The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast a customer‐focused service process diagram tool (blueprinting) with an organizational‐focused process diagram tool (business process modeling notation, or BPMN).
Using a hotel stay as an example, the paper presents both a service blueprint and a BPMN diagram. The authors then explicitly discuss the similarities, differences resulting from an ontological comparison of service blueprints and BPMN, and show where the two tools can be complementary.
The authors have found that one similarity is that service blueprinting segments processes into parts that are similar to BPMN's idea of swimlanes. However, the swimlanes in service blueprinting separate customer actions, customer‐facing employees’ actions and functions, and back‐stage functions, actors, and information systems, thereby effectively mandating certain swimlanes for the purpose of analyzing points of contact between the firm and a customer. Another similarity is that service blueprinting deliberately differentiates between different functional areas and roles within each area to highlight, and IT systems. But it does this to make clear where actions move across organizational boundaries to avoid damaging service support, and also to explain to back‐office staff their role in supporting on‐stage customer interactions. Unlike BPMN, service blueprinting has physical evidence as front‐stage indicators to customers of service quality and to constrain customer actions by carefully designing the servicescape.
A limitation is that the paper only uses one example (a hotel stay).
The comparison provides service managers with guidance as to how to use the two tools interactively.
Firms, to represent business processes, are using BPMN in increasing numbers. Knowing how BPMN supports and undermines service blueprinting is important, because service to customers is the ultimate goal for all firms. Therefore, representing service processes requires the parts of service blueprints to be supported in BPMN. Business process outsourcing adds further urgency for the need to adequately represent the parts of service processes in BPMN.
Milton, S.K. and Johnson, L.W. (2012), "Service blueprinting and BPMN: a comparison", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 606-621. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604521211287570Download as .RIS
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