When you create a new company you have an idea, some sketches, then you develop a product or a service while trying to understand your potential customers by listening and testing. Then the production/service org gets cranking, channels established and sales ensues. All fine and dandy.
Your focus slowly shifts from idea, customer understanding, and free-thinking development to efficient production/service delivery, better channel deals, development restricted to “what you know” (i.e. what your production/service can handle) and your customer relationship shifts from “curious partnership” to “pushy marketing” (adding “social” to the CRM does not count).
That’s when you start the slide. OK, many years of success might ensue as you grow, but the customers and the markets are fickle, technological changes will happen, the market might get saturated – and if your focus has shifted from “ideas” to “production” you will eventually be outdated, lose out, and the days of blooming flowers will be replaced by wilting stalks. That’s the nature of things.
Why this shift of focus?
Humans (even managers) crave the predictable and will chose it over the unpredictable any day. Easily understandable patterns, especially process patterns, are much preferred to life’s randomness. Stable and known processes makes life easy and an urge to shift focus onto the Repeatable and predictable is the result.
[Yep, used it before, now to illustrate doing BRP stuff the ERP way.]
Production, service delivery machinations, human capital management, and supply chain management are examples of Repeatable and predictable processes well served by ERP, SCM, HCM and other such nice TLAs.
This is yet another example of the ERP versus BRP issue. Those functions that are of the BRP type, once the “core”, now becomes “support functions” while ERPs becomes the new “core”. We like ERP so we try to streamline BRP using rules or rigid processes, but otherwise we minimise them. Over time the pure “BRP mode” startup becomes a rigid “ERP” machine.
Logically speaking; ERP is a subset of BRP. BRP in essence is a set of smaller ERP snippets with participant-chosen paths in between. An MD meets the patient, in itself rather ERP as it requires standard questions and predictable sequences of analysis. When finished, and only then, can the MD decide to send the patient to X-ray (another predictable and Easily Repeatable sequence of activities), to blood tests (another ERP), to another expert, or straight to surgery.
If the BRPs were well supported, even run as processes in some “Repeatable” fashion, then patterns becomes visible and some sort of predictability ensues. That might allow businesses to keep their focus on idea generation, partnering with customers, free-form development – in other words keep their focus on the true core, enhancing the “value we are to deliver”.
Or put another way, BRPs are immensely important, the foundation of all business. Resource-wise, that’s also where the majority of world wide value creation happens, so it’s a win-win. So let’s help the BRPs now.
Make it easy to conduct business properly again.