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What are the most important metrics for business processes?

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There are, of course, many different business processes.  But as the C-suite turns their attention to business processes and starts measuring what matters, what matters most with business processes?

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  • There are a lot of process related metrics that might be of value for the C-suite. I think they all add up to one metric: How much value does the process add to customer satisfaction (voice-of-the-customer)?

  • The most important process metrics: the ones that help you make a decision.

    Lots of decisions are made with insufficient information. People regularly regret these kinds of decisions.

    Metrics can help you understand if you need to take further action. You can set threshholds of your own and implement some kind of statistical process control on your business processes if you have the right metrics.

    Advanced users take advantage of benchmark data to understand the magnitude of what they're seeing relative to their peers. Having consistent metric and process definitions help in this regard.

  • I'd go with Niels. However, because this is a BPM forum and process metrics, are we allowed to bring CEM? Peter?

    I would say customer satisfaction. And with the Internet and how it is you just have to Google, Tweet, Post or Share and you know immediately. If something's off, it needs to be fixed else you're on the path to no where. It's a fairly informal metric but a valuable one at that.

  • Customer satisfaction is the one and only metric you should focus on.

    Of course, we often use more detailed metrics for sub-organizations whose span of control does not include things that effect customer satisfaction directly, or when satisfaction is hard to measure. But no matter what other metric you choose, you run the danger of "gaming the system" and getting what you ask for. The classic case is call centers: if too much focus is given to how long problems are kept open, then this will lead to premature closing of a problem, only to open another on the same topic when needed again.

    There is a great study of a facility maintenance service which started by predicting the repair that needed to be done. When the repairman arrived, if the situation was anything other than what was reported, the repairman to leave and cancel the request, and require a new one be made. Naturally the people needing the repair were infuriated, but it allowed the repairman to always hit their time estimated accurately. Not what you want.

    In the end, it is all about satisfying your customer, and everything else should be held secondary.

  • Whatever metrics you initially target, you need to keep paying attention, because once automated, your processes are going to generate rewards in areas you hadn't even considered. A process deployed to increase efficiency through reduced paperwork suddenly produces even greater benefits through risk reduction and smoother audits. Another process built to speed customer response times turns out to provide vital insights into how your customers view your business—and how you can improve that perception.

    In other words, it's very often the metrics you weren't thinking about initially that turn out to be the most interesting. BPM customers with open minds and sharp eyes will discover these hidden gems and use them to maximize the return on their BPM investment.

  • When users fear of change and making that fruitless call to II are removed!

  • The amount of sigma's. What else?

  • As business consultants are wont to say, "Be sure you are measuring the right thing". Once we know we have a handle on the 'right thing', we still have to see meaningful metrics that tell us how we are doing, why we are doing well and how we can improve.

    In the old days of process management, we used a lot of quality processes to help us uncover and solve problems. That means that our business has to have a simple, user-friendly solution that is accessible to executives and can be easily and quickly customized to a view that makes sense to them and that can be changed to accommodate the rapidly changing business landscape and the KPIs that measure business progress.

    Like most other aspects of business, business processes must integrate with and support the final outcome to produce a product or service and generate revenue. To fully optimize these processes, a business must establish KPIs and use business intelligence tools like balanced scorecards and forecasting, predictive analysis, 'what if' analysis and sensitivity analysis to determine how changes to a process might negatively or positively affect the business.

    Key Performance Indicators

  • The right combination of metrics, studied as a group, can show not only where the company is succeeding but also highlight specific areas of weakness.

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