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When the customer has end-to-end visibility, and you don’t

by David McCoy  |  March 30, 2011  |  Submit a Comment

Interesting day, today. In dealing with a service provider, I found that I have more visibility into the process they are providing than they do. That’s pretty sad. Part of me wonders if they’ll call me up and say, “David… what do you see from your view? Tell us, because we can’t see the whole thing.” Well, that’s not going to happen. Part of the problem with limited process visibility is that you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s a mouthful that basically says, “Ignorance is, ummm, bliss?”

In cute, cartoon-like terms, they can see the mouse, but they can’t see the corn.The mouse is their own little world; the corn is an entity that they work with. They have no visibility into that other entity. But I do. Since I work with both entities as a consumer of their services, I can see both. I can see the mouse and the corn, and I know that mice love corn and there’s going to be a problem between those two. I have visibility that places the corn and the mouse in context. The service providers (yes, actually both) do not have any visibility into each other.

I’m getting tired of dealing with organizations that lack process visibility. It’s just as annoying as having to remind a waitress that she left half your dinner off the bill. I’m so anally honest that I don’t let it slide. I always bring the shortage up to the wait-staff even when they look at me like I’m an idiot for not taking the freebie. You feel like you work for the other company. You feel like you’re an auditor, working for free, guiding this other entity to a higher level of performance. No one likes to work for free for another company. I sure don’t. But those poor folks just can’t see the whole picture. I’m becoming a fan of corporate Darwinism – the view that some companies should not survive. Yet, each time I – as a consumer, not as a Gartner analyst – have to guide a company to do the right thing (Ummm, sir… you left the steak dinner off the bill), I feel like I’m unfairly propping up a company that shouldn’t be allowed to survive. It’s the same with process visibility. How much time have I burned because I can see A+B = C and the service provider (A or B) can’t even see that C exists?

Mice and corn. When the two mix, you get a mess. Can you see the corn? Or are you too busy running the maze.


P.S. – I originally had this as mouse and cheese, but that was way too close to a little book that was popular a few years ago, and I wasn’t interested in that accidental comparison.

P.P.S – Graphics are licensed Microsoft Clip Art.

Category: business-process-management-bpm  

David W. McCoy
Managing VPt
19 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

David McCoy manages the analysts on the IT Procurement and Asset Management team. David started Gartner's BPM research and is credited with defining the market that emerged ...Read Full Bio

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