Since I’m responsible for selling Questetra BPM Suite, I’ve been asked about methods of business improvement by customers.
I’m not a management consultant, so I can’t give you precise advice. However, many of the ways in which you organize your business challenges overlap with the ways in which I promote Questetra BPM Suite to customers.
Thinking About the Business from Process Perspectives
When considering what kind of problems Questetra BPM Suite solves for our customers’ business, I look at the target business from three perspectives and make sure if it is sufficiently visualized.
The three perspectives are «Rules», «Progress status» and «Actual results» in business processes. Considering carefully what kind of problems are caused by the lack of visualization from these three perspectives will help you identify the challenges for the business.
What if you can’t visualize the rules?
Lack of visualization means you don’t standardize the flow of the target business, and it is fixed in some way. In that situation, problems such as different flows of business depending on the business, or oversights and omissions in work will occur.
In the case of inquiry handling work, some people responsible for creating an answer may not check it before submitting it.
Example of Visualized Rule
What if you can’t visualize the progress status?
This means you don’t grasp the current progress status in terms of the person in charge of the Task or the number of Issues, even if business rules have been determined.
In that situation, you can’t recognize when Issues are being delayed, burdens on the staff, and at which stage a lot of Issues are being held up.
In the case of inquiry handling work, if a lot of inquiries are being raised it is difficult to know if they are being dealt with properly or not.
Example of the visualized progress status
What if you can’t visualize the actual results?
This means you don’t know the number of cases processed in the past month or year, the type of Task which has been processed the most, and the average amount of time spent for processing each Task.
In that situation, it becomes difficult for you to set business goals because you can’t set the number of cases and time per case that are indicators of business quality.
In the case of inquiry handling work, you can’t set a target response time because you don’t know the average time from the acceptance of an inquiry to the transmission of an answer.
Example of visualized results
Relationship with the PDCA cycle
Once the issues in the business process have been dealt with in the way mentioned in the previous section, you can achieve the desired improvement. In other words, you have to visualize your business from three perspectives: rules, progress status, and actual results; which is described further in the other article. Anyway, I will briefly describe the relationship between visualization from these three perspectives and the PDCA cycle. (I will not describe the PDCA cycle.)
Business improvement activities are closely related to the visualization of business processes including the PDCA cycle.
You can see that the four steps of PDCA and the visualization of business processes are related as follows.
- Plan: Visualized rules
- Do: Visualized progress
- Check: Visualized actual results
- Action: Discuss improvement → Review rules
It may be difficult for you to understand exactly what to do by repeating the PDCA cycle, but you can easily work on business improvement by visualizing business processes from these three perspectives.
I guess you may be able to work on business improvement by regarding it as business process improvement.
Thank you for reading!