10 Steps for Effective Business Process Review

10 Steps for Effective Business Process Review

By Barton Goldenberg

Processes are those natural business activities that produce value, serve customers and generate income.  All organizations have business processes. Social CRM provides the opportunity to enhance and automate existing processes as well as create new ones that leverage Social Media’s explosive growth.

What follows is ISM’s 10-step methodology for reviewing and enhancing business processes. These steps will help ensure process excellence as part of a Social CRM implementation.

Step 1: Meet with the Business Process Participants to Plan an Initial Schedule    

Select the business process review team from among stakeholders throughout the organization. Meet to determine overall strategy and direction for the project and agree upon a tentative timeline for completion of the 10-step review.

Step 2: Research Relevant Social CRM Industry Best Practices    

Identify relevant Social CRM industry best practices. Include process flow documents where feasible. ISM can help with this task.

Step 3: Determine Current-State Business Processes    

Set up interviews with process subject-matter experts (SMEs) to determine “as-is” processes for sales, marketing and customer service. During this step, also note any potential quick wins or other ideas that could impact ‘to-be’ process results.

Step 4: Document ‘As-Is’ Processes and Make Best-in-Class Comparisons

Based on the data collected in Step 3, map the ‘as-is’ process flows.  If ‘best-in-class’ has been determined, compare ‘as-is’ process flows to industry benchmarks.

Step 5: Collect Feedback on ‘As-Is’ Process Flows    

Send process flows and documentation to process SMEs with a list of ideas that have been culled from the research conducted in Step 2.  Request that customer-facing personnel also review this material and provide feedback regarding needed enhancements.

Step 6: Hold Workshop(s) to Review Feedback    

Meet with customer-facing personnel to discuss ‘ah-ha’ insights gathered from the review of ‘as-is’ processes.  Collect and discuss missing process steps; clarify existing steps.

Step 7: Hold a Business Process Improvement Workshop    

Set up a workshop with key stakeholders to review ‘as-is’ process flows and to develop preliminary ‘to-be’ processes.

Step 8: Draft ‘To-Be’ Process Flows

Based on the output of the workshop in Step 7, assign process SMEs to develop Level 1 and Level 2 ‘to-be’ process flows.

  • Level 1 represents highest-level process steps and notes additional sub-processes that may be required.
  • Level 2 process flows provide sub-process details for each key activity/step in Level 1.
  • Leverage best-in-class Social CRM practices wherever possible.

Step 9: Hold a Business Process ‘To-Be’ Workshop    

Set up a workshop to review and enhance ‘to-be’ process flows.  The workshop output is an agreed-on set of ‘to-be’ process flows and a list of key actions needed to complete documentation.

Step 10: Finalize Process Recommendations

Present ‘to-be’ processes back to customer-facing personnel as well as process SMEs for final approval.  Next, prioritize these new processes for incorporation into the Social CRM initiative based on urgency, potential impact and available resources.

And finally create an action plan to operationalize prioritized ‘to-be’ processes.

One additional point: I am all in favor of inviting customers to participate throughout this process review. Most business processes ultimately impact customers in some way, and it is a good practice to include customer feedback wherever the organization’s comfort level permits.

In my next post, I will discuss why business process enhancement must precede and inform an organization’s Social CRM technology choices.

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The Definitive Guide to Social CRMBarton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.