They are using the improved relationships with customers achieved through customer journey mapping so they can reach their critical business goals:
Building brand loyalty to increase sales
Reducing costs by retaining customers and improving processes
Increasing profits through efficiencies
If you aren’t yet sure of the case for customer journey mapping, consider Aberdeen Group’s research report, Customer Journey Mapping: Lead the Way to Advocacy. An article in CMO.com reported on the results of Aberdeen’s study, saying, “Companies with a formal customer journey management program enjoy …
54% greater return on marketing investment
Over 10 times improvement in the cost of customer service
18 times faster average sales cycle
56% more cross- and up-sell revenue”
The Internet is filled with blog articles about the various ways to undertake customer journey mapping, but some of these how-to articles forget some of the very basic tenets of customer journey mapping that are necessary to achieve corporate business goals. Here are three important concepts to keep in mind as you initiate customer journey mapping.
1. Be sure to use the customers’ perspective, not yours, because even small differences in opinions about how things are for the customer can make a huge difference in building brand loyalty.
Step away – completely – from your own internal view of your company’s business and how it interacts with customers. We all fall into this trap of assuming we know what’s in the customer’s mind. It’s far too easy to find yourself looking at issues from an insider/employee perspective, even when you’re trying to redesign processes that will make outsiders more loyal to your brand. Let the customers speak for themselves about how they want to interact with you. Don’t try to say it for them.
2. Look across the entire customer journey; don’t get bogged down in single touchpoints, even those that may present the greatest pain for customers.
You might be surprised to find that a broad view across the company can help resolve a persistent customer problem faster and easier than focusing just on that single touchpoint alone. There may be a solution to that touchpoint problem in the touchpoints before and after the problem one, or even further up or down the line. But, because those other touchpoints may ‘belong’ to a different business group or department, they may not be addressed together. With too much granular focus on just the ‘problem’, the solution could be just one process or department away while you sit and scratch your head. Pull down the silos of information, departments, and resources and work across the company.
3. Don’t go it alone. No single person or workgroup can solve an across-the-company challenge.
While one person or business unit might be designated as ‘in charge’ of customer journey mapping, you have to bring the entire team together to really make it work. And, it’s not enough to send a quick survey or email to owners of processes with customer touchpoints. You never know who might have an idea or insight that could make or break your customer journey mapping efforts. A larger group of people, from different workgroups or departments, at different levels in the organization, can offer the variety of input needed to create data-rich customer journey maps to help meet your corporate goals.
If you’re looking for a simple way to articulate the value of customer journey mapping to your executives, check out this fill-in-the-blank workbook to help you get the conversation started.
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You might equate the dangers that Bear Grylls sees in his travels with today’s business environment. And, just as Bear has equipped himself with skills to endure the most rugged terrain, today’s successful leaders in digital transformation have outfitted themselves with business architecture. They see it as a company survival strategy because it helps them build the capabilities their company needs to prevail through the digital revolution.
Consider that between 2000 and 2014, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 went bankrupt, were acquired or ceased to exist. 1 Granted, times were tough for all businesses during the recession. Even so, half of the Fortune 500 disappearing in 14 years ?
During that time, the digital revolution exploded and the pace of change in the business world shattered all previous experiences. Business transformation caught the attention of executives as the key to survive this phenomenon.
Much of what’s driving business transformation today is the customer journey … the different ways that companies and their customers interact, especially when technology is the primary agent between them.
Every company takes each customer on a journey that begins with brand awareness and (hopefully) continues through a purchase and beyond. And just as Bear’s journey might take a disastrous turn if he doesn’t use proven survival skills every step of the way, companies can make serious missteps as customers connect with them. If each customer touch point along the journey doesn’t deliver the very best experience, customers can fall by the wayside.
Today, companies are rolling out business transformation initiatives to gain market share, increase revenues, decrease costs and eliminate risks … and these efforts are all aimed at improving the customer experience.
But, how do companies achieve an effective business transformation to survive the digital revolution and become the kind of enterprise that creates loyal, high-value, repeat-purchase customers?
Most digital transformation programs don’t start from scratch; they build on a company’s existing business practices, processes and IT resources. One of the fundamental first steps in transformation is gaining a working understanding of the structure of your company … its processes, resources, information and risks … and how they interact with and affect each other.
That’s where business architecture comes in, to help you:
understand all of the elements within your enterprise
map existing capabilities and determine those needed for the future
build and evaluate transformation options
define your strategic roadmap
We’ve seen that Bear makes very smart choices when he’s in the wild. Well, starting your digital transformation with business architecture is one of the smartest choices you’ll ever make. Business architecture will help you assess your current situation and identify the key drivers of change. You can then understand future market direction and better equip your company to outlast competitors who may not be as well prepared to improve their customers’ experience.
Whether summiting Mt. Everest, crossing the Atlantic in an inflatable or trekking across the scorching Sahara, Bear Grylls has learned a great many lessons, none more important than one on the rapids of a Sumatran jungle river, “… you only get it wrong once.
I wonder if that’s what the executives of those 250+ Fortune 500 companies (you know … the ones who didn’t opt for business architecture) were thinking as they filed for bankruptcy or watched their firm be sold to another enterprise.
1 Constellation Research, Research Summary: Sneak Peeks from Constellation’s Futurist Framework and 2014 Outlook on Digital Disruption, February 2014
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Know your onion (Be knowledgeable about a subject)
Decision makers, whether a 1920’s board of directors or a 2016 CIO, really have to know their onions about their organization. Business architecture would help them all because of the breadth and depth of information it provides, so they can be confident that the right choices are made regarding important decisions.
Business today is large and complex, with lots of moving parts and constant change. No one has the time or ability to do enough research on their own before every decision. Absent what business architecture can deliver … a united view of your challenges, drivers of change, customer expectations, your strategy, your resources, your capabilities, and the gaps you need to fill to reach your objectives … how can you be certain you have the right information to make the right decisions?
Get a hunch and bet a bunch—and all next week you’ll eat no lunch. (Making decisions based on intuition instead of data could produce dire results)
That’s what was said often at horse racetracks during the 1930’s. Some people rely on intuition to make decisions. But, would you buy a family car, choose a college or pick the locale for your vacation home without research? Probably not, so why rely on intuition for business decisions?
Using business architecture to build your team’s knowledge about the company will help you be better informed about:
your company’s current situation, the key drivers of change and future market direction
clear options that unite corporate goals, strategy, and operating models enterprise-wide
the capabilities your company requires, and which ones it has, as well as the gaps to fill
Don’t take any wooden nickels (Don’t get conned)
Tokens were issued in place of real money during financial crises: the Panic of 1837, the Civil War, the Depression. This phrase was a warning to be cautious about taking something less than genuine.
Execs today should think of wooden nickels when they’re sifting through reports and recommendations from staff. Without a strong business architecture program that helps your team deliver accurate, up-to-date, consistent information, how can you have faith in the recommendations?
You don’t want to make a sales or marketing decision based on incomplete information. Or ramp up production based on faulty numbers. These decisions require you to understand accurately the behavior and loyalty of customers … what they buy, how much, when, and where?
Business architecture can help you develop customer journey maps to guide you in improving the customer experience at all touchpoints along the journey. The results? More loyalty, more purchases and increased revenues.
A stitch in time saves nine (Putting in a little effort now will save a lot of work later)
You’ve heard this phrase, which dates back to the 1700’s. Today, we mean the same thing when we say to our teens, "Don’t procrastinate!".
Using your business architecture initiative to develop business roadmaps today can help you define the transformation stages your company needs to go through to meet the evolving demands of customers and market changes. By relying on the advantages business architecture can deliver to your company, you can save a lot of time, money, frustration and possibly failure later.
Now you’re on the trolley (Now you’ve got it!)
That’s slang from the 1920’s. If you take to heart some of these old time sayings and “jump on the bandwagon” of business architecture, you’ll be making better decisions.
"Jump on the bandwagon" was from P.T. Barnum, referring to his 1850’s showy circus bandwagons that were so popular that politicians started to ride them in parades and warn people not to jump on the opponent’s bandwagon.
MEGA has a business architecture bandwagon that’s used by people who know their onion, don’t bet on a hunch, don’t take wooden nickels and did their stitch in time. Maybe you should jump on it with them.
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Technology and lifestyle changes have transformed the banking industry. The bank branches on the corner are not the same as those our parents knew, and more radical changes lie ahead. Industry experts agree that the "traditional" bank is on the way out. From 1990 to 2008, more than 100 new banks per year formed, but between 2009 and 2013, less than two per year, according to the Federal Reserve Board1.
"Four in 10 Americans haven’t visited a branch in the last six months," Mark Hamrick, Washington bureau chief for Bankrate.com, told US News & World Report in January, 20162.
As a banking executive, you face a challenge somewhat like changing your shoes while running a marathon. You can’t stop to change, because others will pass you in the race. But, your shoes won’t last until the finish line. It’s a real dilemma!
First, let’s understand some of the reasons for this turbulence.
Regulatory barriers, capital requirements and high fixed costs used to keep newcomers out of banking. But technology has removed many of these hurdles by facilitating more direct consumer access to more flexible financial services than the bank branch on the corner … with its 4 pm closing time … ever could offer.
Just as the banks of yesteryear moved beyond being deposit/withdrawal institutions into markets like investment advising and mortgage lending, new competitors … technology companies, retailers, and others … are streaming into financial services to grab a share of the high-margin segments of the industry. Non-banks like Walmart, Orange Telecom, Google (Wallet) and others are here ... now.
Save for a few baby-boomers and older generations sticking with visits to brick-and-mortar banks, the switch to mobile banking is hurtling along, with people even wearing their bank via their Apple watches.
So, how does a bank get from here to there in the competitive financial services race? How do you transform a traditional business in the digital era?
The most obvious prerequisite is to pinpoint your goals and be creative in developing ideas for reaching customers. Consider what others have done:
Capitol One opened cafés that offer banking with a side of espresso and free WiFi
USAA supports biometric logins and offers full mobile control of cards and channels through a wide range of devices
Santander invested in robo-advisor SigFig and Cambridge Savings Bank was the first to offer SigFig’s services to its customers
Once your bank decides on a strategy to move to the future of banking, there are important steps that can help you overcome challenges along the way:
capture and communicate the new strategy inside and outside the organization
evaluate what capabilities you’ll need and devise a plan to acquire them
determine which company processes or IT resources require modification
assess whether the new business models will create risks for your traditional business
In large organizations, the best way to ensure the success of digital transformation and limit risks is to use powerful enterprise architecture tools. These robust technology tools can help you evaluate and narrow down multiple tactical choices for your plans. After all, automated option analysis is the fastest and most reliable way to innovation and transformation, not just for financial services companies, but for other industries as well. It is a well-proven means used by industry leaders worldwide to quickly anticipate and adapt your organization to change.
With enterprise architecture, the choices are in your hands, rather than in the hands of your competitors.
You can develop your criteria for the exploration of options … costs, risks, market share growth, alignment with strategy, capabilities, or any number of elements that are important to your business.
You get to clearly see what processes, people, resources, technologies and organizational structures are required for each option and what outcomes you can expect.
You can compare the outcomes and decide which is best for your company; the tools will deliver a well-defined roadmap for each option.
The roadmap will show you how to change your shoes in the middle of the race without stopping, and give you a step-by-step plan for getting to the finish line. It will illustrate how to add innovation and agility to your company so that you aren’t left behind in a cloud of dust.
Staying where you are is not an option, because you could be the only person in that big, empty bank branch.
MEGA’s Banking Task Force has experts who can help you through your transformation. Contact us to find out how other banks are winning their race.
1 Adams, Robert M. and Gramlich, Jacob P., Where Are All the New Banks? The Role of Regulatory Burden in New Charter Creation, 2014 2 LaPonsie, Maryalene, 10 Banking Trends for 2016, U.S. News & World Report, January 7, 2016
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Evolving IT systems during or after mergers or acquisitions to improve business performance and ensure business continuity often creates headaches for CIOs.
The combined IT portfolios are overflowing with duplicate, redundant, obsolete and irrelevant applications.
These unnecessary technologies are quite costly and consume a large portion of an IT budget.
Data quality and integrity is on the line and often there’s been a lack of proper data governance on one side or the other.
Technology and application lifecycle management is frequently an afterthought during the flurry of M&A, but it is essential if the new IT roadmap is to support the new business objectives.
What can CIOs do to eliminate the pain and properly manage IT resources during and after M&A?
Insist that IT is part of the mainstream merger or acquisition conversation and plans from Day 1. After all, IT is the business engine for most companies. What good will it do to integrate business units, manufacturing, finance or marketing if you still have two separate, disparate IT systems?
Determine how you’ll create a single IT culture to fulfill the consolidated company’s goals. Will you merge the two IT systems, discard one completely or evolve both into an entirely new IT architecture?
Get your house in good order before merger day. If you haven’t undertaken strategic IT portfolio management before now, how will you reconcile two IT systems when you don’t know what resources serve which business units or support what processes?
If the other company hasn’t done their own IT portfolio management, insist that they also engage in it before the deal is done. And, remember that there’s a strong business case for both companies to use the same IT portfolio management software tools. Do you want to forgo business continuity, cost savings or proper business team support AND create another technology challenge of integrating your IT portfolio management information and methodology with another before you tackle any actual IT system changes?
IT portfolio management is the best remedy for IT sprawl. It streamlines IT investments and aligns them with your business priorities, which may be significantly altered due to a merger or acquisition. It also helps you stay focused on business-critical applications during the M&A. Essentially, it creates a single source of truth about your IT assets that you can rely on for effective business planning for the new entity.
To reduce your M&A pain, use the fundamental three-step approach to IT portfolio management. It will help you increase the agility of your IT systems to cope with another company becoming part of yours.
Inventory: collect information about all of your IT assets and establish a single repository of information. Break down IT assets by business line, processes, capabilities, organizational unit, technology vendor and more.
Evaluate: assess each IT resource by business value, functional support, technical efficiency, cost, vendor support, risk and performance.
Transform: develop several plans for the IT system you expect to need after a merger or acquisition. Identify the best one to eliminate obsolete technology, costly redundancies and high risks. Create a roadmap that shows how to add and retire technologies at the right time to support business goals.
Merger and acquisition activity doesn’t have to create headaches for CIOs. With proper planning and the right tools, CIOs can enjoy playing a major role in an exciting new venture.
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Innovation is the next great idea. It is Twitter, the Swiffer sweeper and Tesla, and far more than version 3.4 of software, the Nutribullet Rx, or the latest Toyota.
As Henry Ford supposedly said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said “a faster horse”.
Successful product innovators, the ones with the next great idea, have followed many paths to success.
They think big and bold, with ideas that don’t seem possible. Five years ago, did anyone think there would be the possibility of drones delivering packages? 20 years ago, did anyone think that telephones would be carried in our pockets, free of the wires that confined them to the home and office?
They create solutions to problems, not solutions in search of a problem. How many tech companies design software and then try to find buyers? Scott Cook (QuickBooks) did the opposite. He came to understand that small business owners need to spend their time selling, so a product that made accounting much simpler was perfect for them.
They experiment and evolve. While the Financial Times continued to sell its respected news content, it turned its delivery and revenue systems upside down by moving from paper to digital subscriptions, pioneering the metered access model. As a result, it was not one of the hundreds of hapless print publications to close during the past decade.
Innovation is often easy for the two guys in the garage. But how do you get to innovation if you’re a large company, one with a product and presence in a market? How do you get beyond versions two and three of your first innovation?
Larger companies get distracted from pursuing innovation because don’t see how to devote resources to it while still running day-to-day operations. It’s because too many resources are consumed by daily activities, such as keeping track of processes, assets, data, risks and everyday business endeavors. Information is duplicated in many places; there are multiple versions and no one knows the truth. Usually, this mission-critical information isn’t properly recorded, updated or shared.
Pioneering CEOs recognize that in order to get to innovation, they first need to pump more efficiency into their organization. They need the ‘single source of truth’ about their company … how it actually runs, the details about the processes that get the products out the door and the money in, who’s doing what and when, how what one person or group does affects others up and down the line, a complete record of all assets and their useful life and the risks that could derail the business.
To get to the "single source of truth", these executives know that they have to automate the collection and recording of knowledge about their business operations and use this information to connect people throughout the company.
That’s enterprise architecture and it’s helping companies create a united, interactive view of the business, its assets, processes and risks. It’s increasing collaboration by sharing the information among employees, work groups and managers across division lines and geographies. It’s putting the right information into the hands of executives so they can initiate successful transformation programs.
When companies arrive at the ‘single source of truth”, the IT department better understands the resources business groups A and B need for product development. Production has a grasp on precise inventory availability and needs and can tell shipping how to plan to move products to customers faster and at less cost. Management can see product lifecycles connected to revenue projections. Division leaders can identify and manage new risks that arise when business changes occur.
That’s when they will have the resources both to run the business better and get to innovation.
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The editors of Smith Magazine, an online storytelling publication, picked up the idea and created a book: Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous & Obscure. Now, six books and more than a million six-word memoirs later, the idea has spread through workplaces, families, communities and schools, with old and young alike. Six-word memoirs have been used in businesses, health care and even as part of eulogies.
A six-word memoir is a statement by an individual about his/her life and outlook at the moment it is written. A memoir is a snapshot in time. Here are some collected by the editors of the Six-Word Memoir books*:
Old soul, young spirit, hopeful heart.
It’s simpler than they tell you.
Yale at 16, downhill from there.
Found on Craigslist: table, apartment, fiancée.
I should have brought a GPS.
Facebook has ruined my entire life.
Some of the memoirs sound like they could have been penned by enterprise architects*:
Have yet to figure it out!
We should have written everything down.
Nobody left alive to confirm stories.
Apart from clever writing that someone might use to express his/her thoughts about the discipline of enterprise architecture, there are a number of parallels between six-word memoirs and enterprise architecture.
1. Memoirs rely on the established six-word format to convey meaning. Enterprise architecture is based on a standard graphical structure to communicate.
2. Memoirs are snapshots of individuals’ hopes, histories and ideas at a moment in time. Enterprise architecture describes a company’s goals, processes and resources at a point in time.
3. Memoirs are chronicles that can be revisited again and again. Enterprise architecture preserves the record of a company’s story.
4. Memoirs can show progress, with new ones added as the individual’s viewpoint and experience change. Enterprise architecture changes as time passes, as the company transforms to a new environment.
As an enterprise architect, what would be your six-word memoir? *Six-word memoirs from Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs from Writers Famous & Obscure, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs, and the Leonard Lopate Show, February 27, 2008.
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IT Department Cheating on the Board … Again Dear Abby: I’m a board member at a large insurance company. We set the strategy for the company and approve budgets based on annual goals. For the past few years, the IT department has obtained funding for several projects, but did not use the funds as they were originally intended. Rather, they used the money for their own pet projects, which they then told us are much better for the company, but had no ROI figures to back up their claims. We aren’t getting the IT capabilities we thought we paid for. How can we rein in these IT mavericks?
Watching the Money Disappear in Delaware
Dear Watching the Money Disappear: It seems that the business and IT sides of your company aren’t communicating very well. There’s a lack of communication between the strategists and those who execute IT programs, and no way to connect the strategy to IT funding. This isn’t surprising; business people don’t often speak “IT language” and IT people don’t always understand business needs.
The solution is to get the two groups to speak the same language. Tie the IT architecture and IT capabilities to the company’s strategic vision, through an enterprise architecture program that will create transparency and visibility into all company processes and resources – IT included. This enterprise architecture program will also open up very needed communication, so that discussions about IT resources continue throughout the year, not just at budget time. This should stop the money disagreements.
Cleaning up the Mess on the Floor Dear Abby: I recently started working for a large manufacturer and worked for a similar company before. I am absolutely amazed at how this company still relies on manual operations. For example, we have a guy who walks the floor and looks at the product supplies that are stored in 20 silos before they are released onto conveyor belts to go to the manufacturing floor. He has to remember where each silo’s contents enter the process to determine which switch to throw next. There’s absolutely no automation for measuring, release times, calculations, etc. When manufacturing shuts down, they sometimes don’t notify the supply side, so the product keeps coming on the belts, spills onto the floor, and creates a huge mess. How can I convince the old guard that there is a better way?
Amazed in Omaha
Dear Amazed in Omaha: Unbelievable! Sounds very much like the “I Love Lucy” episode with the chocolate candies on the conveyor belt. That was funny, but this is costing your company a lot of money.
If both groups understood the plant processes better and had visual diagrams that showed them each step of the manufacturing process, it would be easy for them to insert a “stop product flow” signal into the chain of events before shutting down manufacturing. Then you wouldn’t have an expensive mess.
The company should document its processes so that both groups can see exactly what happens when and where, and what changes are needed to stop wasting product. With a clear understanding of process and business requirements, the IT group could propose tools such as cameras, automated measuring scales, and conversion tables to solve this dilemma and improve productivity. An enterprise architecture software solution would make it possible to visualize the manufacturing process through diagrams and alternative “what-if” scenarios. With all information in a centralized repository, it would be easy to change it if processes changed. Tell them to join the 21st century and use software tools that will move the company forward.
We Thought We Fixed It Dear Abby: I work for a very progressive bank that is always trying to serve its customers well and remain profitable. Some time ago, we eliminated sending checks back to customers in the postal mail and converted to scanned images online. This was supposed to save money. However, after the first year, costs in this area increased by nearly 10%.
We found out that no one told the groups that had mailed the checks previously that their processes had changed. The bank was essentially processing all checks in both ways – scanning and mailing. While we’ve solved that problem now, it cost a lot of money. What can we do to avoid these types of mistakes in the future?
Oops in Texas
Dear Oops in Texas: You need better communication and more visibility into your processes, so that when new procedures are implemented, you’ll know which old ones to turn off. Do you have any documentation on the bank’s processes? Do you know the individual steps in each process? Is this information shared throughout the company? If not, the best solution would be to develop an enterprise architecture program, using specialized software that will help you evaluate how things get done at the bank, in all departments. You’ll be able to see which processes affect others and what resources are needed to support those processes. Best of all, when changes are made, you’ll have this information at your fingertips.
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