Customer-Driven Analysis and Agility

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Reengineering of processes also leads to changes in existing organizational processes that demand a clear understanding of the potential disruptions resulting from those changes. These changes include the way the organization relates to the customers, the organization of the internal business, and the potential changes to the operating platforms. Most importantly, in undertaking BPR, customers should not be considered as "external parties." Instead, they should be invited to participate in the modeling, optimization, and management of processes. Some of the important considerations in customer-driven reengineering are as follows:

- Reengineering of processes also results in optimizing the internal organizational structure. This includes rearranging and repositioning people.

- Communications, together with IT, has led to the customers being able to effectively create their own products and services that are tailored to the specific needs; dynamic creation of products and services is the result of Internet-based communications.

- Knowledge management enables keeping track of customer preferences; now it can be used to manage the preferences of customers and the performance of the processes.

- Integration of processes is facilitated by the integration of the underlying applications and systems. Integrated processes offer tremendous opportunities for customers to fulfill their specific needs. At the same time, such integration also creates opportunities for overall collaboration and, therefore, Leanness.

- Knowledge about the customer, suppliers, and the manufacturing process can be used to strategically organize the manufacturing, call center support, and other assets of the organization in order to derive maximum value for the customer.

- Regular communications are set up with the customers in terms of their precise needs. Such identification of the needs of the customers up front enables their provision in an efficient and effective way, reducing the overheads associated with unplanned provisioning of customer requirements.

- Customer groups are created and kept engaged so that they can then participate in the strategic planning and policy formulation sessions. This can be done both face to face and electronically. An asynchronous discussion group resulting from an online collaboration can provide valuable inputs into the demands of current and future customers.

- Inputs from select customers can result in creation of training packages that facilitate ease of use of those processes by customers. Customer education and training can also result in effective use of business processes that makes use of technologies and positive attitudes in optimization of those business processes. This education and training can result in effective use of organizational processes.

- Measurement and feedback on customer service. Use of real-time metrics in terms of effort involved in business processes can result in an immediate impact on customer behavior.

Taken from : The Art of Agile Practice: A Composite Approach for Projects and Organizations

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