What’s the biggest problem affecting your business process? I can tell you from vast experience that most people answer this question with a “they” statement. Every time I help an organization with a business process, conflicting goals arise.
Consider the following:
- We could have finished the code if THEY (the customer) had stopped changing the acceptance criteria.
- The reason we’re behind on billing customers is that THEY (the sales team) don’t bother to send us the invoice details.
- I could sell more product if THEY (the management team) could approve exceptions more quickly.
- We could improve quality if THEY (customers, sales, managers) would stop asking us to “rush” something through the production line.
There is seldom just one goal for every process. Let’s say we are creating a consumer product. Our goals might include: product features, secure shipping, timely payment, delivery speed, and/or quality. Each of the stakeholders who work on the process – to design, source, produce, deliver and warranty a product – have different views of which goal is most important. To manufacturing, product quality is the primary concern. To sales, delivering the product in a timely fashion is key.