Part 4 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.

The previous three articles in this four part theme we reviewed 'Understand and applying Process diagnostics', the 'Successful Customer Outcome' and 'Reframing Process for an Outside-In world'. Now finally we move our attention to the fourth way we can rethink process forever.

Rethinking the Business you are in.


In the Southwest airlines example reviewed earlier we referred to the different viewpoints of the ‘business’ you are in. The two views – one the organisations, regarded as inside-out reflect the activities and functions undertaken. So British Airways see themselves in the business of flying airplanes and approach the customer with that product/service in mind. They set about marketing and selling the flights and hope to pull the customers to the product through pricing, availability and placement. In a slowly changing world where customers have little choice this strategy can provide a route to success.

As we have already seen the tables have turned and the enlightened customer demands so much more.
Southwest and other Outside-In companies understand this challenge and take a customer viewpoint.
What business would you say these six companies are in: Hallmark Cards, Disney, Zara, AOL, OTIS elevators, China Mobile?  Try it from the customers perspective and you’ll arrive at a very different answer – try these, expression, joy, style and comfort, community, moving people, connectivity. Yes they are very different and will reframe the way you think of the service and products you provide. Go further and look inside your existing company.

Are you still separated into functional specialist areas providing specific outputs to other departments in the so called ‘value chain’? Do you have internal ‘service level agreements’ that specify what you’ll deliver and when? How much of our internal interaction adds ultimate value for the customer? This way of organising work imposes limitations on our ability to truly deliver successful customer outcomes. The Inside-out viewpoint is inefficient, prone to red tape, is extremely risk adverse (checkers checking checkers) and slow in delivering product and service.

Many inside-out organisations actually regard customers as an inconvenience rather than the reason why they exist.

What business are you in? Past, present, future?

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Leaning to Outside-In..

“Not everything old is bad and antiquated and not everything new is shiny and good. The real secret to success is to combine the best of both.” Rene Carayol,  Senior Executive & Former Board Member for Pepsi, Marks & Spencer, IPC Media & The Inland Revenue

The world's leading companies have come to realize that only when their customers are successful, will they be successful. In pursuit of their market leadership not only they need to spend time to look inside their business to know how things are getting done but also look outward to get deep understanding of their customers.

Process has indeed come a long way from it humble routes amidst the early industrial revolution and Adam Smiths ‘Wealth of Nations’.


Although many in Western
economies are in a state of denial,
we are undergoing the greatest reorganization in the business world since the Industrial Revolution.

No matter what industry you are in,
no matter how successful you are, it's time to get ready for the world as it will be --a world where your customers have new choices
from a sea of suppliers from
across the globe.

Peter Fingar
Executive Partner,
Greystone Group
Author of Extreme Competition: Innovation and the Great 21st Century Business Reformation
 
One of the first people to describe process was Smith who in 1776 describes a new way for process in an English pin factory. He outlines the production methods and created one of the first objective and measureable enterprise process designs. The consequence of 'labour division' in Smith’s example resulted in the same number of workers making 240 times as many pins as they had been before the introduction of his innovation.

Adam Smith participated in a revolution that transformed the planet. He lived at a time when the confluence of factors, political change, emergence of the New World, industrialization and a new optimism that the world could move from the shackles of the past.

In heralding a movement that developed into Scientific Management the foundation was laid that established a way of working that has survived and thrived for 200 years.


And yet now, more than ever, is a time to perhaps take a careful glance back to the past to guide the way for not only surviving the current economic turmoil but to also prepare us to thrive in the seismic shifts of the 21st century ‘new world’ order where the customer has become central to everything we do.


Leading global corporations are now evolving their tried and tested approaches into methods suited to the changed challenges of customer promiscuity, globalisation, IT innovation and the Prosumer.  That is the essence of what we call Outside-In.

"The Customer Experience is the Process"
Outside-In can really be summarised in the statement that “the customer experience is the process”.  We can no longer just look within our organisation boundary to create a sustainable competitive advantage. We have to extend our scope and embrace a broader view of optimising process by understanding, managing and developing customer expectations and the associated experience. We need to articulate Successful Customer Outcomes and let those guide our product and service development as we move beyond the limiting scope of silo pyramidal based left to right thinking.

In 2006 BP Group Research identified the ‘Evolution of Approaches’ and how steps can be taken to grow Lean Six Sigma’s influence and success into a strategic Outside-In toolkit. In fact the last 4 years are seeing the fruition of these advances with recent Best in Class 2009 Award winners PolyOne, a dyed in the wool Lean outfit, advancing their stock price six fold in 18 months on the back of radical and innovative changes across its customer experience.

The Death knell for BPR, TQM, Lean and Six Sigma?

Some see Outside-In as the death knell for approaches developed during the late 20th century. Not so as that narrow and simplistic view does not acknowledge the stepping stones available to embrace the new customer centric order. In fact the foundations of our futures are always laid on the learnings of the past with those innovators who recognise the need to evolve leading that charge.

Victory will go to the brave who seize the moment and push forward their approaches into the brave new world of Outside-In. The sector leaders have set a precedent - can you embrace the challenge?
* * *

If you wish to read and listen more on this theme the following references are useful.
Join the community discussing these issues, challenges and opportunities.

Community and social networking


Networking

http://bit.ly/I0tvw

Customer Capitalization
– Roger Martin, Dean of Faculty, Rottman Business School



Article

HBReview, Feb 2010

Don’t give customers what they think they want
Steve Towers


Article

http://bit.ly/3xUIn4

Evolution of Approaches
BP Group


Research

http://bit.ly/Fw5Kv

Outside-In
Interview with Blog Radio’s Gienn Weiss



Podcast

Outside-In (15 mins)

The Best Performing companies
Millward Optimoor



Research

http://bit.ly/uAyVW


Steve Towers
Steve TowersSteve is the founder of the Business Process Group (www.bpgroup.org) a global business club (originally formed 1992) exchanging ideas and best practice in Business Performance Management, Transformation and Process Improvement.

He leads from the front and works with many of the leading fortune 500 companies as a mentor and coach specializing in the implementation of performance improvement, process change and transformation.
Steve is ‘Expert Advisor’ for IQPC and participates as a judge, workshop and track leader for the Lean Six Sigma and Process Excellence summits in the US and Europe.
He recently co- judged the Best Improvement Project category and selected US company PolyOne as the foremost Lean company on their journey to Outside-In.

An inspirational speaker and author of several books including “A Senior Executives guide to BPR”, “In Search of BPM Excellence”, “Thrive! How to Succeed in the Age of the Customer” and recently “Customer Expectation Management – Success without Exception”.  The new book, “Outside-In. The Secret of the 21st century leading companies”  chronicles the rise and approaches shared amongst the best companies in the world. Steve is noted for his direct and pragmatic approach.

Steve previously worked for Citibank where he led restructuring and business process transformation programs both in the US and Europe. Steve advises many boards and sits on the steering panel of the influential California based BPM Forum, a group of distinguished C-Level executives heading up Global 500 companies

Steve has bases in Europe (UK) and Colorado.
 
Professional Qualifications in Process and Performance Improvement
Copyright MMX, Towers Associates

Part 3 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.

In the first two articles in this four part theme we reviewed 'Understand and applying Process diagnostics' and the 'Successful Customer Outcome' map. We now move our attention to the third  way we can rethink process forever

Reframing process for an Outside-In world

A fundamental principle of Outside-In is the understanding of where your process starts and ends.

In the 20th century many techniques and approaches developed to better understand and create processes. In its earliest form pioneering work undertaken by the United States Airforce created modelling approaches based on the Structured Analysis and Design Technique (SADT) that produced iDEF (Integrate DEFinition Methods). iDEF became recognised as a global standard as a method designed to model the decisions, actions, and activities of an organization or system[1].  iDEF as a method has now reached iDEF14 [i] and embraces a wide range of process based modelling ideas. Concurrent with the development of iDEF technology providers created proprietary modelling approaches, and subsequently developed into modelling language standards, used by many organisations to represent their systems and ways of working. The convergence of business process modelling and business process management (BPM) has now produced a rich set of tools and techniques

able to model and ideally manage an organisation. In fact one of the more accepted definitions of BPM (based on the British Journal of Management[ii]): "Business process management (BPM) is a management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organisation with the wants and needs of clients. It is a holistic management approach"

Until a few years ago process management approaches looked within the boundaries of the organisation and the combination of modelling and management approaches were adequate to understand the enterprise. The impact of process management in improving organisation performance has been profound however we now face a different reality driven by the customer.

As a consequence both disciplines now present a series of problems that include

(a)    understanding the beginning and end of the process,

(b)   the techniques used to model process are inadequate and focused  on the wrong things

Strangely customer involvement in a process often appears as an afterthought and the actual representation systems (left to right, top to bottom) create an illusion that fosters the belief that “the customer isn’t my job”.

Let’s deal with each in turn by example:
a.     The beginning and end of process

To aid the discussion let’s look at two airlines, British Airways and Southwest, and we’ll review how they ‘think’ about their business through the eyes of process. If you sit down with British Airways executives and asked the question “where does your process start and end?” the response reflects the main source of revenue, seat sales.

So the answer “the process is from the ticket purchase to the collecting the bags off the carousel” is no great surprise. In fact that is the way we have mostly thought about process in that it starts when it crosses into organisation, and finishes when it leaves. We can easily model that, identify efficiency improvements, improve throughput and optimise apparent value add.

As far as British Airways is concerned what you do outside of that process is no concern of theirs, after all they are an airline and that’s what they do. Now let’s change our perspective and visit Love Field in Texas and meet the executive team of Southwest. Ask the guys the same question “where does your process start and end?” and the answer is a whole different viewpoint.

The process begins when the potential customer thinks of the need for a flight, and only ends when they are back at home following the journey. The scope of this process is defined by the phrase “the customer experience is the process”. That’s an Outside-In perspective and creates opportunities across the whole customer experience.

More than that it raises the prospect of additional revenue streams, spreads the risk associated with a dependency on seat sales, reinforces the customer relationship and develops an entirely different way of doing business.  So let’s ask another question of our friends at Southwest “guys, what business are you in?”, and the answer changes everything you ever thought about airlines forever “we’re in the business of moving people”.

Downstream Southwest may well turn the industry further on its head as they move from being the low cost airline to the ‘no cost airline’ and give their seats free of charge. What would that do to your business model if 95% of your revenues, as with British Airways, comes from seat sales?

The business challenge for Southwest becomes one of controlling the process to benefit and maximise the customer experience. That involves partnering, sharing information and doing all necessary to make customers lives easier, simpler and more successful.

Now how do you model that?


b.     The techniques used to model process are inadequate and focused on the wrong things

We have reviewed the ultimate cause of work for all organisations is the customer. Organisations exist to serve the customer though the provision of products and services and in this way develops revenue that goes to the profit and onward distribution to the stockholders.

In other organisations without the profit motivation, for instance the public sector, then the effective delivery of services is measured by citizens and stakeholders.  Accordingly it stands to reason that everything happening within the organisation should be organised and aligned to deliver customer success and anything that isn’t is potentially ‘dumb stuff’. The techniques we use to ‘capture’ process are however not suitable to understanding the causes of work and focus attention instead on the visible tasks and activities that are perceived to create value for customers. In the context of the enlightened customer[iii] this is at best misleading and at its worst actually part of the broader problem. In Outside-In companies the focus has shifted to understanding the causes of work, and then engineering those causes to minimize negative effects.

Once more to go Outside-In we need a perspective shift and we can achieve this by identifying those three causes of work and then set out to reveal them and their negative impact.

How big is the size of the prize? Efficiency and productivity gains of 30% to 60% are common. Cost reduction of services by 50% is not unusual.

Cause elimination is a seek and destroy mission. It’s the challenge to weed out the “dumb stuff” in our organizations.

By truly fixing the Causes of Work, rather than messing around with the Effects (a bit like moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic) we will all find our customers and employees life simpler, easier and more successful. Are you ready to challenge your assumptions and start eliminating those causes of work? Fix the Cause, remove the effect.


[1] http://www.idef.com/IDEF0.htm


[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDEF

[ii] Understanding Business Process Management: implications for theory and practice, British Journal of Management (2008) (Smart, P.A, Maddern, H. & Maull, R. S.)

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Part 2 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.

In the first article in this four part theme we reviewed 'Understand and applying Process diagnostics'. We now move our attention to the second  way we can rethink process forever -
Identify and aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes


“Businesses can be very sloppy about deciding which customers to seek out and acquire” Frederick F. Reichheld

The six questions we ask ourselves in this iterative process are:
I.    Who is the customer?
At first glance should be an easy answer however it is not as obvious as it seems. The ultimate customer for any profit making enterprise is the person, or company who provides the revenue by purchasing the products or services we produce. It is a matter of fact that in our inside-out legacy world we have created multiple customer-supplier relationships which include internal ‘service’ providers such as Information Services, Human Resources and so on. In mature Outside-In organisations the internal customer ceases to exist as we progressively partner to align to Successful Customer Outcomes and artefacts such as Service Level Agreements become a thing of the past.


II.    What is the Customers current expectation?
The 2006 book “Customer Expectation Management “ Schurter/Towers reviewed in detail the of creating and managing customer expectations and how through clear articulation companies such as Virgin Mobile in the US redefine their market place. In the context of the SCO map we need to understand the customers (as identified in the answer to question 1) current expectation. This often reveals both a challenge and opportunity. Customers will tell it as it is, for instance in an insurance claim process “I expect it is going to take weeks, with lots of paperwork and many phone calls”. That should tell you the current service is most likely poor and fraught with problems, delays and expensive to manage however this presents the opportunity. If that is a market condition (all insurance claims are like this) then moving to a new service proposition will be a potential competitive differentiator.  


III.     What process does the customer think they are involved with?
In the inside-out world we see process in a functional context. Therefore insurance claims are dealt with by an insurance claims department. Customer Retention is the baby of you guessed it, the Customer retention department and marketing is done by the marketing people. This split of responsibility is a legacy of functional specialisation created by relating to business as a production line. Adam Smith wrote in ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776) of an English pin factory.  He described the production of a pin in the following way: ”One man draws out the wire, another straightens it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head: to make the head requires two or three distinct operations: to put it on is a particular business, to whiten the pins is another ... and the important business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which in some manufactories are all performed by distinct hands, though in others the same man will sometime perform two or three of them”. The result of labor division in Smith’s example resulted in productivity increasing by 240 fold. i.e. that the same number of workers made 240 times as many pins as they had been producing before the introduction of labor division. The insights form Smith underpinned the industrial revolution however using this principle to organise ourselves in the 21st century is to a very large part the wrong approach. That is precisely what the answer to the question will tell us – “sorry sir you are talking to the wrong department, let me transfer you”. Or even getting stuck in automated response system hell “press 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for the other and 4 if you have missed the first three options.” These are features of the labor division mindset. Ask a customer what process they think they are and you will frequently be surprised by the answer.


IV.    What do we do that Impacts customer success?
Often we ask customers to do numerous many activities which appear sensible  to receive service or indeed buy products. Relating back to the insurance claim we can see rules and procedure around how to make claims, the correct way to complete forms, the process of collating the information, the timeframes within which to claim, the way we can reimburse you and more.  Often times these restrictions that we impose made sense at some time in the past however they may no longer be relevant.

The situation is compounded by the way internal functional specialism focus on project objectives. Richard Prebble, a respected New Zealand politician writes in his 1996 book “I’ve been thinking” of the inability of organisations to think clearly of the amount of work they create and in fact “they spend a million to save a thousand every time”.
His story of the challenge within large organisations is typical "The Post Office told me they were having terrible problems tracking telephone lines ... They found an excellent program in Sweden which the Swedes were prepared to sell them for $2m .... So the managers decided to budget $1m for translating into English and another $1m for contingencies. But, as the general manager explained, it had turned out to be more expensive than the contingency budget allowed and they needed another $7m. "How much", I asked, "have you spent on it so far?" "Thirty-seven million dollars" was the reply. "Why don't we cancel the programme?" I asked "How can we cancel a programme that has cost $37m?" they asked   "Do you believe the programme will ever work?" I asked "No, not properly" "Then write me a letter recommending its cancellation and I will sign it" The relief was visible. I signed the letter, but I knew I needed new managers."

This type of inside-out thinking causes companies to create apparently sensible checks and controls within processes that actually manifest as customer inconvenience, cost and delay. Are you making the customers lives easier, simpler and more successful?


V.    The Successful Customer Outcome – what does the customer really need from us?
At this point we should have enough information to objectively create several statements that articulate the SCO. These statements should be specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). Usually there will 6-10 such statements which become the actual key performance measures as move the process Outside-In. For example a North American business school completed the SCO map and created these statements from the customer perspective for an ‘Education loan application’ process:
a.    I need to receive my financial assistance
b.    I need to receive aid  before the semester starts
c.    I need to attend the classes I have chosen
d.    I do not want to call to chase progress
e.    I need to receive the correct amount
f.    I do not want to have to fix your mistakes

There is no ambiguity here and we avoid a common mistake of using management weasel words such as ‘efficient, effective, timely’ which may mean things internally but to a customer are of little help. Creating SCO statements that may be used as measures for process success is a key aid on the journey to Outside-In.


VI.    And now we reach the core of the onion. What is the one line statement that best articulates our Successful Customer Outcome? This one-liner embodies the very nature of the process and sometimes the business we are in. In ‘Thrive- how to succeed in the Age of the Customer’ McGregor/Towers (2005), Easyjet (Europe’s second largest airline) is used as an example in this quest. Their simple “Bums on Seats” SCO sentence works both from a company perspective (we must maximise utilisation, offer inexpensive seats, get people comfortably and safely to their destinations) and the customers needs  “I need a cheap safe seat to get me to the sunshine quickly without a fuss”.  

The company one liner will become part of a series which are measureable through the SCO statements and can be tested and revised depending on evolving customer expectations and needs. It may in fact ultimately replace the inside-out strategic process and provide the organisation with its Raison d'ĂȘtre.

Of course when we start the journey it is often sufficient to create SCO maps to help grow understanding and even if the actual SCO Map is subsequently replaced (as we take a broader view) the improvement in understanding around the customer is invaluable.


In the third part of this four part series we will review "Reframe where the process starts and ends"

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Evolving Support for Outside-In

Ranjay Gulati presents a great case for moving Outside-In. His website http://ranjaygulati.com/rg/ provides access to several very useful and tested resources for those tasked with helping their organizations break out of their inside-out straightjackets.  Here's a preview video:

video


Highly recommended.

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Part 1 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.


I explore these more thoroughly in the new book however for now let's take them in bite sized chunks.
•    Understand and applying Process diagnostics
•    Identify and aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes
•    Reframe where the process starts and ends
•    Rethink the business you are in

Let's start with...
1. Understand and applying Process diagnostics:
(These will be familiar to CPP people however a refresher is always nice)
Earlier we have mentioned Moments of Truth, those all important interactions with customers. Let’s take that discussion further and include other closely related techniques for uncovering the real nature of process – breakpoints and business rules.

Firstly Moments of Truth (MOT) were first identified by Swedish management guru Richard Normann (1946-2003) in his doctoral thesis “Management and Statesmanship” (1975).
In 1989 Jan Carlson, the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) immortalized the phrase with his book ‘Moments of Truth’. He clearly linked all customer interaction as the Causes of Work for the airline and set about eradicating non value added MOT’s and then improving those he couldn’t remove. 
a)    Moments of Truth are a Process Diagnostic
b)    They occur ANYWHERE a customer “touches” a process
c)    They can be people-to-people, people-to-system, systems-to-people, system-to-system, and people-to-product
d)    ANY interaction with a customer is a Moment of Truth
e)    Moments of Truth are both process Points of Failure and Causes of Work

Carlson transformed the fortunes of SAS with this straightforward insight – all work in our organisations is ultimately caused by the Moment of Truth. Fix them and you fix everything else.
All Moments of Truth should be eradicated and those remaining improved. In doing so the customer experience is improved, costs are reduced and productivity maximised.

Next let’s review Breakpoints. Breakpoints (BP’s) are the direct consequence of MOT’s and are all the internal interactions that take place as we manage the processes caused by the customer interactions. 
a) Any place that a hand-off occurs in the process is a Break Point
b) Break Points can be person to person, person to system, system to person or system to system
c) Break Points are both process Points of Failure and Causes of Work

By identifying BP’s we can set about uncovering actions that would in turn remove them, or if not improve them. BP’s are especially evident were internal customer supplier relationships have been established say between Information Systems departments and Operations. Empirical research suggests that for every Moment of Truth there are an average of 3 to 4 Breakpoints. In other words a process with ten MOT’s will typically yield 30-40 Breakpoints.
All Breakpoints should be eradicated and if not at the very least improved. In doing so we get more done with less, red tape is reduced, control improves and the cost of work comes down.

The third in our triad of useful Outside-In techniques is Business Rules.
Business Rules are points within a process where decisions are made.
a)    Some Business Rules are obvious while others must be “found”
b)    Business Rules can be operational, strategic or regulatory and they can be system-based or manual
c)    Business Rules control the “behavior” of the process and shape the “experience” of those who touch it
d)    Business Rules are highly prone to obsolescence
e)    We must find and make explicit the Business Rules in the process

Business Rules (BR’s) are especially pernicious in that they are created for specific reasons however over time their origin is forgotten but their effect remains. For instance one Life insurance company had a delay of eight days before issuing a policy once all the initial underwriting work was complete. This has a serious impact on competitiveness as newcomers were able to issue policies in days rather than weeks. After some investigation it was discovered that the ‘8 day storage’ rule was related to the length of time it takes ink to dry on parchment paper. This rule hadn’t surfaced until the customer expectations changed. There are many examples of previously useful rules evading 21st century logic and blocking the achievement of successful customer outcomes. All Business Rules should be made explicit and challenged in todays context.

Next time we'll take a look at the second way to radically redefine process:
  • Identify and aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes

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    Hypothesis: BPM Really Needs EA (start with the customer)

    Courtesy of Steve Melville, EA Connections Manager...

    At first blush, this statement might seem absurd. Many of you may already be reflecting on BPM projects where you managed to achieve perfectly fine results without the help of Enterprise Architecture (if an EA group even existed in those organizations).

    Ah... the early days of BPM introduction, when low hanging fruit seems ripe for the picking! Hopefully, those successes led to other BPM projects. Wonderful! Sooner or later,

    though, questions start to arise. How do all these business processes relate to one another? Where, exactly, do these processes start and stop? Where is the best data source for the information this process requires? How can I "unbundle" this hard-coded business logic that's buried deep in an application, so that I can re-order or insert activities into my business process? How many different BPMS tools do we really need? How can we ensure the processes are available 24x7? Welcome to the domains of Business

    Architecture, Information Architecture, Application Architecture and Technology Architecture -- i.e., welcome to EA!

    If you continue this Inside-Out journey you run into questions like... Do we really need this or that process? What are all these processes really for? And (with some help from the BP Group) you eventually arrive at the answer... the Customer! Welcome to Outside-In!

    So... while I believe there are many facets to the connection between BPM and EA, I'd like to start with the Customer and, specifically, Customer Expectation Management (CEM). If you haven't read Schurter and Towers delightful book on this subject, get it (http://amzn.to/9eaGi6). I liked the book so much when I first read it, that I put together a 1- page CEM Quick Reference Guide for my own use. I am happy to share it with EA Connections members.

    Here's a highly condensed thread within CEM:

    Your value proposition sets expectations with potential customers. The more compelling your value proposition, the larger the pool of potentially interested customers and the fewer competitors that can match it. So, the goal is to create product and service offerings that set expectations that more customers find compelling and few competitors can match. In so doing, you have re-set the bar for customer expectations within your market and created the foundation for your organization's success.

    But here's the catch... you have to deliver against those expectations. One failure and you begin to lose your customer's trust. You lower their expectations with your actions, regardless of your lofty initial promises of value. And, with the explosion of social networking, blogs, 24 hour news channels, online reviews, etc., any failure to deliver against expectations, gets broadcast pretty quickly. Ask BP or Toyota what happens when you fail to meet customer expectations of safety.

    So... to match the high expectations of your value proposition, the delivery processes of your organization need to consistently meet those expectations. And it is in the design and deployment of those delivery processes that the critical dependency on EA surfaces. For, in the 21st Century, such processes are heavily dependent on technology:

    eCommerce and online support sites, mobile applications, ERP systems, RDBMS, SOA, SANs, etc. And not just some delivery processes, Outside-In companies recognize that the entire enterprise needs to be focused on delivering successful customer outcomes.

    So the challenge becomes to align all of the process, application, information and technology resources across the entire enterprise to deliver successful customer outcomes in order to support higher and higher customer expectations. And alignment is the sweet spot of enterprise architecture. EA is the right fit because both its sweep (across the entireenterprise) and its scope (processes, information, application, and the technology that supports them) match the demands of the Operational Framework Layer of the Outside-In enterprise.

    Your thoughts?
    http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=3180325