Systems of Engagement: Putting People at the Center of Your Process

In his 2010 report on Systems of Engagement, Geoffrey Moore posed the question:

“Why aren’t the applications that are critical to any organization as easy to implement as an app on an Android device or the iPhone?”

Even in today’s enterprises, this question remains relevant. Often coinciding with the trend of difficulties in increasing employee adoption – both from old and new employees – for systems of record. The effort to update a record, without passing on any context, does not provide enough benefit in the modern workplace.

So, when a Fortune® 500 company needed to improve compliance with the complex process of managing the Microsoft T-36 program – a 3-year, complex, contractual customer service process that can yield millions in profit margin dollars when executed properly – it knew it needed to turn towards a more engagement-oriented solution.

The Engagement Layer – Smart Process Apps

Process ConfusionHaving a documented process is not the same thing as actually updating the current status, knowing who is responsible for the next step, and when each task will be completed. This kind of information is usually handled outside the system, most often through email, typically initiated by the task or process owner as he/she tries to chase the task down at each step in the workflow.

At this Fortune 500 company, they discovered only a 40% compliance rate for the documented process within their CRM to manage the Microsoft T-36 program, resulting in fewer successful resolutions and leaving money on the table.

Smart Process Apps are changing the way companies think about workflow. Apps provide the advantage of focus. They can be constructed to deal with a single process – like T-36 task creation – and provide an online, collaborative workspace that provides workflow automation and visibility to all stakeholders.

Apps are built around how users work. The interface is direct and focused on the needs of a single process. Without an extensive training program, anyone can start generating data about their process using an App. Now, when a change is made, it can be noted within that workspace and be immediately available to everyone – no forwarding of email necessary. When one person completes a step, the next person is automatically notified, and everyone can see who is the active stakeholder at any given time.

Using Smart Process Apps as the front-end System of Engagement through which their employees will interact and make updates, the company expects to raise compliance rates from 40% to 70% within 6 months. This type of immediate ROI cannot be had from typical enterprise software.

Data Integration – Connecting Smart Process Apps to your Business

While the end-users benefit from the focus and simplicity, the data generated from the process can be used to update other systems.

This was another critical factor for our Fortune 500 client – the data created through the Onit App needed to be pushed into its system of record to maintain the integrity of the data and track outcomes of the processes. As systems of record are often used to kick-off other processes, this synchronization from Apps will ensure that all the pieces keep moving for critical processes.

In addition to systems of record, Apps can be connected with many other systems. This Fortune 500 company sends data to their CRM tool to enable sales pipeline development and to Microsoft Outlook to synchronize tasks for key stakeholders. We will explore these two critical tasks in more depth in our next post.

Microsoft T\u002D36 Lifecycle

Image courtesy of sheelamohan and

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