When a process is entering a phase of decline, it is the right time to think about reinventing it before it has negative results for the business.
When to innovate a Business Process?
As many of you may know, Design Thinking is a methodology focused on innovation that originated to bring new products or services to life. Over time, business consultants found in the methodology the right process to design or redesign business models, and others found the opportunity to use it for business process innovation.
I must emphasize that business processes, as their name indicates, are executed to produce value for the business, otherwise, they would have no reason to exist.
In addition, each business process must exist to satisfy an order or an offer to a customer, either internal, if it is a strategic or support process, or external if it is a constitutive or core process of the company. If the order or offer is executed on time and in such a way that the customer’s expectations are met or exceeded, we can say that value is being produced for both the customer and the company.
The more satisfied customers there are, the more likely it is that more customers will knock on your company’s doors; but if the opposite happens, the more likely it is that customers will decide to walk away in search of new options.
When the latter happens, we can declare that the business process is entering a phase of decline and this is the right time to think about innovating before losing more customers.
How to innovate a Business Process using Design Thinking?
First of all, it is important to know that Design Thinking, also referred to in Spanish as Pensamiento de Diseño, is an agile methodology focused on these criteria for its design:
- The customer is at the center of the process. We seek to satisfy some concern or interest that the customer has.
- Generate a truly differentiating user experience, through a creative solution (different from what is currently done in that domain of action).
Having said this, we must start from the declaration of an initial objective to be developed. It must be clear that this objective must address some concern or interest of your customers.
Once the initial objective has been defined, it is time to execute the methodology.
Design Thinking Methodology adapted to Business Process Innovation
This methodology consists of five phases, which we will use to design, execute and validate a new business process that generates a differentiating service offer in the domain of action framed in the initial objective.
These phases are:
Every offer must start with the customers, so the first step is to listen to them and collect empathetically and directly the conditions with which, if fulfilled, they will be satisfied when receiving the service we intend to offer. In other words, to understand their expectations about the service to be received.
The information received is analyzed, distinguishing pains and gains and from there listing the opportunities to innovate.
The areas of opportunity are prioritized and then the service offer is defined based on the area of opportunity identified as the best.
Once the offer has been proposed, a solution is sought by brainstorming disruptive ideas (not thinking outside the box, but thinking as if there were no box), made by people both immersed and external to the process.
Take into consideration that the more ideas there are, the richer the result could be.
Subsequently, the best idea is chosen considering criteria such as the following:
- Value to customers
- Ease of implementation
- Business impact
The selected idea is grounded in something tangible, giving it shape and making it more understandable to anyone. This is achieved by defining and modeling the new business process that will enable the solution. So, the tasks to be executed, who will execute them, with which material and/or information resources they will be executed, etc. are determined. In addition, the necessary indicators are defined to measure the success of this new service offering.
A pilot of the new process is implemented with the mission of executing the new service offering and the results obtained are evaluated using the indicators defined in the previous phase.
But most importantly, since the offer started with the customer, it should also end with the customer, so the value produced from the customer’s perspective is also validated in this phase. Feedback is solicited from them on the level of fulfillment of their expectations and their user experience while receiving the service.
Depending on the feedback received, the necessary course of action is decided (which phase of the methodology to return to) to ensure a solution that truly satisfies the concern or interest of the customers for whom this service was designed.
Example of Design Thinking to incentivize exercise in people flow
Here we share a fun example made by Volkswagen where we can see the innovation in mass psychology to encourage exercise. We can see how a team works on building the prototype and performing the corresponding test.
- As you can see, innovating a business process is a relatively simple task if you have the skills to do it.
- Don’t stop trying, because the results can be really rewarding for both parties, client and business.
- If for some reason you don’t have the necessary team to execute initiatives like these, give us a call, at Linnoit we are ready to help you!
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