Forget Users, External Customers is Where Its At.

Are you a victim of the internal customer, the one that is forever changing their mind chasing the next big thing? You spend months streamlining processes using cross functional teams delivering IT systems that provide the business outcomes you set out to achieve. Another successful project brought in on time and on budget. Yet many of these celebrated project never will fulfil their full potential as they often forget include the external customers (suppliers, paying customers, etc.).

over the years we find ourselves into serious trouble when we focus too much on the end user of the software application being designed. You tend to focus on making it an easy as possible for the internal employees to do what’s expected, the internal management team are pleased that their teams are being catered for. Don’t you want to make it easy for your external customers to deal with you, streamline the supply chain. all to often the two objectives are in direct conflict.

Creating a self-service mindset within your design processes, regardless if you’ve adopted enterprise architecture, you can offset many of the process tasks to the most practical. Purchase order progress maintained by suppliers; credit limits, overdue accounts visible to paying customers. If you start with the external view then move inward to where you have greater influence then you will stand a greater chance of delivering ‘real’ value and lasting significant benefit. Don’t rely on your internal users to hold the answers to the best solution. Obviously you need to ensure they are consulted and informed, but the drive needs to be outside in.

That’s right, no more internal-only applications. If you are looking at HR expense management, your billing systems, or revamping the inventory management systems, everything impacts your external customers. everyone needs to understand that success must be measured from multiple view points. Be brave an challenge some of the businesses practices you could save huge amounts by removing costs and building relationships with the outside world.