Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dynamic Case Management: Business Benefits Wrapped in Cold, Dead Fish

I and others have been saying for years that if you let many if not most technically focused people open a sushi bar, the sign outside would likely say something like "cold, dead fish for sale." It's a metaphor for the unfortunate fact that technical people are often…inconsistent in their abilities to communicate the value of their knowledge and efforts to the non-technical.

In this context, I absolutely HATE the term "dynamic case management." In case you haven't yet heard said term, DCM is currently a Hot Thing among growing numbers of pundits and observers. It's supposedly the way that decision makers in marketing, customer care and related areas will develop and leverage that real-time, 360-degree view of everybody who matters to the business, or at least its revenue stream(s).

So far, OK. Now, here's where the cold, dead fish comes in.

In the first place, I am a customer, partner, prospect or competitor, and therefore the focal point of a relationship to be nurtured. NOT a "case" to be "managed." Ugh!

In the second place, there's way too much focus on the technologies that enable and support DCM, and too little on the goal itself. And that goal is not DCM, or the implementation of any specific DCM-related technologies.

The ultimate goal of DCM and related initiatives such as those focused on customer experience management (CEM) is to improve relationships with customers, partners and prospects, and the value of those relationships to the business. Specifically, this means ensuring that every interaction with your business is optimized, for those interacting with your business and for your business. (I call this online experience optimization or OEO.) It also means ensuring that the knowledge generated by those interactions can be channeled in ways that improve and refine the business processes that drive and support future such interactions. (I call this business knowledge optimization or BKO.)

These are all business goals that are human-centric and process-driven. To the extent that DCM efforts share these two characteristics, their chances for success are improved. To the extent that they do not, their likelihood of failure is increased. Whatever you want to call it, and whichever technologies you consider or deploy.

DCM is not the destination. It is an important step in the journey toward making your business more agile, more responsive, more social and more successful. DCM is also both a challenge and an opportunity for those seeking to make their companies more human-centric, process-driven. The goals, challenges and opportunities surrounding DCM require committed, focused collaboration among all key leaders and decision makers within an organization. The benefits are there to be had, if there is sufficient will and focus. And more plain-language business talk. And a lot less cold, dead fish.

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