Continuous Improvement as a culture
Digital transformation takes time. By adhering to Business Process Management (BPM) practices, many goals and objectives will be met along the digital journey. But to have lasting effect, a program of continuous improvement must be adopted. Continuous improvement really should be a culture and mindset for everyone in the delivery lifecycle, as the business demands will continue to evolve and change over time; and the delivery team must be ready to move.
Step 3: Continuous Improvement
The underlying goals and objectives for a digital enterprise need to be understood, shared, and updated as market conditions, technology or external influences change. To accomplish this, there should be a strategic digital framework in place that is managed and maintained for the enterprise. The framework is leveraged as changes are made to existing products or services, but also as new products or services are created in order to standardize the overall delivery lifecycle within the organization. Business rules, key metrics and governance are aspects that should be built into the framework, in addition to automation expectations.
All products and services should have an owner, who is responsible for the overall health of the delivery mechanism for that product or service. The owner should review the quality and process metrics to identify potential areas of improvement. Additionally, anyone in the organization should be able to suggest improvements based on their participation in or observation of the delivery lifecycle, which would document and manage. Understanding the current state of the delivery process, working towards a new target state and doing the work to get there should be a repetitive pattern that is repeated frequently for the product or service in order to increase value to the consumer on an ongoing basis.
It is always critical for the product or service owner to remain engaged with representatives from the business to understand new demands, changes in their expectations and changes to the services they are providing to their customers. The demands on technology are ever increasing and changing at a rate that is almost impossible to maintain. Becoming a true partner with the business to understand their strategic goals and objectives is critical in anticipating how the products or services they consume need to evolve over time.
The business is becoming increasingly aware of new technologies and innovation. The organization must be able to incorporate new technology into the delivery process as seamlessly as possible, and as quickly as possible to delight the customer. To accomplish this, the delivery organization must do its own research and development, and be aware of new trends or changes in the marketplace to anticipate new demands before they are actually requested. Knowing the business and remaining informed is mandatory, if the organization is to maintain or improve customer satisfaction. The world is changing, and finding solutions directly from other sources has become commonplace, so it requires a continuous commitment and focus to remain ahead of the curve and be successful in today’s environment.
Business Process Management (BPM) practices and techniques can truly resolve a variety of business problems that face any technical organization. Taking the time to understand all the current conditions, including the business expectations, objectives and goals, is always the first place to start. Resolving identified issues, inefficiencies and/or unsatisfied demands, as part of the next target state, will increase the overall business value delivered to the customer. Embracing a continuous improvement approach as the way to evolve the organization will result in enhanced customer satisfaction, increased profit and less time to deliver those exceptional products and services.