Sunday, July 6, 2008

High level processes and customers

We were working with a client last week as part of an ongoing project to transform their organisation, and we were discussing the concept of high level processes with their executive management team.

We could see "the penny drop" or as my colleague called it, they had an epiphany when they realised that their processes were nearly all internal and focused on intra-departmental operations. They realised how little consideration was given to customers. They are a semi-government regulatory body, so they have many stakeholders, and are funded by government as a non-profit body. It is perhaps understandable that they don't think much about customers.

However, as a result of the session with them, they realised how they could better re-structure their operations, and at the same time define their processes from a customer/stakeholder perspective so that they could improve stakeholder satisfaction.

It seems to me that many companies re-structure without much thought about how their various parts work together, and the structure is based on functional, departmental designs and not how to deliver on the company's strategic focus.

Can you think of any companies that seem to have processes that are designed for themselves and not the customer? I exclude government and their agencies from this, as they are the biggest culprits in my experience.

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