BPM…BPO…BPR…Transformation…Workflow Automation… This is just some of the jargon used routinely in my line of work, and I’m sure it’s just a fraction of the consultant talk that so offends, and strikes fear into the heart of any business.
Organisations eager to go down the journey of Business Process Improvement, but uncertain where to get started, have likely contracted in consultants who are experts in this area. Then in we come, bringing with us our big words, theories, tools, and our minions to scamper around gathering information, all to feed into the process of Analysing and Optimising your Business Processes.
The truth is, in my relatively short career, I have found that this method is, and needs to be, something far less complex and far more practical. After all isn’t Business Process Improvement what it’s all about?
We want to make the business better, not just do things the same way but with more Technology and Documentation thrown into the mix. You know your business and that’s where we, as consultants, are going to begin – with the As-Is or Current State of your business.
So where do you start with Business Improvement? By acquiring a deep understanding of your business and it’s needs. This will help you, and us, to improve on your business and deliver successful results faster.
How does one start this journey?
I like analogies, so I’m going to do my best to start us off on this journey using a relatively familiar scenario.
My wife and I recently embarked on the adventure of renovating our entire house. A complete overhaul. How did we decide on and lay out the plans for this undertaking? We understood our house as it is and discussed what we wanted from the house on a daily basis and in the long-term.
Now let’s draw the parallel to a BPM exercise intended to transform your Business (the house), to improve Processes (day-to-day life), and better achieve your Long-Term Strategy (life-plan and goals).
My wife and I moved into the house about 3 years ago. We agreed that we wouldn’t do anything to the place immediately, but rather spend time getting to know the house (understanding your business As-Is) and coming up with ideas and a renovation plan (the way you want your business To-Be). Over this period we went back and forth with plans and ideas on how we could get the most out of our house with minimal drastic and costly effort (budget) and interference (disruption).
This is the same journey many businesses go through, they want to optimise, grow and improve, but with minimal impact to the bottom-line or the everyday running of the business.
Over the course of a few short articles such as this, my colleagues and I would like to take you on a journey of BPM and Business Transformation, sharing the parallel lessons learnt both professionally and through the aforementioned house renovation.
My hope is to inspire each of us to look critically at our entire business, and if we choose to embark on a journey of Business Process Improvement through Transformation that we do it practically, with forethought and all the right tools (Technology and Advisory) needed and available.
Next article Guide to Planning and Sourcing for BPM Projects
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