Development leaders! Project leaders and business analysts! Application & solution architects! Want to move forward on your Business Technology journey and be viewed by your business stakeholders as a valuable team member? Take a tip from last week's Forums held in Boston. Embrace business process management and customer experience. Don't ignore them, embrace them. Why? They're essential to helping you achieve your business outcomes.
I know, I know. You read the above and now think "Gee Kyle, what's next? Going to enlighten me on some new BPM or customer experience management technology that's going to transform my very existence, my company's future?"
Nope. Let me explain...
Last week we hosted over 250 of your Application Development & Delivery and Business Process peers in Boston and focused on how to succeed in the new world of customer engagement. The most impactful discussions I heard were the side conversations we held with attendees, sometimes occuring over dinner and cocktails. We didn't discuss technology. We discussed the skills your peers were developing in two fundamental areas:
- BPM - no, not the technology, but the Lean and Six Sigma based methods, techniques and tools organisations use to focus on business processes and not functions, to strive for continuous improvement and to focus on 'customer' value.
- Customer experience - defined more eloquently by my peer Harley Manning, but I'll summarise as the methods, techniques and tools used to understand "how customers perceive their interactions with your company."
You might look at these skills and think, "Our business has green and black belts trained on Lean Six Sigma. My team doesn't need that." Or you might say, "Customer experience? That's a marketing discipline."
Okay, the same was said in our side conversations. But the points many of your peers made were 1) if your business peers find these skills important, shouldn't you? and 2) mastery isn't the objective, familiarity alone can yield benefits.
We heard stories of how training business analysts on Lean and customer journey maps streamlined requirements discussions and reduced requirements churn. We also heard how educating solution architects and user experience designers on personas and scenario design helped development teams deliver not only useful and usable, but also increasingly desireable experiences - a best practice in UX design. More importantly, we heard from your peers that with these skills came increased confidence in their team's role supporting a desired business outcome.
If you still think you and your delivery teams don't need these skills, I don't think you could be more dead wrong. Why? If your firm seeks business process excellence or customer experience based business outcomes, who do you think they're going to ask to help deliver?
Posted by Kyle McNabb