Have you ever thought about giving your business processes a second look? Like it is important to iron out the kinks in your product or service, it is equally important for your business strategy to be able to point out business redundancies and ultimately help you lower your long-term expenditure.
Almost all organizations battle with two major problems.
- The first is being able to describe their current state of affairs – as in what do their business processes look like today. When an organization decides to go for business process reengineering, they often flock to focusing on the future state, what I call the new and improved ‘to be’ state.? What about understanding how each process works in the present state? That’s needed too.
- The other thing that keeps organizations from realizing their full potential has something to do with process management- or rather the absence of a proper connection between their information systems and their business processes.
Key steps of Business Process Reengineering
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) or process reengineering is important if as an organization you want:
- Your business strategy to evolve
- Reconstruct your workflows using newer approaches
- See your organization go places
- Improve operational efficiency by creating future proof strategies
All this sure sounds nice, but what are those few steps that you need to take in order to ensure that your processes are chugging along just fine.
1. Formulate the objective
It is important to define and analyze your business processes clearly. Mapping out your workflows, roles, activities, technologies used, rules for business etc. can give you a fair idea of where you want to get to and how. This is also the stage where you look for chinks in the armor and get a data maturity assessment done to understand your current state.
2. Identify and Evaluate business processes
Once you analyze and zero in on the gaps in your organizational strategy, ones that especially hinder your operational efficiency and effectiveness, you can head out to identify and evaluate business processes, activities, and other areas where you can improve. This is the stage where you are in an approach-approach conflict. So that’s why the next step is so crucial.
3. Conduct a Business Impact analysis
Look for areas that can impact your business negatively. Have all the scenarios chalked out? Estimate the effect your choices will have on the effort needed and the risks involved once the changes are set in motion for your product, service, or application. This is a good place to be, it really does open your eyes to the glass is half empty kind of life.
4. Redesign and test
Now you know what is going to work for you and help you achieve your organizational objectives, so:
- Go back to the drawing board
- Reconstruct your approaches
- Opt for something more strategical
- Take stock of the budget, time, and resources needed
- Recreate your procedures
- Test them to operationalize them
5. Implement the Business Process Reengineering Strategy
It is all good now, seems at this stage you have an enhanced product or functionality which has been developed painstakingly and tested thoroughly. This is the time when you implement your process reengineering strategy, use change management, performance monitoring, etc. to make your process ‘lean’ and improve as you have always wanted – your operational efficiency and overall growth.
I did talk about the absence of a connection between the Information systems and business processes before. Through Business Process engineering, organizations can capture information from their enterprise transaction systems using process mining software. What this ultimately does is arm you with extremely detailed and data-driven information on the performance of your processes. This means no matter what task, could be an order that you received, a task that was completed, a product delivered, or a payment made – an event log says it all. It has everything that you need to know about what is happening, who did what, when, for how long, and what made it unique. You can leverage process analytics to create key performance indicators for each of your business processes – meaning your organization can focus on improvement opportunities.
It is important that you have the right reengineering partner to help you all the way. We did a survey recently to understand the practical issues organizations face in today’s world. We found that 72% of organizations still stick to traditional business models with a small space in the corner for partners who can help them leverage digital technologies or explore new markets. That’s got to change if you ask me. You can read the whole report.
These are a few steps I think you can take to transcend organizational boundaries and make the conscious choice of going from doing digital to being digital.