Finally! BPM is Being Used to Revolutionize BPO (Part 2)

As I write this I am flying back to Boston from a meeting with a prominent BPO.  The discussion of the day was how can they manage, track, and orchestrate work between them and their service receiver more effectively.  Currently, the outsourced work moves back and forth between the service provider and the service receiver, and traverses through many hands of skill-based workers depending on the step of the process. 

The problem is, once a work case is triggered it takes an act of God to track down whose hands it is in now, what is the state of the overall case, what is the progress of ad-hoc supporting tasks etc., etc.  There is no work transparency into the work being performed.  Without work management transparency the BPO is forced to manually research and track down work which is extremely costly and they risk losing customers due to poor customer experience.

So what exactly is work management transparency?  It is about the BPO having the ability to govern who is processing tasks on their customer’s behalf and all the related details associated with the task.  At any point in the process they can pull up a process diagram that highlights what step the case and individual tasks are at.  They have audit trail reports that graphically depict what steps the work case took to get to its current point, and lastly the BPO has the ability to drill down into the case to review what exactly has been done to process the work and by whom.  

The cool part of this is that cutting edge BPOs are sharing this level of work transparency with their customers.  In other words, they are providing access to BPM technology mechanisms and reports so they can see the status of tasks.  This level of trust is enabling service receivers to view and treat their BPO as an integrated part of their internal BPM strategy vs. an exception. I think of all the powerful things BPM technology provides to an outsourcing engagement work transparency is the most important.  It creates a new value proposition of trust between the service provider and service receiver. 

What do you think?  Do you agree?  Please feel free to share your perspective on how BPOs can provide transparency with its customers.