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The Leonardo Blog

Indrajit Datta Chaudhuri

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Creating Value in Customer Experience Management

An organisation should be looking for ways to continually add value.At it's core Customer Experience Management understands what is of value for a customer, and how we create/deliver value, that will lead to actions that result in a good customer experience. Value, in simple terms, is when the business offering meets the customer needs. Defining ‘value’ Value is usefulness; value is utility; value is a problem solved. Value feels good. Organisations constantly try to add value for their customers. In the past, there has been a siloed approach to adding this value. Each department put in an effort and attempted to give their best, only to find out that individual best does not necessarily lead to a holistic best, as sometimes the department’s direction is in conflict with others. A customer gets a good product and service when all the participants attempt to make the interaction value-added for the customer (not just the customer facing). You may think that there is nothing new in this, and this is what people have always attempted. Every process-design effort undertaken in organisations has tried to achieve exactly that. The key difference is that here we don’t need a stakeholder priority matrix to identify who to impress and who not to. The stakeholder is pre-identified—it’s the customer. The moment we say that every participant in the process is a customer, we are losing focus. Here is where ‘product/service view’ comes into play. The following section is an attempt to reconcile the process and product/service views, and how that approach helps shift the focus from internal process participants to the customer. Reconciling product/service, process and experience Dr Michael Roseman, in his article Process management as service (2010), gave a very good description of process and service: ‘Process’ and ‘Service’ are complementary views on the same capability of an organization. As two distinct ‘sensitizing devices’, however, their associated viewpoints stress alternative facets of organizational capabilities. A process view sharpens the understanding for the operational model of a capability. It provides the required analytical foundation to reflect on the current and potential future performance of a capability as far as this performance can be impacted by the way it is delivered. As such, a process view can be seen as an approach to ‘white box a corporate capability’. In contrast, a service-oriented (external) view on a corporate capability can be regarded as a ‘black box’ perspective. The emphasis is, as described above, on the conscious abstraction of the internal operations of this capability. Instead, the focus is on the overall value proposition (what can the service provide?), the related costs, the underlying governance model (‘what happens when the service fails, i.e., service continue management’), and further non-functional service properties as part of a service level agreement (response time, quality standards, etc.). It is important to have a service (and/or product) view, because that is what the customer is ultimately consuming; the processes remain the mechanisms to deliver the service (and/or product). For example: In a salon, the haircut is a service: take a ticket, wait, get a haircut and then pay for the haircut (make payment) is the process. The combination of a quick cut, easy payment and a nice hairstyling that gets you positive attention by your friends is good customer experience. Product/Service is about benefits. Process is about the mechanism to deliver a product/service. Experience is about the overall feeling that the customer has about the interaction. Framework Considering a customer as a single entity in a process design implies that all customers can be treated in exactly the same way. However, representing all customers in a similar manner oversimplifies and generalises the needs of the specific categories of customers. Customers with similar needs can be categorised together, and processes can be designed to cater for these different categories. These customer categories with similar needs can be called ‘persona’. The following diagram depicts the perspective of aligning customer needs with the business offerings. Figure 1: Value creation and delivery approach This diagram has two sections. The top section is where an individual customer is considered from the point of view of his/her needs. Patterns are matched and customer personas are generated, and these represent a group of customers with similar needs. These needs of the various personas are the needs that, when satisfied, creates value. The other perspective is the organisation view, where the business goals are delivered through execution of business processes. Business processes produce outcome; they deliver products and services while catering to the needs of the customers represented by the personas. The value zone represents the interface where needs are fulfilled, and the customer gets a good overall experience. We are aligning what the business has to offer with what the customer needs. Needs that have two components: the stated needs, and the unstated needs. Good customer experience is the combined effect of fulfilling both needs. Figure 2: Components of customer experience To ensure the end user is in focus, we need to take a product/service view as well a process view. A product/service view ensures that the end-user needs are in focus, and a process view acknowledges that the outcome is a combined effect of multiple activities that span across the individual organisation entities.

An introduction to Process Mining

This article provides a brief introduction to the data-driven, process-discovery technique called process mining. It compares traditional process modeling based on interviews and workshops with process mining. The authors also seek feedback to help understand the current perceptions of process mining.  What is process mining? For any process-improvement project, understanding the current state, usually via as-is process models, is important. Stakeholders are interviewed, existing documents are reviewed, and a process model is created using a modeling tool. Such process models are mostly based on stakeholder perceptions of the process. This can be a good approach, possibly the only approach, for processes that are mostly manual. However, with increasing IT system involvement in process execution, there is a wealth of information recorded in various system or event logs. These traces present the facts—that is, evidence of real events that have happened or, in other words, the real as-is. Process mining creates a process model from the data in the traces or event logs, and this represents the current-state operation that is based, not on perceptions, but on hard evidence of what actually has happened. Using event logs maintained by information systems, the real-life process flow—with all of its possible paths, including exceptions and escalations—can be visualized using specialized process mining software. The generated process flow allows detailed analysis of the current state. Process mining is about visualizing the as-is process; it is an aid to analysis, but the process mining tool does not provide solutions or to-be processes.  CLICK TO TWEET Process mining can be very effectively used to improve and enhance organizational processes. #processmining #bpm - http://hubs.ly/H01_28L0 Process Mining Scenarios There are many possible process mining use cases. Three scenarios are described below. Scenario 1: Process discovery from event logs The first use case, illustrated in Figure 1, focuses on process discovery. Event logs are extracted and made ready for mining—that is, the data is cleaned and reformatted for a process-mining tool. The process flows generated by process-mining tools are more reliable than those created by interviewing process stakeholders. The event logs reveal the real process, rather than how it’s perceived by its actors. Exception scenarios (most likely neglected in interviews) can be discovered, and overall process performance is highlighted. This process-discovery scenario provides data for future process analysis and improvement, and a basis for further analysis, such as process compliance, or a prediction of process paths based on historical data. Imagine a customer-care center. A customer registers a complaint; the system then records the details as a ‘case’, and the customer-care agents work to resolve the case—writing comments, involving different teams as required and, finally, closing the case. Customers have complained that, every other day, different agents call them to ask for more details, but nothing happens after that. Process mining can read the logs for each case, and then visually display the process in as much detail as required. This will discover the ‘real’ process and show what is actually done (and what is not done). This information can be used for further analysis   Scenario 2: Process conformance check The second scenario, illustrated in Figure 2, focuses on process conformance checks, where event logs are checked against the ideal process. The ideal process could be an improved and optimized version of the process outcome of scenario 1 (process discovery). It could also be an independently designed process. The process mining tool converts event log files into a process model, and then checks this real-life process model against the ideal. Mismatches between the process model derived from event logs and the ideal process are diagnosed, and non-conformances highlighted and visualized—this allows these process parts to be further analyzed and optimized. For example, every company needs to maintain accounts using fixed processes for capturing financial transactions. Auditors benefit from using a process-driven approach by using process-mining methods to highlight deviations from accounting standards. Once real process non-compliance is highlighted, the deviations are the subject of further analysis and improvement. Scenario 3: Process enhancements The third scenario (see Figure 3) focuses on process enhancement, where event logs are analyzed to enhance or improve a process. It starts with process discovery, followed by process evaluation and optimization—then, various performance parameters of a process are analyzed to improve the process performance. An ideal process model could also be used within this enhanced process to identify and highlight mismatches. For example, in order processing, the process steps representing the bottlenecks can be precisely highlighted. This is very similar to process simulation, but uses actual transaction data that is seldom used by simulation. If we discover that the ‘order review’ is taking the most time, we will then do further analysis. Process change will be based on the reality that is represented by event logs in the system. Summary Process mining can provide useful insights that facilitate improvement in process performance. The deficiencies of interview and workshop-based process discovery can be overcome. In the case of audits, process mining can be used to identify non-conformance. Process mining can be very effectively used to improve and enhance organizational processes.  

Test cricket explained for beginners via an EPC

Senior Consultant Indrajit Chaudhuri has created this EPC diagram that explains the magnificent game of Test Cricket to beginners who carry a certain fascination for a process approach.

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