You’ve all heard one of the following lines from either your current or prospective vendor:
- we do it this way because that’s the way all our customers want it
- we studied dozens of customer processes and this is the best practice
- it works better for everyone when we use one process we can collect standard metrics on and guide you
- the more flexibility you have, the more chances of error, so it’s better this way
- without a standard taxonomy, we can’t cultivate community intelligence
In other words, they know best, and if you’re not happy with their way, it’s the highway, but they are convinced that you won’t take the highway, because, well, as far as they’re concerned, they’re right.
But they’re wrong.
With the exception of the needs to:
- maintain security and authenticity and audit trails
- support any necessary regulations
- enforce process integrity and organizational rules
NO process is fixed across all organizations and all situations. Nor does it need to be. Elements might need to be fixed. Key data elements might need to be fixed. Audit logs and security requirements might need to be fixed. Access might need to be limited by role or responsibility. But other than that, the number of steps the organization desires to undertake. The number of approvals. The order of each, that’s up to the organization. And to be told you cannot do it your way when there’s nothing wrong with your way is ridiculous.
And a modern vendor realizes that. That’s why they will offer you a platform that can be configured to your processes, your taxonomies, and your needs. If the vendor needs a standard taxonomy to support the community intelligence, insights, or metrics they offer up, they will map your taxonomy to theirs. If the vendor needs to track standard steps or actions for metrics or KPIs, they will map your steps to theirs. And so on. And the platform they offer will not only support the configurability you need to model your processes, but that they need to map the steps and metrics backs to what they need.
Configurability. Workflow. Apps/PaaS. These are among the core foundations of a modern platform. Don’t settle for anything less.