06 Apr “We don’t have enough resources” – How to initiate process change?
Successful companies naturally want to keep ahead of their competitors, but keeping ahead means that business processes have to be made more effective. I am convinced that companies today and in the future need to take more effective control of their business processes by investing in comprehensive Business Process Management.
According to the research company Gartner, a successful BPM project can bring a company at least a 10 or even a 15 per cent return on internal investments. Seventy-seven per cent of BPM projects yielded over 100,000 U.S. dollars, and over half (55 %) yielded up to half a million dollars at their best.
And it isn’t as time-consuming as you might think. In fact, about two-thirds (67%) of the BPM projects are implemented within six months. Half of them are carried out in an even shorter period.
Savings come along with improved quality, increased automation, optimisation of processes and increased change agility.
Identify real development needs
Then how do we take action when we can see the need for change but have only limited resources? Where do we start and what should we do?
Areas in need of development need to be mapped out in terms of sub-areas, for example, where personnel costs are high in implementing processes or where there is too much variation in the quality of the work. It is also necessary to make business processes more effective when a company struggles to carry out the necessary reporting and briefing on business operations. Operations require development when staff and customers are dissatisfied or when the company has a hard time predicting, say, exactly when assignments are going to be completed.
Making processes more effective begins with recognising which areas need improvement. There can be no success without good cooperation between those involved in the business and those in IT management, not to mention the commitment of the company’s management. People need to have a chance to get together and discuss the aims, current challenges and processes of the company and its employees. And that way they become ‘owners’ with a commitment to bringing about change.
Start with short-term projects
Making changes and getting results do not require expensive initial investments.
Through conversations it is possible to spot improvement projects, that is to say, ‘quick wins’ that can be quickly and easily implemented and that will have a positive impact on a company’s business operations. In other words, what we’re talking about is a ‘Process discovery’ – a vitally important skill in all companies.
When initiatives leading to rapid results have been used to good advantage, the company can begin the automation of processes. A high level of automation means that people in the company know how the processes work and their level of performance. They know who does what, when and where.
For example, here I’ll tell you about a Dutch water company where we implemented the BPM project using Gartner’s IBM BPM programs that are renowned as Magic Quadrant Leaders. Thanks to BPM, a company that serves five million customers was able to improve its own customer service in the following ways:
- Response time went down from four minutes to 20 seconds.
- The work queue decreased from five months to one week.
- The need for employees was reduced by 20 per cent – manual tasks by 40 per cent.
- Incorporating SAP was made simpler – the software maintenance budget was reduced.
- Improved business operations
BPM has already been around for years and almost every organisation has at least on some level benefitted from related models of thought. Many companies have relied on the assistance of Lean or Six Sigma consultants, but the projects have been limited and the companies have not had a firm enough grasp of the real strengths of BPM. For example, many of the Lean projects have put more emphasis on eliminating various stages in the process.
Does the above-mentioned activity improve the efficiency and customer-friendliness of the processes?The question sums up the core of BPM. The goal of BPM is not necessarily to simplify processes. However, its objective is to make processes more streamlined, which will subsequently lead to increased customer satisfaction and therefore better results.
BPM is a comprehensive approach to improving the performance of a company. Variation will be reduced, productivity will grow and operating results will be improved. Operations will be made predictable and systematic!
A BPM project is suitable for all companies, regardless of the industry or the size. You will keep up with your competitors and even get ahead of them.<br/>
I am sure that your company is facing some of the challenges mentioned in this blog. I believe that my upcoming blogs can provide you with a lot more information about how BPM can help you. Follow us onTwitter and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world of BPM. You can also reach out to Desmin Dekker at 0621584080 or firstname.lastname@example.org