Traditionally, cross functional business processes bring together colleagues from various professional disciplines. They collaborate to propose, create and deliver extraordinary client solutions. However, within the digitally-connected enterprise, the ecosystem looks different. Critical cross functional business processes now include software and machine collaboration, as well.
Ponder the impact of incorporating non-human, artificially intelligent collaborative partners into cross functional business processes. The breadth and depth of potential solutions become turbo-charged.
As I asked in my last post: how effectively is artificial intelligence incorporated into your current cross functional business, IT and operational processes?
Customers expect products, services and solutions to become better-and-better. Can you deliver?
Customers expect products and services to become better-and-better as a result of digital transformation, artificial intelligence and human interaction. Not only that, clients anticipate end user experiences also will become better-and-better as well.
First, deliver on customer expectations by addressing legacy Us versus Them mindset. Are you still throwing together a group of cross functional colleagues (yet again) and hoping they will stick together and collaborate? Does your organizational culture still (intentionally or not) separate employees based on education, experience, job function and location? If so, on both counts, the quality of business outcomes become nonproductive and unprofitable.
Have you created a data-savvy corporate culture that includes ALL current employees as well as new hires?
Second, the continuous influx of data from connected devices evolves cross functional business processes by evolving them into technology- and data-driven ones. As a result, cross functional business processes become anything but linear. Continuous, new data insights change a project’s course requiring more nimble and robust design processes. Consider the capacity of data-driven, cross functional business processes – and their team leadership – to flexibly course-correct.
What is the impact of non-linear thinking on current business, IT and operational processes?
Adoption of AI into cross functional business processes tests the ability of organizational cultures and business models to train machines in the most robust, yet flexible, manner possible. However, while machines collaborate and adopt logically and consistently, a dysfunctional human team will not.
If you are unwilling or unable to create extraordinary cross functional team experiences, how can you deliver better-and-better, extraordinary and enduring client outcomes?
Finally, better-and-better includes increased customer demand for product innovation, not just continuous process improvement.
As I wrote this post, my colleague, Louis Columbus published a blog post regarding findings from the latest study regarding rate of IoT adoption. 73% of organizations polled in this Cisco Internet of Things study report using IoT data to improve their businesses. However, while 35% of IT executives perceive their IoT initiatives as successful, only 15% of business executives do.
Why is this?
As I read through this research, what strikes me is that rate of IoT data adoption, and relative success of beta projects, leverages proof of concept. Ultimately, how do respective customer-facing line of business units perceive results from IoT initiatives? Until cross functional business processes improve their ability to translate the practical value of beta solutions to specific beta customers, the perception remains that IoT risk outweighs IoT reward.
Not surprisingly, in this study, the most successful IoT initiatives engage all members of their IoT ecosystem throughout the entire project. However, why do the successful IoT initiatives and enlightened cross functional business processes remain the exception rather than the rule?
The capacity of IoT cross functional business processes to drive innovation becomes the true catalyst of not only customer acquisition but customer retention. However, no matter how much predictive analytics, big data, machine-to-machine learning and artificial intelligence you incorporate into those processes, if your organization is not set up to innovate, you stagnate.
How have you utilized cross functional business processes when developing IoT initiatives for specific use cases? What has been your success rate? Sticking points?
Babette Ten Haken is a STEM-trained catalyst, corporate strategist, storyteller and facilitator. Her focus? How collaboration revolutionizes and humanizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain. The results? Increased customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner.
Image author: Asha Sreenivas. Image source: Fotolia.