Why your smart people don’t like your workflow system
I believe there are a number of reasons why XMPro will genuinely achieve your business improvement goals better than any other business process management (BPM) software you may consider.
XMPro will handle 100% of your business processes completely. Any other system could easily fail to fully address up to 50% or even more of your needs. Why is this?
Workflow and business rules in other BPM applications assume that you can always define the correct next step from the position you are in. They force you to use arrows in their workflows to direct processes from one step to the next. And those arrows are laid down at the time the process is built. However, services-based businesses are not production line businesses and this ‘happy day’ scenario is not how the real world works. Your people are faced daily with a myriad of choices, both deviations and opportunities, that could never be incorporated into a defined arrow-flow. When this happens all other BPM applications lose their power and value. People are forced ‘off the page’ and onto telephone, email and spreadsheets to solve the problem. Typically these activities are not captured, in fact are literally hidden and never show up in the audit trail for risk and improvement analysis.
This reality will reveal itself as your project moves into execution and especially when your focus shifts from cost saving in the back office to revenue making and customer engagement. Improvement plans will turn to areas like customer satisfaction and time to revenue. You want to change your image in the eyes of your clients and increase profitability through your certainty of deliverables. You will want to give your sales people the ability to confidently say ‘yes’ instead of ‘maybe’ or ‘I don’t know’ and to make those things happen in front of the client. The front office is where surprises lie at every turn. How a business handles these truth-points tends to drive its success and competitive advantage.
XMPro addresses this in two ways. Firstly, the concept of workflow arrows is optional. XMPro can allow a set of steps to be done in any order and at any time. Some of the possible steps may be situational and XMPro allows your people to use their experience and wisdom to make the right choices in the moment, rather than forcing them down a predefined path they know to be wrong. Secondly, if someone finds themselves “dropping off the page” they can instantly create an ad hoc task within the current step that allows them to take alternative actions, including contacting colleagues who may be able to assist and resolve the issue. All of these ad hoc tasks and social peer collaboration remain within your compliance guardrails and also appear in the audit trails for risk and improvement monitoring.
The design philosophy within XMPro is one of adaptability and flexibility. The real world tells us that rigidly defined processes do not satisfy service-based businesses. Processes need to easily evolve and transform as opportunities present themselves. When people find themselves in unfamiliar territory they need the system to offer them contextual intelligence and considered guidance. Casual peer-to-peer collaboration needs to be captured within a process for audit and performance purposes.
You hire expensive people for their skill and experience. XMPro allows them to succeed while keeping your costs and compliance in check.
These differences are what will make the implementation of your process improvement strategy through XMPro a success from the bottom to the top of the business.
You can read more about Professional Advantage and XMPro here.