Move from individuals to organization-wide process thinking
Create a continuous improvement mindset
Raise your organization's business process maturity level
As the Covid-19 waves keep rolling over the planet, we do not know what the new normal will be. What we noticed, however, are movements in the market. Public sector companies going for full or partially remote working. Companies starting new digitization projects to sell (more) online than in their brick and mortar shops. These examples clearly show a need for process transparency.
During a Virtual Expert Session on Business Process Management, TriFinance experts shared insights into how to create sustainability in processes and install a continuous improvement mindset in your organization.
The session was hosted by CFO Services Client Partner Maddy Lauwers and Project Manager Brigitte Dulak. Participants from various industries, such as Flooring, Banking, Airport services,... contributed by sharing their experiences and challenges.
Lowering barriers and creating visible and transparent end-to-end processes will result in people better noticing their contribution and becoming more dedicatedMaddy Lauwers, Client Partner CFO Services
Collaboration will be part of the new game. Lowering barriers and creating visible and transparent end-to-end processes will result in people better noticing their contribution and becoming more dedicated. In fact, change is happening there.
Usually, ad hoc process analysis and improvements are triggered by new regulations, SOX compliance, a new ERP implementation or other internal or external impulses. In these cases, every new project requires new process updates, which is a significant investment and creates frustration. An organization can’t afford this every two years.
To visualize all business processes, a sustainable effort is initially required. A circle needs to be created that can be transformed into a continuous improvement mode.
When starting a project at clients, we are often informed that processes are documented and kept up-to-date. Looking into that documentation, we usually make the following findings:
Implementing a process management culture will generate numerous benefits in the regular business and when initiating new projects.
Current trends show that we are in a globalized and interconnected world where movements and interchanges happen at an increasingly faster pace. The pandemic will additionally drive these forces. We are interconnected, but anytime we analyze business processes at organizations, it seems that there is little end-to-end interconnection.
Different business developments like Shared Service Centers, Offshoring or outsourcing, however, drive the need for more visibility, making C-levels slowly but surely recognize the need to have processes and the different relationships that are linked to them made transparent.
A lot of companies also talk about value streams and customer journeys where processes are involved. These will only come alive and run in a continuous improvement mode when organizations see the power of good end-to-end processes.
Process mining software can help you make understand your processes and achieve insight into the ways your processes really run, but unfortunately process mining alone won’t be the solution. During a process discovery phase, business insights will be created and the connections between people, technology and processes become apparent. Based on this, the vision can be shared and the goals can be aligned.
Having these insights supported by the appropriate technology, the company is able to move towards a continuous improvement mindset or an agile organization. We have experienced that by creating transparency at the start of a transformation, the business will recognize the benefits and is motivated to go along. People going through transformations will be impacted. They have to be respected as a person and their input should be valued. This will result in a roll-forward of new ideas. The business will be in control and not be controlled by others.
Transparency of business processes makes actors understand the way of working, guaranteeing compliance and business continuity. Transparent business processes are also fundamental to transformation. It all starts with properly documented and managed business processes, identifying risks and controls related to or arising from the organization business processes that generate sustainable transparency on relationships between people, technology, processes. And all this will finally trigger a workable transformation which is actually what the company is trying to achieve.
This road to sustainable transformation and organizational agility is not just a method. It is a pathway that involves process transparency and that covers stages of an organization's process maturity. This evolution to organizational agility is not about becoming agile as an individual or as a team, it is about an organization-wide continuous improvement mindset.
To raise your organization's process maturity level, you have to move toward an organization-wide process mindset that offers collective creativity, participation and involvement in processesBrigitte Dulak, Project Manager CFO Services
The TriFinance Process Maturity Model illustrates the possible levels of maturity at which processes are mastered and managed. Organizations mature from undefined or individualistic to agile through a number of transitional phases, ie. from cross-silo to organization-wide end-to-end.
In a broad survey on Business Process maturity that TriFinance has conducted, we distinguished five components to measure the level of process maturity: strategic alignment, governance, culture, people, and methods, not mentioned in order of importance here.
The survey revealed that roughly 80 percent of participating organizations are situated in level one or two, which is ‘undefined’ or ‘defined’. The model enables organizations to evaluate their process maturity level and develop a pathway to agility.
Within BPM, a wide variety of things are happening. In the first place, the end-to-end processes (cross-functional and business) need to be made transparent. This is the discovery and documentation angle. When the organization starts optimizing, designing and redesigning processes for better performance and profitability, functional expertise in different domains and technology expertise is required. This will assist the organization to raise the level of process maturity step by step. All this is a significant investment for a company.
The transformation needs to pay off by creating a sustainable process environment. This entire effort can’t be performed every two years. The process management approach needs to be in a continuous improvement mode since it never reaches a final state. The entire organization needs to be taken along with this. During projects, we have experienced many times how organizations can change towards this new environment and are often surprised about how new dynamics arise and what experts in the different steps of a process can bring together. This also impacts the pace and the scale of the change positively. In this way, organizations don’t need new top-down projects every time.
In order to manage your processes, you need to discover them and be able to chart all related topics, the different stakeholders, the variety of applications and tools, applied legislation, internal and external compliance rules, and so on.
Two approaches are possible:
In both approaches, it’s the people who will make processes, their input, output, and runnings visible within the organization.
You need more than just a designed process to bring organization-wide transparency, enable transformation, keep processes alive and make sure that everyone is involved in rethinking, improving and developing business processes. You need an enabler and process management to keep processes alive.