Business process management matters
Business processes represent a core asset of corporations. They have direct impact on the attractiveness of products and services as perceived by the market ... Processes integrate systems, data, and resources within and across organizations and any failure can bring corporate life to a standstill.
That statement should send shivers down the spine of any executive that doesn’t have a finger on the pulse of their business process management. Business processes are essential to the success of any organization, and to ignore their place in every part of the business is to welcome inefficiency at best, and at worst, disaster.
According to Gartner, business process management is “a discipline that improves enterprise performance by driving operational excellence and business agility.” That means it offers the opportunity to respond to customer needs and market shifts efficiently and effectively, producing the best outcomes with regards to products, services, and customer experience.
Six steps to your center for process excellence
The first step is to find a leader (or leaders) to takeownership of the center for process excellence. It is the responsibility of leaders to communicate and demonstrate the importance of process mapping to the whole organization. Assigning the role of a ‘process leader’ to workers already in leadership roles can give their decisions some added weight. You want to find those who are willing and able to set things in motion and lead from the front.
To get buy-in from everyone and start the cultural shift that is required, process mapping needs to be closely aligned with the wider business strategy. This involves:
Process mapping is not just about collecting knowledge about processes. It is the first step in a wider business strategy to improve productivity, reduce costs, become more agile, more competitive, and grow the business. Successful businesses create meaningful links between process excellence and the future of the organization.
Process management framework
One of the main jobs of the center for process excellence is to set out a framework for process management. It’s important to outline exactly what this entails, how it is going to work, and what it requires of people.
Process mapping could be managed centrally. The business process management team couldmap all the processes internally and then hand them over when they’re ina good state.
A better approach is to nominate designated champions in every part of the business to take ownership over their own processes. For example, a Human Resources champion will oversee all process mapping in the HR department. In this case, the job of the center of process excellence would be to provide the tools and train the champions.
Process mapping must become part of everybody’s day-to-day responsibilities across the whole organization. Itneeds to be integrated into the way that people do things, and the organization needs to support that. You need to look at the current resourcing and make time for process mapping, process ownership, and, down the line, process improvement and automation.
Communication & Engagement
To make process excellence work, organizations need to have an effective communication structure. Process excellence is, above everything else, a change managemen initiative. One of the most important aspects of managing change is how well line-of-business users are informed.
You need to consider:
How to communicate important information
How to update people when changes are made
How effective your existing change management structure is, or if you’ll have to establish a new methodology for communication
Where people will look for essential process information, how easy it will be to find, and how they’ll provide feedback on it.
It's important o tie process mapping to individuals’ jobs and responsibilities. There are a few ways to formally introduce process mapping into your organization:
New employees should be educated about the culture for process excellence, what the center for process excellence does, and inform them about their responsibilities for process mapping.
Ultimately, to make a success of process mapping you need to measure success. Process mapping and ownership must become part of an individual employee’s performance review.
Where to start ?
These six steps will help you prepare your organization to construct the foundations for a center of process excellence. The best place to start is to review these six points against all major business lines: finance, sales, IT, HR, etc. Once you have these in place, it’s time to roll out your center of process excellence to the departments and eventually the wider business.
So far, we’ve explored the areas of organizational support needed to establish a center for process excellence. But organizations must first make sure they have the resourcing, framework, communication, leadership, strategic direction, and individual focus right so they are set up to cultivate a culture where process excellence is part of everybody’s