Shelley Sweet

Do Your Business Process Metrics Measure Up?

  1. Are we doing things right?
  2. Are we doing the right things?

Peter Fingar, co-author of Business Process Management: The Third Wave, then asks these measurement corollaries in his 2013 article “How Do Your BPM Metrics Measure Up?”

  1. Are we measuring things right?
  2. Are we measuring the right things?

But what are these right measurements? John Dixon, Gartner analyst, articulates seven best practices:

  1. Focus on Outcomes – Measure the results, not the completion of steps or milestones to get there.
  2. Limit the Number of Measures – Not fifteen, but just a few.
  3. Set Clear, Specific Goals – The leaders must have clear goals and they need to articulate them.
  4. Link Metrics to Strategy – The metrics need to show how work impacts the company’s strategy.
  5. Measure Current Performance – Know how you are doing today, so you can see if anything changes in the future.
  6. Look Ahead, Not Just Back – Metrics are not just to see what happened historically. Metrics should cause action today.
  7. Make Metrics Visible and Accessible – Having workers, managers, supervisors, and executives see metrics helps employees make decisions and take action. If only executives see them on a monthly dashboard, it is too infrequent, too late, and too inaccessible.

And the next question is – How do you really do all this? Below are examples of TIPS from my 20 years of practice to select measurements that are meaningful and have an impact on results:

  1. Focus on Outcomes – Select measures that track the outcomes of the process from a product standpoint and customer standpoint. These should be results that provide value to the customer.
  2. Limit the Number of Measures – I say limit it to two or three. Start with that number and use them.
  3. Set Clear, Specific Goals – Starting a BPM Project successfully means creating a Project Charter with the Process Owner, Executive Sponsor, Project Lead and Team Facilitator. And in that charter are specific Improvement Targets; for each Improvement Target there needs to be one metric.
  4. Link Metrics to Strategy – It’s not only the metrics that should link to the strategy. The Improvement Targets need to be aligned with the strategy. So you need to discuss that with the Process Owner and Executive Sponsor.
  5. Measure Current Performance – This starts with gathering baseline data for the metrics designated for each Improvement Target.
  6. Look Ahead, Not Just Back – All metrics must drive decisions and action. If you measure something and don’t do anything with the measure, it’s no good. So think carefully about what action you will take with any metric, and discard it if no action is identified.
  7. Make Metrics Visible and Accessible – Metrics should be visible on the shop floor, or on the wall, or if on the desktop with mechanisms to have alerts about changes or concerns. A file on the desktop is not visible enough unless it is naturally accessed frequently.

About the Author

Shelley SweetShelley Sweet, the Founder and President of I4 Process, and author of The BPI Blueprint, is a highly respected BPM Practitioner. She provides consultation, workshops and training programs for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations. Her programs are based on a unique 3-PEAT method of modeling processes and analyzing data that accelerates operational improvements, and builds leaders and employees who sustain operational excellence. Want to learn more about BPM metrics? Email Shelley at: [email protected]

StrategyDriven Decision Making Warning Flag Article

Decision-Making Warning Flag 1d – Distinction Without a Difference

StrategyDriven Decision Making Warning Flag | Distinction Without a DifferenceWhat is six to one is a half dozen to another.”

Author Unknown

While two or more things may be truly the same, people may attempt to characterize them as being different; drawing attention to characteristics or features that are either exactly or materially the same. These individuals seek to draw a distinction between the subject items where no difference exists.

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About the Author

Nathan Ives, StrategyDriven Principal is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.

Jeffrey Gitomer

The questions that matter most in a sales presentation.

When you’re giving your sales presentation, do you really know what the customer is thinking or what they’re asking themselves as you’re presenting?

I doubt it. You’re too busy trying to sell.

Shake the hand. Smile the smile. Show the slides. Talk the talk. Do the demo. Ask the superficial questions. Try the close. Try to overcome, “the price is too high.” Propose the proposal. Do the sales dance.

Meanwhile the customer is thinking. He or she is asking themself questions about the validity of your product and your offer. They’re thinking about how your stuff might fit into their company. And while you’re talking they may be Googling.

While you are trying to prove a point, they are trying to verify your information. And in these times, they can do it in a nanosecond. And you can’t stop them.

While you’re talking, they may be wondering if you have a Twitter account. So they do a quick search and find out that you do not. What’s that about? How validating is that? If they ask you about it, you’ll just brush it off. Suppose the customer is exceptionally Twitter active? How does that make you look?

That’s a small ‘tip of the iceberg’ example of the thoughts that differentiate your sales presentation from the customer’s decision to buy. But let me take it deeper.

All customers, not just the decision maker, have a buying process. It’s a strategy and a process by which they make a purchase. And that purchase is based around the trust, safety, and comfort your customer feels when buying something from you.

In order to gain that trust, and that feeling of safety, they asked themselves a bunch of questions without ever saying a word. You answer those questions by the words you speak. Your job as a master salesperson is to answer those silent questions in a manner that drives the customer to say, “I’ll take it!”

The following list of questions is exactly what goes through the mind of a prospective customer during your presentation. The list is long, and every customer may not ask themselves every one of these questions, but since you don’t know specifically which ones they are going to ask themselves, you better be prepared with answers to all of them.

Here are the questions the prospective customer is asking:

  • What do you offer?
  • What do you offer that no one else has?
  • What do you offer of value?
  • How does your product compare to others I have seen?
  • Does it really fill my need?
  • Can you deliver?
  • Is it real-world?
  • Will it work?
  • Will it work in our environment?
  • How will it impact our people?
  • How could it impact our success?
  • Will senior or executive management buy in?
  • Will my people use it?
  • How will we produce as a result of the purchase?
  • How will we profit as a result of the purchase?
  • How will it come together?
  • How do we buy it?
  • What’s the risk factor in buying?
  • Will you and your company keep its promises?
  • Do I trust you and the people I’m buying from, both as humans and their ability to deliver service after purchase?
  • Will you be my main contact after purchase or are you going to relegate me to ‘the service department?’
  • Do I believe you?
  • Do I have confidence in you?
  • Are you telling me the truth?
  • Do I have the trust and comfort to buy now?

HOLY COW! All that?
YES! All that and more!

This list of questions is by far the most comprehensive I have put together. They address both confidence in product and confidence in the salesperson.

The customer is seeking validation and wants to believe you. They need what you have and they’re going to buy what you offer. The only question is: From who? Depending on the answers to the above questions, they may not buy from you. OUCH!

Here are a few more thought-provoking challenges to help you understand the buying process:

1. The first sale that’s made is the salesperson. If the prospect doesn’t buy you, he’s not going to buy your product or service.
2. How’s your online reputation? What’s your Google ranking and reputation? NOT YOUR COMPANY. YOU!
3. What’s your social media reputation? Not Tweeting is a choice, but a poor one. How about LinkedIn? Do you have a business Facebook page?
4. Did you offer proof? Did you use ‘voice-of-customer’ as testimonial proof to your claims?
4.5 Does the buyer have enough peace of mind to purchase?

I have just given you a mind full of sales information, from the mind of the only person that matters in your sales conversations: the customer.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

A Budget Does Not A Strategy Make!

Let’s see how many of us have been involved in this type of conversation:

Strategy Consultant:Do you have a Strategic Plan?

C-Level Client:Absolutely!

Strategy Consultant:Oh, great! May I see it?

C-Level Client:Of course! Let me get it… Here you go.

Strategy Consultant:OK, thanks.

(30 seconds pass)

Strategy Consultant:Umm, this isn’t a strategic plan.

Strategic Planning is one of those things that every leadership team claims to do, but, few actually perform.

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About the Author

James M. KerrJames M. Kerr, Partner, BlumShapiro Consulting, is the author of The Executive Checklist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). As a management consultant and organizational behaviorist, Jim specializes in strategic planning, corporate transformation and project & program development. He can be reached at [email protected]

What Your Office Says About Your Company (And Why You Should Care)

If there is one thing we have learned through the economic twists and turns of the past decade, it is that people make our companies run. Even at the depths of the economic downturn with the high unemployment rate of 9.9 percent, there were 3.8 million jobs in the US that went unfilled for more than six months and that problem only gets worse as unemployment drops. Consequently, attracting and retaining high quality employees is ‘job one’ in 2014. Is it any wonder that CEO’s and their HR departments, are scanning the horizon for any new idea to help fill those positions? Enter stage left, the open office concept.

The open office concept has its detractors and there is actually much to be said for the traditional office with its spaces for privacy, learning, and focused work, but an open office strategy, when thoughtfully deployed can create environments that support employee attraction and retention.

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About the Author

Kristine WoolseyKristine Woolsey is a business strategist, speaker, and author. She is a transition specialist, helping organizations reshape themselves during times of change including mergers, extreme growth, and adaption to today’s changing workplace. She works at the intersection of organizational behavior, brand alignment, and facilities. She guides leaders to understand the power of leveraging natural behavior patterns using research based strategies with measurable results.

Kristine was trained as an architect and then moved into the business arena. Now, she teaches and speaks about the future of work and behavioral strategy to groups and conferences nationally. Kristine consults for medium to large companies, helping business leaders use behavioral strategies to adjust their value proposition, identity/brand, organization structure, and facilities to create the most direct path through any organizational transformation. For more information visit: