Despite the resources and effort put into digital transformations, 87% of companies fail to deliver on their strategic goals each year. Aligning goals to processes is crucial to success, but common challenges occur when exploring business processes. It’s likely that processes in practice were not developed with business outcomes in mind. Disjointed, ad hoc practices and informal institutional knowledge can result in redundant processes, especially if organizations employ multiple software systems that carry out the same function. On the ground, poorly defined, tacit processes become implemented and institutionalized, not because they align with business strategy, but because “that’s how we’ve always done it.”
Business Process Management (BPM) is a methodology that can define and optimize processes and workflows to improve efficiency, performance and agility. BPM entails discovery, definition, optimization and execution of business processes. Combined with robust Business Architecture, BPM paves the way for wide scale streamlining and optimization of complex processes and end-to-end business capabilities.
Define Strategic Objectives and Create Blueprints
The first step in optimizing business processes is to define strategic objectives and business outcomes. Then take stock of existing processes with the dual objective of aligning processes with strategic objectives and simplifying complex and redundant processes. Finally, create blueprints that align strategic objectives with tactical demands and fully map out processes to lay the groundwork for continuous transformation and improvement.
Put the blueprints in action through process models that support the design, build and execution of new products that meet customer needs and achieve business objectives. Industry frameworks and best practices for Business Architecture and Product Management should be leveraged as blueprints are implemented. Build continuous improvement into new processes by collecting data, monitoring and testing solutions.
Prepare Your Teams
Ultimately, it is your teams who execute process optimization. For changes to be successful, there must be buy-in. Teams need to know the strategic objectives and how new processes align with the overall business strategy to get buy-in before mastering and implementing the improved processes. Start with incremental improvements and best practices to demonstrate value and build on success to continuously improve and scale BPM throughout your enterprise.
BPM for Optimization and Improvement
The core of BPM is to redo the business process to make it work better. Existing processes driven by inertia are often overly complex and disconnected from strategic outcomes. Taking stock of what’s in place, identifying opportunities to simplify and optimize, defining better processes and executing them will help you achieve your strategic goals and continuously improve. It can also reveal opportunities to automate manual tasks, approvals and processes to save time and allow for focus on delivering business value.