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Appian World 2013 Keynote Presentation -- The Jewel in The Crown: How the Appian Platform Helps You Build The Engagement Program

Alena Davis, Appian
April 30, 2013

Derek Miers from Forrester Research, delivered the final presentation of the day. He offered a powerful look at transforming an organization. This session was geared to help attendees understand and overcome the challenges associated with developing the long term vision for process improvement, how they can connect it to the customer experience by developing a target operating model for their organization, and then how they can engage their employees around that future. It outlined how to approach the program of change and build a compelling roadmap to which all stakeholders can commit.


How do you take your BPM program to the next level? According to Miers, worksocial is not a magic wand. Magic wands are a great idea, but they're not enough -- to unlock true transformational value, you have to engage employees and leaders in understanding how it supports the organizational vision. They must understand, and be engaged, in how social and mobile process transformation delivers new value to customers.

What's your definition of transformation? Miers says that "Transformation means being prepared to change everything you do, but most importantly - how you think."

Mature firms take a balanced approach to business improvement. In Forrester's Business Process Maturity online survey, the most common goal of a low-maturity business improvement program was cost reduction. However, in high-maturity programs, value innovation and customer experience improvement were just as important.

Political challenges abound in transformation. Moving an organization from siloed functions to processes supported by functions creates a shift from traditional line management to processes and services management. This can have profound political impact in building consensus.

Business architecture integrates organizational silos. It enables organizations to tease apart strategic intent - how are we going to win? Articulate the operating model into processes, services, capabilities. All of this is surrounded by governance to create the "zen" operating model (which just happens to resemble a peace sign.)

Miers provided examples of target operating models, which provide the glue. The inside-out model focuses on efficiency and risk reduction; the outside-in model focuses on value/outcome and experiences. Together, combined with governance, they can fuel transformational projects.

Miers outlined the key steps to giving shape to your transformation program:

    • Flesh out top-level strategy

    • Engage around customers

    • Optimize performance

    • Consistent process architecture

    • Understanding costs and drivers

    • Optimizing investment decisions

    • Input to organizational design

    • Design and coordinate change

Miers then switched gears and asked the crowd how they do projects today. Instead of the classic method of going from the baseline (as-is) directly to the process definitions (to-be), he recommended that organizations prioritize projects with executive engagement, establish the customer experience vision with business engagement, and map out the operational process architecture before defining processes.

Miers elaborated a bit more on designing the customer experience vision. It should encompass market knowledge, the customer journey, available resources, performance metrics, governance, and marketing & sales. This will result in happy customers, competitive advantage, profits, and all the other things organizations seek from a business improvement strategy.

Alena Callaghan

Web Marketing Manager

Alena Callaghan