Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Collaboration, Communication and Business Processes: Why They're Connected and How to Get Them There, in 13 Sentences!

1. Every business relies on collaboration and communication to do business.

2. Almost all business collaboration and communication is supported by some form(s) of information technology (IT), whether e-mail, social media telephone or even fax.

3. To win consistently and thrive competitively, businesses need to be able to do the right things for customers, partners and prospects consistently and respond to changing requirements or conditions in a timely, agile fashion.

4. Ad hoc, inconsistent collaboration or communication practices make it unlikely to impossible for businesses to do what they need to do to win consistently or thrive competitively.

5. The key difference between collaboration and communication practices that help a business to win and those practices that don't are consistent business-driven processes implemented and enforced across all business-critical activities and actors.

6. Processes that are crafted, documented and enforced well and consistently help to ensure that all important actions contribute to satisfaction of customers, partners and prospects and business success.

7. At most businesses, critical processes are often inconsistently and poorly crafted, documented and/or enforced, when they exist, are documented or are enforced at all.

8. The businesses best able to capture, define, implement, enforce, integrate and manage critical processes are those best positioned to win and to thrive competitively.

9. A potentially powerful way to achieve these goals is to process-enable the collaboration and communication solutions upon which the business already relies and with which users are already familiar.

10. Fortunately, new IT tools are appearing that make it relatively easy for even non-technical business decision makers to capture, define, implement, enforce, integrate and manage business processes effectively and consistently, and to process-enable key collaboration and communication solutions.

11. Examples include Cordys, which offers cloud-based process and workflow management that integrates with Google's online office applications, and EnterpriseWizard, which combines cloud- or premise-based application building and process capture/creation with an unconditional money-back satisfaction guarantee.

12. Your business needs to begin by capturing, analyzing and optimizing all critical incumbent processes, evaluating and prioritizing key collaboration and communication solutions and mapping out how best to process-enable these -- preferably now if it hasn't already.

13. For more on this (and on EnterpriseWizard), read my recent Focus Brief at http://focus.com/c/B3E/; to discuss, feel free to drop me a line at mdortch@focus.com and/or at medortch@dortchonit.com.

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