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No coordination on GDPR

The media has conducted a survey. They wanted to know about the state of play in obtaining information about what is stored in the systems of companies and public organisations. All as required by the GDPR.

There seems to be a bit of a problem with getting the information out quickly, easily and accurately. In an interview with a representative of the City of Stockholm, they said that they need to turn to each administration to request the information.

This is where the discrepancy becomes apparent between what the customer sees and what the business sees.

The customer sees the “municipality”. The business sees its line organisation.

Many times the business doesn’t even understand what the problem is. It is clear that you have to call around to several administrations to get the information. We see this approach in many places where other things that should seemingly be directly linked are not coordinated. Such as waste collection and connection to the municipal water network for a newly built house, or an application for a school and leisure centre, a change of address in one place, and more. Some have been good and taken these elements on board, while others have not even thought about it.

To think from the outside in, you need to see the customer’s perspective and put yourself in their shoes. When it comes to municipalities in particular, it shouldn’t be that difficult, because we are all “customers” of a municipality, in one way or another, and also owners of one. Here it is really clear that the culture of the organisation is stronger and has more influence than the personal experiences of the employees.

When you put yourself in the customer’s perspective, you have to think how the customer sees the whole flow. If you are an authority, you have to get out of the “we have a law to follow” or “that’s the way it’s decided” mindset, otherwise you will never get down to being agile in your thinking and seeing the world from the perspective of those you exist for.

Examples of the latter are some municipalities that have done a great job of helping property owners who want to build or rebuild their property, so that it is done right the first time according to the regulations that exist. This while others still remain in the role of authorities, answering “yes” or “no” to the application, without being a preventive support to the property owner.

So this week’s tip is that the natural way to open up to the customer’s perspective is to focus on your processes based on what value you really exist to create.

You need to see the customer’s journey, even if it is partly outside the scope of your own organisation, to get a true understanding of their experiences, needs and desires. Consider first why the process exists, who it exists for and what it is supposed to deliver. All this before you start looking at the flow itself.



PS. The term “customer” is a generic term that in different activities is called different things, such as patient, property owner, operator, subscriber, student or user. It is who you are there for and who should get something out of the process(es) we have to create value.