What Kind of Revenue Assurance Hero Are You?

datePosted on 05:13, October 28th, 2010 by grapa

Batman, Superman, Aquaman or The Flash: What Kind of Revenue Assurance Hero do You Want to Be?

During our annual Cape Town Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management certification event, we enjoyed the company of participants from across Africa.  Participants included people from MTN, Vodacom, Zain, Net One (actually two different Net Ones – from two different countries,) as well as Mobiliy (Saudi Arabia) and others. It is always such a great experience when revenue assurance and fraud professionals from so many different operators come together and compare notes on the state of their organizations.

Microsoft Clipart

The training program began as it always does. We go went through our standard process of helping people tear down and decompose the myriad revenue assurance problems that their companies face. As usual, one by one, students begin to groan with the realization of just how big the revenue assurance/fraud management job really is. Somewhere in the middle of all this one of the students quipped “you would have to be some kind of superhero to handle all of this!!”

Take for example, the person who wants to be a Revenue Management Superman. For some, the classical definition of the superhero is Superman: faster than a speeding bullet (so you can respond to problems as soon as they occur), able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (able to jump over political and organizational obstacles and get to the real problem quickly). Superman can fly. Bullets bounce off of him (sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me).  He even has X-Ray vision (handy for seeing leakages hidden within processes).

Unfortunately, the revenue assurance/fraud professionals who use Superman as their model quickly find themselves in trouble. We may be fast, and we may be good, but eventually, no matter how good we are, the bad guys are going to overwhelm us.

Superman revenue assurance/fraud people are typically those professionals who don’t know how to say “no” to their managers. They take on bigger and bigger jobs, with less and less resources. They work long hours and jump into areas where they are not qualified in order to help promote the Superman image. However, it turns out that they are only human after all. Then, they have to deal with the sense of failure and the disappointment in themselves and their managers. Not such a good plan.

One amusing revenue assurance/fraud superhero is the Aquaman professional. They can swim fast, and talk to fishes, but in the final analysis they are always underwater, out of their depth and simply not in sync with the real world. The Aquaman superhero is only useful in very limited situations.

What about “The Flash” or “The Green Lantern”?  Their super power is speed. They can go really, really fast from one place to another. They are revenue assurance/fraud professionals that stake their reputation on how quickly they get things done. Unfortunately, when you do things fast, you often miss things and then you have to do them again. The Flash or Green Lantern superhero is not an optimum solution.

But what about Batman? Batman, the caped crusader and the only superhero with a full time, dedicated sidekick “Robin”. What are the things that make Batman a superhero anyway? It is his intellect. The key to Batman is not strength, speed, the ability to see through walls, or crash through them. Batman’s power comes from, as the famous detective Hercule Poirot says “Harnessing his little gray cells”. Every time Batman faces a villain, the first thing he does is “think about it”.

Two things make Batman so powerful;

1.    His thinking based approach.

2.    His tool belt.

Every time Batman faces a problem, the solution, more often than not, is found in his handy bat utility belt. The belt is loaded up with the BAT ear-bugs, BAT lie detectors, BAT ropes and BAT bug spray. When Batman goes into a situation, he comes prepared.

a)    He thinks it out ahead of time.

b)    He loads up his utility belt so he is prepared for any eventuality.

I do not think there is a contest. If you want to be a really good revenue assurance/fraud professional, then look to Batman for your model.

The GRAPA standards provide us with the perfect template for emulating the caped crusader. The GRAPA Standards and Standard Controls provide the revenue assurance and fraud professional with a fully loaded “Bat Utility Belt”, complete with all the different things you might need walking into a perilous situation.

The GRAPA standards of Consensus, Teamwork, Innovation and Proactive anticipation of risk, highlight the true blue Batman attitude towards the fighting of crime And of course, the GRAPA principles of Integrity and Sovereignty align perfectly with Batman’s highly ethical, over the top moral compass that causes criminals to call him the ‘Caped-Do-Gooder’.

So, the next time you walk into a meeting, or are feeling a little overwhelmed by the job before you, take a minute, and just remember the Superhero model that all revenue assurance and fraud professionals hope to be some day.

Until next time, this is Rob Mattison saying… ….

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2 Responses to “What Kind of Revenue Assurance Hero Are You?”

  1. Howayda Ali on October 28th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I like how you do describe the Revenue Assurance and fraud

  2. Ee Lyn on November 25th, 2010 at 12:43 am

    this article just puts a smile on my face. Thanks Rob :)

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