Five-Step Approach to Lean, Customer-Focused Product Development

SDLC Partners BPMN Lean

Ideas for new products, services and technology come from all sorts of sources. And, many organizations find themselves in a corner with creations that they realize, later, might not be what’s necessary.

The paramount question is – are you building products that meet the customers’ and the business’ needs?

We’re setting out to change the way organizations connect their business need to the end product by way of utilizing business process management and lean concepts.

On a recent client trip, we facilitated a Value Stream Mapping session that, literally, revolutionized the way this organization approaches WHAT they develop to align tightly with Voice of Customer and business objectives, through efficient self-discovery.

When the client realized that their process was heading them in a direction that they never intended to go, they discovered a whole new, efficient and powerful approach to creating better products through a better requirements design process.

“…we facilitated a Value Stream Mapping session that, literally, revolutionized the way this organization approaches WHAT they develop…”

Want to improve your process of getting from Point A (Customer and Business Need) to Point C (Desired Product or Service)? Here is our five-step framework for combining the best of Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) with Lean and linking the business to IT more effectively.

  1. Clearly define business objectives
  2. Incorporate voice of customer
  3. Use Lean and Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to uncover gaps in and opportunities for value
  4. Use Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 to create a process map
  5. Determine requirements based on value
BPMN Lean

Figure 1: BPMN + Lean Framework: This framework can be adapted to any kind of development lifecycle. In the case of Agile, the product owners can leverage this to build and prioritize a product backlog.

What’s unique about this framework is that it brings a common language that allows technical folks, business folks and marketing folks to get on the same page quickly and have a shared vision. Plus, because it’s industry and technology agnostic, the process is adaptable to any organization, challenge, customer or product.

By combining the best of several methodologies, we’ve seen clients have major “aha” moments. In those moments of self-discovery, they create better, faster and more valuable paths to delivering what their customers want and the business needs.

I think this quote from Francis of Assisi, albeit meant for a different worthy pursuit, is very relevant to our topic. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Not sure if your requirements design process is creating products, services and technology that can best meet your business needs and customer demand, talk to us.

Paul Taylor can share some recent client successes that can be replicated for any business willing to innovate.

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Point of View Author

Paul Taylor
Director, Office of CIO Services

Point of View Contributor

Vishakh Viswanathan
Consultant, Business Consulting
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