Making a case for enterprise case management

Blindfolded-BusinessmanYour processes are in a mess. You have no idea how much work actually comes into the organization. You want to invest in a Case Management tool but just don’t know where to begin. The vendors all pitch forward with suggestions and want a few coins for a decent licence sale so it makes sense to pick a nice juicy process doesn’t it ?

No.

Invariably both your vision and the vendors will be opposite.

  • What makes sense for me commercially ? (the vendor)
  • What makes sense for my business case ? (the business)

You see, there are perhaps only two customer service processes in the entire enterprise that will be your first candidates for implementing a solution if [caveat] your intentions are to eventually scale across the organization. Otherwise both you and the vendor will limit the grand vision and a point solution is all that will come of it. That and another beleaguered workforce who have to bear the cost of multiple applications to handle the simplest of tasks.

It takes two, baby

So what two processes do I recommend you look at then ? Simple:

  • Customer Enquiries
  • Customer Complaints

Both processes sit across all product and channel domains. This is especially true if you’re looking at a Case Management solution for the majority of enquiries logged will incomplete, inconsistent and incorrectly routed.

Building the case

But why only these two ? It boils down to where they ultimately lead.

Complaints is perhaps one of the best processes to actually tell you from a customer’s perspective what is actually wrong with your organization, not what you think is wrong with it. Whether you like it or not, the customer has their finger on the pulse of your broken processes more than you do. And implementing an automated solution, whether simple workflow or full-blown case tool, will give you that much needed insight and tracking in order to support further process improvement and widen the scope for Case implementation.

Enquiries is a real mixed bag but it’s a piece of the servicing layer that sits right at the top with hooks into everything. What’s more, built in the right way it will contain all the fundamentals for process and component reuse, again especially from a Case solution point of view. This is an inherent problem when tackling implementations with a view to making it enterprise scale. Deliver a point solution to take care of a specific pain point and you tie yourself in knots further down the line. That quick win to prove it works will become a millstone round your neck so don’t let a vendor hand you the rope.

Now get started

Forget creating triage clinics and patching tactical wounds without a strategic goal in mind. Look for processes that cut across domains and that will tell you more about your business operations and what your consumers think of you than curing divisional pain point.

Both enquiries and complaints should be used as examples within a business case for creating and supporting a process-centric organization and radiate the benefits from there.

Now all you have to do is pick the right tool. Simple isn’t it.

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Categories: BPM, Continuous Improvement, Process Management

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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One Comment on “Making a case for enterprise case management”

  1. April 15, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I agree that enterprise Case is the way to go and I agree that Complaints and Enquiries are strategic processes for most organizations

    If the objective is to demonstrate the merits of enterprise Case, what counts for me is selection of an initiative that that spans a few functional units so that critics cannot say “it works there but not necessarily here”. Beyond this there is a risk of getting bogged down.

    Going the ROI route where before/after can be published is the best way to demonsrate the merits of Case.

    I wonder if organizations put too sharp a focus on becoming “process centric” in the current economic environment – as the mix of unstructured (knowledge worker) activity increases relative to structured work, it can be argued that “processes” get replaced by “process fragments” and that “processes” only exist post-run-time as a result of process fragments being threaded together, augmented by ad hoc interventions.

    We know that process objectives (i.e reaching the end of a stuctured series of steps) are not the same as Case objectives.

    We also know that Case objectives often need relative “weights”. (reaching objective “A” may not be as important as reaching objective “B”)

    Therefore, in Case, it may be that the principal focus should be on assessing progress toward attaining Case objectives with BPM-like activity doing its thing silently in the background (guidance and guardrails).

    This in no way diminishes the importance of BPM or ECM or CPM, all of which can be valuable in managing Cases, with ACM as an overarching methodology within a cross-case auto-resource allocation leveling and balancing workflow management environment.

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