take to understand something is broke and needs fixing?

Don't ask the customer want they want. Determine what they need.

Do you give our children everything they say they want? Of course not. 
Then why do we spend gazillions doing that with customers? Research and Focus Groups, Customer Panels, Surveys, Voice of Customer and so on.

The answer isn’t there.
You have to figure out what the customer needs even when they don’t know it themselves.

Remember Henry Ford’s quip: If I had given the customer what they want they would have said faster horses”!

Have you identified Customer Needs, or do you stop short with Wants?

Moments of Truth? Eradicate! Only improve a Moment of Truth if you can not remove it.

In 1997 Steve Jobs returned to Apple*. Over a period of 3-4 years he transformed the business into the most innovative company on the planet. One of his mantras was “the customer experience is the process”. Couple that with  ”If you find a Moment of Truth you should remove or improve it”.
Simple ideas that created one of the most successful companies in the universe.
What could you do with your Moments of Truth?

* For a complete transcript and video of that AWWDC 1997 event see here.

A Moment of Truth is any interaction with the Customer.

Richard Normann* gave this to the world back in the 1970’s.

Every interaction we have with customers creates a Moment of Truth. These interactions can be

If we apply engineering to Moments of Truth we can create optimum customer experiences. In fact the Moment of Truth is the root cause all the work in our organizations.

Moments of Magic, where everything works, customers get what they need and we operate with optimized service and cost control. More often however Moments of Misery occur. Customers experience poor delivery and queries cannot be satisfied.

Do you know how many Moments of Truth there are?


You are not in the business of doing things. You are in the business of achieving Successful Customer Outcomes.

Through my time with many amazing organizations and leaders I seemed to have acquired many quotes and sayings, sometimes from the inspiration of others sometimes slipped in to make a point as firms grapple with the needs of the 21st century. If you said some of these then thanks for your inspiration. If you heard me saying them then credit where it is due!

At a recent consulting engagement one of my clients captured more than ninety such quotes in a six month period. Let’s share some (with an explanation) over the next few weeks.

You are not in the business of doing things. You are in the business of achieving Successful Customer Outcomes.

A lot of work can be busy work. Are you actually contributing to a Successful Customer Outcome, or just moving the chairs around the deck of the Titanic?

How can you know? Simply put everything an organization does, from the tasks and activities through to strategy should be explicitly linked with a Successful Customer Outcome. If it isn’t you may get very good at doing things, but you won’t be doing the right things.

Is your work directly linked with a Successful Customer Outcome?

Part 3 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.

In the first two articles in this four part theme we reviewed 'Understand and applying Process diagnostics' and the 'Successful Customer Outcome' map.
We now move our attention to the third  way we can rethink process forever

Reframing process for an Outside-In world

A fundamental principle of Outside-In is the understanding of where your process starts and ends.

In the 20th century many techniques and approaches developed to better understand and create processes. In its earliest form pioneering work undertaken by the United States Airforce created modelling approaches based on the Structured Analysis and Design Technique (SADT) that produced iDEF (Integrate DEFinition Methods). iDEF became recognised as a global standard as a method designed to model the decisions, actions, and activities of an organization or system[1].  iDEF as a method has now reached iDEF14 [i] and embraces a wide range of process based modelling ideas. Concurrent with the development of iDEF technology providers created proprietary modelling approaches, and subsequently developed into modelling language standards, used by many organisations to represent their systems and ways of working. The convergence of business process modelling and business process management (BPM) has now produced a rich set of tools and techniques
able to model and ideally manage an organisation. In fact one of the more accepted definitions of BPM (based on the British Journal of Management[ii]): "Business process management (BPM) is a management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organisation with the wants and needs of clients. It is a holistic management approach"

Until a few years ago process management approaches looked within the boundaries of the organisation and the combination of modelling and management approaches were adequate to understand the enterprise. The impact of process management in improving organisation performance has been profound however we now face a different reality driven by the customer.

As a consequence both disciplines now present a series of problems that include

(a)    understanding the beginning and end of the process,

(b)   the techniques used to model process are inadequate and focused  on the wrong things

Strangely customer involvement in a process often appears as an afterthought and the actual representation systems (left to right, top to bottom) create an illusion that fosters the belief that “the customer isn’t my job”.

Let’s deal with each in turn by example:
a.     The beginning and end of process

To aid the discussion let’s look at two airlines, British Airways and Southwest, and we’ll review how they ‘think’ about their business through the eyes of process. If you sit down with British Airways executives and asked the question “where does your process start and end?” the response reflects the main source of revenue, seat sales.

So the answer “the process is from the ticket purchase to the collecting the bags off the carousel” is no great surprise. In fact that is the way we have mostly thought about process in that it starts when it crosses into organisation, and finishes when it leaves. We can easily model that, identify efficiency improvements, improve throughput and optimise apparent value add.

As far as British Airways is concerned what you do outside of that process is no concern of theirs, after all they are an airline and that’s what they do. Now let’s change our perspective and visit Love Field in Texas and meet the executive team of Southwest. Ask the guys the same question “where does your process start and end?” and the answer is a whole different viewpoint.

The process begins when the potential customer thinks of the need for a flight, and only ends when they are back at home following the journey. The scope of this process is defined by the phrase “the customer experience is the process”. That’s an Outside-In perspective and creates opportunities across the whole customer experience.

More than that it raises the prospect of additional revenue streams, spreads the risk associated with a dependency on seat sales, reinforces the customer relationship and develops an entirely different way of doing business.  So let’s ask another question of our friends at Southwest “guys, what business are you in?”, and the answer changes everything you ever thought about airlines forever “we’re in the business of moving people”.

Downstream Southwest may well turn the industry further on its head as they move from being the low cost airline to the ‘no cost airline’ and give their seats free of charge. What would that do to your business model if 95% of your revenues, as with British Airways, comes from seat sales?

The business challenge for Southwest becomes one of controlling the process to benefit and maximise the customer experience. That involves partnering, sharing information and doing all necessary to make customers lives easier, simpler and more successful.

Now how do you model that?

b.     The techniques used to model process are inadequate and focused on the wrong things

We have reviewed the ultimate cause of work for all organisations is the customer. Organisations exist to serve the customer though the provision of products and services and in this way develops revenue that goes to the profit and onward distribution to the stockholders.

In other organisations without the profit motivation, for instance the public sector, then the effective delivery of services is measured by citizens and stakeholders.  Accordingly it stands to reason that everything happening within the organisation should be organised and aligned to deliver customer success and anything that isn’t is potentially ‘dumb stuff’. The techniques we use to ‘capture’ process are however not suitable to understanding the causes of work and focus attention instead on the visible tasks and activities that are perceived to create value for customers. In the context of the enlightened customer[iii] this is at best misleading and at its worst actually part of the broader problem. In Outside-In companies the focus has shifted to understanding the causes of work, and then engineering those causes to minimize negative effects.

Once more to go Outside-In we need a perspective shift and we can achieve this by identifying those three causes of work and then set out to reveal them and their negative impact.

How big is the size of the prize? Efficiency and productivity gains of 30% to 60% are common. Cost reduction of services by 50% is not unusual.

Cause elimination is a seek and destroy mission. It’s the challenge to weed out the “dumb stuff” in our organizations.

By truly fixing the Causes of Work, rather than messing around with the Effects (a bit like moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic) we will all find our customers and employees life simpler, easier and more successful. Are you ready to challenge your assumptions and start eliminating those causes of work? Fix the Cause, remove the effect.



[ii] Understanding Business Process Management: implications for theory and practice, British Journal of Management (2008) (Smart, P.A, Maddern, H. & Maull, R. S.)

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Part 2 of 4: Identify and Align to Successful Customer Outcomes

In the first article in this four part theme we reviewed 'Understand and applying Process diagnostics'. We now move our attention to the second  way we can rethink process forever -
Identify and aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes

“Businesses can be very sloppy about deciding which customers to seek out and acquire” Frederick F. Reichheld

The six questions we ask ourselves in this iterative process are:

I.    Who is the customer?

At first glance should be an easy answer however it is not as obvious as it seems. The ultimate customer for any profit making enterprise is the person, or company who provides the revenue by purchasing the products or services we produce. It is a matter of fact that in our inside-out legacy world we have created multiple customer-supplier relationships which include internal ‘service’ providers such as Information Services, Human Resources and so on. In mature Outside-In organisations the internal customer ceases to exist as we progressively partner to align to Successful Customer Outcomes and artefacts such as Service Level Agreements become a thing of the past.

II.    What is the Customers current expectation?
The 2006 book “Customer Expectation Management “ Schurter/Towers reviewed in detail the of creating and managing customer expectations and how through clear articulation companies such as Virgin Mobile in the US redefine their market place. In the context of the SCO map we need to understand the customers (as identified in the answer to question 1) current expectation. This often reveals both a challenge and opportunity. Customers will tell it as it is, for instance in an insurance claim process “I expect it is going to take weeks, with lots of paperwork and many phone calls”. That should tell you the current service is most likely poor and fraught with problems, delays and expensive to manage however this presents the opportunity. If that is a market condition (all insurance claims are like this) then moving to a new service proposition will be a potential competitive differentiator.  

III.     What process does the customer think they are involved with?
In the inside-out world we see process in a functional context. Therefore insurance claims are dealt with by an insurance claims department. Customer Retention is the baby of you guessed it, the Customer retention department and marketing is done by the marketing people. This split of responsibility is a legacy of functional specialisation created by relating to business as a production line. Adam Smith wrote in ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776) of an English pin factory.  He described the production of a pin in the following way: ”One man draws out the wire, another straightens it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head: to make the head requires two or three distinct operations: to put it on is a particular business, to whiten the pins is another ... and the important business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which in some manufactories are all performed by distinct hands, though in others the same man will sometime perform two or three of them”. The result of labor division in Smith’s example resulted in productivity increasing by 240 fold. i.e. that the same number of workers made 240 times as many pins as they had been producing before the introduction of labor division. The insights form Smith underpinned the industrial revolution however using this principle to organise ourselves in the 21st century is to a very large part the wrong approach. That is precisely what the answer to the question will tell us – “sorry sir you are talking to the wrong department, let me transfer you”. Or even getting stuck in automated response system hell “press 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for the other and 4 if you have missed the first three options.” These are features of the labor division mindset. Ask a customer what process they think they are and you will frequently be surprised by the answer.

IV.    What do we do that Impacts customer success?
Often we ask customers to do numerous many activities which appear sensible  to receive service or indeed buy products. Relating back to the insurance claim we can see rules and procedure around how to make claims, the correct way to complete forms, the process of collating the information, the timeframes within which to claim, the way we can reimburse you and more.  Often times these restrictions that we impose made sense at some time in the past however they may no longer be relevant.

The situation is compounded by the way internal functional specialism focus on project objectives. Richard Prebble, a respected New Zealand politician writes in his 1996 book “I’ve been thinking” of the inability of organisations to think clearly of the amount of work they create and in fact “they spend a million to save a thousand every time”.
His story of the challenge within large organisations is typical "The Post Office told me they were having terrible problems tracking telephone lines ... They found an excellent program in Sweden which the Swedes were prepared to sell them for $2m .... So the managers decided to budget $1m for translating into English and another $1m for contingencies. But, as the general manager explained, it had turned out to be more expensive than the contingency budget allowed and they needed another $7m. "How much", I asked, "have you spent on it so far?" "Thirty-seven million dollars" was the reply. "Why don't we cancel the programme?" I asked "How can we cancel a programme that has cost $37m?" they asked   "Do you believe the programme will ever work?" I asked "No, not properly" "Then write me a letter recommending its cancellation and I will sign it" The relief was visible. I signed the letter, but I knew I needed new managers."

This type of inside-out thinking causes companies to create apparently sensible checks and controls within processes that actually manifest as customer inconvenience, cost and delay. Are you making the customers lives easier, simpler and more successful?

V.    The Successful Customer Outcome – what does the customer really need from us?
At this point we should have enough information to objectively create several statements that articulate the SCO. These statements should be specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). Usually there will 6-10 such statements which become the actual key performance measures as move the process Outside-In. For example a North American business school completed the SCO map and created these statements from the customer perspective for an ‘Education loan application’ process:
a.    I need to receive my financial assistance
b.    I need to receive aid  before the semester starts
c.    I need to attend the classes I have chosen
d.    I do not want to call to chase progress
e.    I need to receive the correct amount
f.    I do not want to have to fix your mistakes

There is no ambiguity here and we avoid a common mistake of using management weasel words such as ‘efficient, effective, timely’ which may mean things internally but to a customer are of little help. Creating SCO statements that may be used as measures for process success is a key aid on the journey to Outside-In.

VI.    And now we reach the core of the onion. What is the one line statement that best articulates our Successful Customer Outcome? This one-liner embodies the very nature of the process and sometimes the business we are in. In ‘Thrive- how to succeed in the Age of the Customer’ McGregor/Towers (2005), Easyjet (Europe’s second largest airline) is used as an example in this quest. Their simple “Bums on Seats” SCO sentence works both from a company perspective (we must maximise utilisation, offer inexpensive seats, get people comfortably and safely to their destinations) and the customers needs  “I need a cheap safe seat to get me to the sunshine quickly without a fuss”.  

The company one liner will become part of a series which are measureable through the SCO statements and can be tested and revised depending on evolving customer expectations and needs. It may in fact ultimately replace the inside-out strategic process and provide the organisation with its Raison d'être.

Of course when we start the journey it is often sufficient to create SCO maps to help grow understanding and even if the actual SCO Map is subsequently replaced (as we take a broader view) the improvement in understanding around the customer is invaluable.

In the third part of this four part series we will review "Reframe where the process starts and ends"

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PEX Network and the Process Community Annual Survey

Diana Davis, PEX Network
State of the Industry 2013 Process Excellence Survey – Take the survey
Dear member,

Do you know how your process excellence program compares to others within your industry?

And what about the general trends and success factors you need to know to take your process improvement journey to the next level? We need your help to find out!

Every two years, PEX Network undertakes a "State of the Industry" investigation into how organizations are approaching process management and improvement.

Our last report, produced in 2011, was read by over 5,000 of you and we were deluged with requests for more information.

We’re now undertaking an update to this earlier investigation - benchmarking where the industry is today against previous surveys.

All you need to do to contribute is to spend 5 minutes of your time answering the 18 multiple choice questions in our online survey. We’ll send you the results when they’re published in September.

>> Take the survey now
Be part of what we hope to be the most comprehensive study of the profession to date.

Yours sincerely,
Diana Davis
Senior Editor,

P.S. Please do invite your colleague’s to take part before it closes on 24 July by sending them link