Secret Sauce to Leveraging WFO Successfully in Back-Office Operations
By Nicole Nevulis
Posted in Customer Engagement
In the age of digital transformation, what is one area organizations are realizing they can invest in that will potentially create massive returns of investment? Back-office operations. Opportunity is so abundant that it's hard to focus on what changes in people, process and technology are needed. As a result, organizations address too many areas at once, and do not go deep enough in key areas.
As a result, it's like partially putting out a fire only to have it flare up again. It seems like the potential results were just a mirage and not reality--and organizations give up.
So how can organizations be successful? While I'm not willing to give up my mom's secret pasta sauce recipe, I am going to share with you a few secrets that drive successful workforce optimization (WFO) in the back office.
Tip #1: Plan for Transformation vs. Installation of Technology
Most people don't go from the couch to ultramarathon. If they get inspired to do so one day, they do it with a plan and over time. Savvy organizations do not go from no WFO capabilities to using all WFO capabilities--they do it in stages. It requires careful planning, understanding the current state of the business, and what needs to change to get results.
Tip #2: Define the Business Problem
Focus on the business problem to solve for, not all the functionality of a technology solution to deploy. Focusing on deploying all features to the highest level of complexity will distract from the goal, which is to solve the business problem. Defining the business problem allows the organization to refocus on the purpose of why they are deploying the technology and keep from going down a rabbit hole.
Tip #3: Keep It Simple
You don't need a rocket ship to get to the corner store. Yet when it comes to technology people sometimes focus on the wrong technology to make big gains to solve the business problem. Successful organizations recognize making big gains is about using the right capabilities, as simply as possible, and at the right time. The goal is to get results to the business problem. Focusing on too many capabilities at once can delay an organization in getting there.
Tip #4: Invest in Change Management and a Center of Excellence
If I wore the same sneakers as Shalane Flanagan and Des Linden, both American women who won elite divisions for the 2017 New York City Marathon and 2018 Boston Marathon, respectively, the sneakers wouldn't make me an elite runner. It's no different with technology. You can't expect the technology alone to deliver results. It's how the people embrace it to change the way they work that will make them elite practitioners in their field.
People need support in order to change. They need their organization to effectively manage pushing out only the amount of change that can be absorbed. People will recognize they are being set up to succeed, and thus will take on more changes in technology and process--and accelerate achieving results.
In summary, by being smart about digital transformation in their back offices from the start, organizations can get the value out of WFO that they expect to get and do so more quickly, with less friction.
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