Best Next Action Is The Next Big Thing For Intelligent Operations

What if every person in your organization knew what the Best Next Action is every time they need to make decisions on customer on-boarding, support, sales, procurement, hiring, firing, and in actual fact, every operational process that you have in your organization?

Best Next Action

What if they weren’t forced down a prescriptive archaic flow path or workflow, but rather guided by a Best Next Action that is based on some organizational goal or KPI to optimize revenue, reduce cost, ensure compliance or improve customer service?

What if the Best Next Actions in your organization are predictive and based on an analysis of the results of previous occurrences in your business?

What if you could take the way people really worked across a thousand or so transactions and look at the most effective ways or work patterns that brought in most sales, reduced new product development cycles, reduced costs and avoided massive fines and penalties for unknowingly (or sometimes knowingly) putting the organization in high risk, non-compliant situations?

“Next Best Action” is a familiar term in sales and marketing and regularly used for “upselling” or trying to move a customer along a desired sales route. The better term to describe this approach is actually “Best Next Action” as it clearly explains what the best action is to follow on from an existing action or process step. “Next Best” actually describes the 2nd best option.

Getting people in your organization to follow a Best Next Action approach in their day-to-day work requires a different view on processes as we know them. Most people think of a flow diagram with a clear path, some “yes/no” decision points and rigid business rules that determine how the process will “flow”.

A Best Next Action approach requires you to view process as “emergent”. It means that the best next action will “emerge” when you are busy with a current step and you have data and information about your environment, context, and where you are in respect of achieving a process goal or KPI. It is how we intuitively work. We assess the current progress or activity and then decide on the next step. The problem with rigid workflow is that it will force the next step based on a very simple formula or model-based (flow diagram) view of the world.

The end result is that smart people will circumvent the rigid flow, use the data at their disposal, discuss it with peers and colleagues (usually in emails) and then make their own next action decision based on what they know. This is just how knowledge workers work. That’s why workflow systems for knowledge workers fail.

The best way to make sure your processes support your business goals or KPIs is to make sure your processes allow the best next actions to “emerge” as smart people do the work. Let the work be guided by goals and advice on the best action that is likely to get you to the goal or KPI.

It does, however, require that your work management system support both emergent work as well as best next action guides. It needs to handle work actions as a collection of possible events and allow users to sequence these events as they see fit. It needs to use business rules to set up guardrails for compliance, but not force the flow of work. It needs to look at the success of previous transactions and advise the Best Next Action based on previous successes, analysis of current work and other “big data” sets and use predictive analytics to suggest Best Next Actions.

Advising Best Next Actions requires a work management tool that is built on an event-based architecture that allows options rather than rigid flow paths. It requires a solution that embeds BI and predictive analytics in the work and adjusts as you go. It also requires a solution that allows collaboration and discussion as part of work, to get feedback, ask questions and help you make better process decisions.

XMPro combines loosely-coupled (flow-less) event based tasks, operational intelligence and social collaboration to achieve competitive advantage with predictable revenue, cost, compliance and customer service goals.

XMPro is the only native event-based iBPMS on the market today. It is the only solution designed to support the Best Next Action in your business today. XMPro’s Best Next Action is the Next Big Thing to manage smart work better.

1 thoughts on “Best Next Action Is The Next Big Thing For Intelligent Operations

  1. Pieter says:

    We have found more and more smart businesses “get” Best Next Actions and understand that it makes sense to focus on KPIs rather than try and get the “perfect” workflow.

    Do you wish you you had more intelligent processes? I’d love to hear your thoughts

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