As anyone who has implemented a business process will tell you, whenever humans are involved there will be variation. It doesn’t matter how well-documented or well-drawn a process model is, people will put their own interpretation and their own ‘flair’ onto a process. This can lead to a temptation to continue specifying the process in increasing levels of detail until almost every movement and every keystroke are documented. It can lead to a temptation to rigidly enforce standardisation, to ensure that all processes are consistently followed irrespective of who is undertaking them.
There might be specific contexts when this level of control is necessary, particularly in safety critical applications. Yet in many others it is overkill, and this level of rigidity can act as handcuffs that constrain staff from actually meeting real customer needs. However many personas we create, however much data we collect, we will never uncover every customer need. There will be circumstances that we couldn’t have predicted, and this might involve us needing or wanting to service customer needs that we can’t easily predict in advance. These tricky situations might be ‘moments of truth’ from the customer’s perspective.
This is when our customer-facing colleagues are faced with a dilemma: should they do what the process (and by implication the organisation) is dictating that they should do? Or should they find an option that is more suitable for the context that they find themselves in. Should they use their own judgement to balance the customer’s needs against those of the organisation?