Mindful Monday: Is the Enterprise ready to strike back?

While simplifying things is not so simple, it remains an important key to a great customer experience. The enterprise needs to simplify services, as well as how they are managed.

The digital disruption we find ourselves in today has resulted in an almost unlimited number of choices, which can drive the number of customer touch points through the roof. This can have a negative impact on the customer experience.

A successful customer outcome/experience is one that makes the customer’s life simpler and easier— as well as more successful. The basic improvement techniques of eliminating moments of truth (MOT), process break points (BP) and business rules (BR) apply today more than ever.

These elements — MOTs, BPs and BRs — are often MUDA from the customer’s point of view. This is why we want to streamline the customer journey, right?

The desire to accelerate flow from concept to product through a CI/CD pipeline may also be important to customers. They all want desired new features as quickly as possible, right?

But be careful about our desire to accelerate flow and spew out hundreds of new features that may not necessarily be what the majority of your customers want. Often their basic desires are much simpler, and in fact our frantic desire to find ‘Muda’ inside CI/CD pipelines can lead us back to inside-out thinking.

Another reality is that service management in today’s world of digital disruption is made ever more complicated as existing and emerging practice frameworks evolve. In fact, as service management expands to the entire enterprise now might be a very good time to think about simplifying your service management system.

Why simplifying service management can accelerate value delivery

How you manage services across the entire enterprise is no longer just an IT responsibility.

Establishing a simple, sustainable service management system will provide the basis for meeting customer expectations on a consistent basis and applies to the entire enterprise.

“…simplifying internal processes and structures will have positive impacts on the entire value creation capability of a company.”

Deloitte

The USM Method’s 5 processes and 8 standard workflows apply to all service providers inside or outside the enterprise and is one way today’s enterprise can strike back against the exponential increases in complexity felt by employees and customers.

“Managing complexity well can create… higher returns…lower costs…improved customer satisfaction…”

McKinsey

Want to find out more?

Join me over at ITSM Academy:

September 15th, 2022 at 11:00AM EST for a webinar titled ESM and the Big Re-Think and find out more about the Unified Service Management Method.

I’ll be following this with a series of two webinars over at the itSMF USA with the first one on:

September 22, 2022 at 1:00PM EST titled Simplifying Service Management for the Enterprise: ITIL v4 and the Unified Service Management Method

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Inside-Out Value Streams

Stuck in the Muda Again…

If we agree that all value originates outside the enterprise (i.e., Drucker), then the most important value stream is the customer journey value stream. And as that leads us to dive deep into the process river searching for ‘no-value-added activities’ we should be mindful about getting stuck in the ‘Muda ’ all over again.

Stuck in the Muda again…

Muda is a Japanese word meaning “futility; uselessness; wastefulness”, and is a key concept in lean process thinking

Wikipedia

While the focus on experience level agreements and value streams gets us aligned with external customers, and a wealth of guidance from practice frameworks help us pinpoint potential improvements, these are sometimes worlds apart.

No question about it, the need to accelerate flow is business-critical — accelerated ‘concept-to-product’ in the digital world is important. Movements like DevOps and CI/CD are happening for good reasons; every business wants to accelerate the time between “Ah-Ha!” and “Ka-Ching!”.

However, the rush to accelerate flow and spew out hundreds of new features is not necessarily what your customers may want. Often their basic desires are much simpler, and in fact our frantic desire to find ‘Muda’ often leads us back to inside-out thinking. The ITIL 4 guidance and things like experience level agreements are doing good things to help us avoid that.

Indeed, ITIL v4’s approach is to leverage the 4 dimensions (organizations & people, information & technology, partners & suppliers) along with value streams and processes to get a holistic view of service delivery.

While we can quickly adopt industry best practice frameworks, adapting them to ever-changing internal and external customer requirements is not so simple. This is partly because the who (people) and how (tools) are often tightly woven into a practice, which are ways of performing tasks in actual situations.

In addition, weaving partners and suppliers into the mix quickly gets even more complicated as we expand service ecosystems across internal and external service providers.

What happens is an endless game of chasing redundancy and waste (Muda). As our internal and external providers seek to improve — and change who and how they work— it forces change at higher levels of ‘process’ precisely because the who and the how are tightly woven into practice (the what).

Establishing a unified service management method can compliment your existing investments in practice frameworks by de-coupling the who (people) and how (work instructions/tooling) from what must be done as well as by providing a unified definition of a service for any internal or external provider.

In fact, it’s simple, cost-effective, as well as easy to learn and use by all stakeholders in the enterprise. By establishing 5 processes and 8 workflows for any service, providers can tailor procedures (who) and work instructions (how) without having to change the heart of the process (what).

The USM Method can be used for assessing the management system of a service provider, improving the management system of a service provider (i.e., an organization or team), determining outsourcing of tasks, and/or testing against external requirements/standards (i.e., audit).

Don’t stay stuck in the Muda.