Have you redesigned your processes as a result of social?

As social media strategies mature, many clients now recognize that business goals should drive the technology and not the other way around.  Few organizations are going out and buying social media products and services without thinking about how these purchases will help their business.  But, often, we are seeing a lack of actually integrating the data or productivity gain to the overall business process.

Granted that BPR (business process re-engineering) has been long forgotten and often maligned since Hammer and Champy wrote their best selling book, Re-engineering the Corporation, I thought it was worth revisiting some of the main principles of their work.  The idea is that by rethinking business processes in light of a new technology, like social media technologies, we can make increase revenue and reduce costs.

So here are 7 of their principles:

1. Organize around outcomes, not tasks.
2. Identify all the processes in an organization and prioritize them in order of redesign urgency.
3. Integrate information processing work into the real work that produces the information.
4. Treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized.
5. Link parallel activities in the workflow instead of just integrating their results.
6. Put the decision point where the work is performed, and build control into the process.
7. Capture information once and at the source.

In the recent Web 2.0 McKinsey Global Study, Jacques Bughin and Michael Chui, describe major gains for companies that employ social-enabled business processes.  While, it is worth looking at the full study, a few of the larger gains include:

Internal purposes

Increasing speed of knowledge – 30% median improvement

Reducing communication costs – 20% median improvement

Increasing employee satisfaction – 20% median improvement

Customer related purposes

Awareness – 25% median improvement

Customer satisfaction and loyalty – 20% media improvement

These are some substantial improvements.  Once a social technology has been implemented, take time to think through the overall business process, perhaps with the help of Hammer and Champy’s principles listed above.  If there’s anything that can be changed, redirected or reduced as a result of the technology, you just may be able to achieve more gains than you thought.


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Filed under Corporate Social Media