Aerodynamic growth is the goal of every business, but few organizations have successfully realized it. As the business footprint expands, the organization discovers more opportunities. However, as we continue our operations, inertia sets into almost all activities, restricting our ability to efficiently harness momentum for sustenance and growth.
With every opportunity there comes resistance. Most organizations encounter drag generated by their existing human workforce, business-as-usual activities, policy paralysis, and complexity of the business engine in relation to strategic initiatives. Fine-tuning your products and offerings, upgrading your core and non-core processes, and enhancing the capabilities of your workforce on a regular basis are key to ensuring sustained momentum.
The Case for Process Redundancy
Business units have traditionally viewed their processes (core and non-core) as secret ingredients and thus treat them as closely guarded assets. This results in lack of visibility, with each business unit using its own version of the process. This inhibits the flow of information within enterprises, leading to the rise of information and process autocracy.
Secondly, in addition to organic growth, growing through acquisitions provides a quick boost to the organizational portfolio. Labor arbitrage results in business processes being driven from different geographies, likewise resulting in a lack of information sharing and transparency.
Some commonly observed situations are:
- Similar processes being performed by different business units.
- Duplicate processes being performed by teams based in different geographies.
- Non-core activities falling through and not being effectively tracked or improved.
- Processes being rendered redundant through changes in the business and IT landscape, but still being performed anyway.
- Information generated by processes is no longer utilized in the format in which it is produced.
Recent risk management research done by Iron Mountain shows:
The Components of a Good Process
In a nutshell, a value-added process is one that:
- Produces the desired outcome in a consistent manner.
- Has its outcome utilized by someone else with an overall measurable business objective and value.
Why Map Processes in Blueworks Live?
A lack of transparency is the biggest inhibitor of process innovation. Process mapping helps refine workflows, identify operational gaps and innovation/improvement opportunities, clarify workforce roles and responsibilities, and orient staff so that they align with company imperatives.
Blueworks Live (BWL) is a business-user focused, cloud-based platform for process and decision modeling. It is designed to be simple and intuitive to use, while still having the capabilities to implement more complex models based on BPMN 2.0 standards. Its collaborative environment eases SME engagement and ensures that the process model remains current for future process improvement. SIPOC, process analysis playback, and other important process engineering activities are authored only once—"on-the-fly"—and are easily discovered via "where used" or via a "follow" tag. Additionally, BWL offers its "live" Glossary, three different as-is process documenting interfaces/methods, and an easy-to-use administrative UI.
Analysis conducted by Gartner asserted the fact that “BlueworksLive out-performs all other process modeling and documentation solutions”. It provided the highest rating for product capabilities, as well as for integration and deployment.
Utilizing Blueworks Live
BWL is best utilized to create a structural map of the entire organization for end-to-end visibility. It is organized to capture high-level departmental classification down to the details of individual business processes and functions based on a detailed and customized activity template. This helps organize the overall process estate rather than a grouping of isolated processes.
BWL’s ability to support governance checking, dashboards, customized reports, and quantification of processes for optimization should be utilized to develop a transformation roadmap.
Continuous and contiguous process performance analysis should be performed with governance as its pillar to support process innovation and improvement.
- Enhanced visibility of business workflow across departments.
- Increased process improvement by adding governance, checklists, and automation as needed.
- Process synergy by chaining multiple processes across business units for enterprise-wide visibility.
- Process prioritization by identifying high-impact areas for process improvement.
- Consistent terminology through integration of business data, rules, and policies to build organization-wide consensus on business terminology.
From a features perspective, it also provides:
- A multi-dimensional view of the steps in a process model.
- Centralized collaboration through integration with social networking features such as change feeds and automated notification.
- Multi-tier access control security with entitlement defined by role and space structure.
- Process analysis and playback that helps develop a heat map for process improvement.
- A graphical dashboard that provides process usage statistics.
Senior Enterprise Application Architect
Animesh Jain heads Prolifics’ Robotic Automation and Process Innovation practice. With over 15 years of experience, he specializes in the digital business automation suite of tools. As a thought leader, has helped many clients with their digital transformation initiatives.
He is involved in all facets of project lifecycle, including assessment, estimation, end-to-end architecture and solution design, implementation, governance, performance, and maintenance of business processes and rules using the IBM suite of tools.