Pain Management

Picture this: A patient walks into the doctor’s office and says “doc, every time I raise my arm it hurts”.  Of course you know the punch line.   But can you see the analogy?    Fill in the blank:  Every time we _____, our customers/services/users hurt (how?) 

To identify and improve pain areas, you must analyze the overall performance and capabilities of your services, processes, people, partners and underpinning technology.  Do you know how they support desired business outcomes and where they fall short?   
The first step is to identify the “as-is” state in order to document current performance and justify the need for improvement.   Part of this step will involve determining what needs to be measured and who is going to collect, process, analyze and synthesize the data into useable information.  Key stakeholders will need to be identified and engaged in order to understand the intensity of their pain, the residual impact and their input into possible opportunities for improvement.

The “as-is” state can serve as a launchpad for envisioning and documenting the desired “to be” state.  A gap analysis between the two will serve as the basis for building a strategic plan for improvement
Improvement requires resources (human, technical and financial).   To justify the improvement, a business case will need to be developed that describes both the pain and potential remedies.   Business cases must speak to value - as both return on investment and value on investment.  It must be aligned to customer goals and objectives.   And it must speak to risk - the risk of making the improvement and the risk of not making the improvement.     
Pain is unpleasant.  And unfortunately, many of us choose to live with the pain instead of identifying ways to lessen or eliminate it.    But pain can be managed - both medically and corporately.  You just have to be willing to acknowledge it and commit to reducing or eliminating it.


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