Before doing any activity it’s really important to understand why it’s necessary to analyze one or more processes which affect the business. In short, what is the real motivation to set up such a project or initiative like this? why the business is launching the Process Analysis journey ?
We can see at least three main reasons:
- To improve the business performance (Process Improvement). It can be driven by a directive from the management (Ex. They asked to reduce the number of FTE, ensuring the Orders will be processed in a duration limit, etc.)
- To be compliant with some regulatory rules. That may come from an audit (internal or external). Someone or an organization (like a regulator) has reviewed a process and made some recommendations or global rules about how this process should be executed.
- To address and solve concrete business pains. It can also be a request for a continuous review (controlling the process is still effective after a while)
At this stage we may need to understand more about the global company concerns like:
- The top operational challenges the company is currently facing
- The strategic organizational goals the organization is trying to achieve by improving their processes
- Do we know if some SLA and/or KPIs to improve have already been identified
- Are there areas or compliance or process conformance at risk ?
- Who are the LOB leaders and the stakeholders involved ? Who else may we need to engage to achieve the objectives ?
- What about the project budget ?
Having a clear idea about these points is definitely a good start.
In the same way companies manage a “performance improvement plan” (known as PIP), when a company needs to be more competitive or just wants to keep its leadership in its own market, it’s then time to optimize the processes and the organizations. This kind of initiative, also known as a performance action plan – at the employee level – is similar at the group (service) level. The goal is to provide a way to give a process with performance deficiencies the ability to be more time or simply cost efficient.
Effectivity and Reliability
The business process has to be effective in the way it has to ensure its goals are reached correctly. An Order To Cash Process must manage all the orders for example. Can you imagine a customer losing some orders in the process ? or having some of those waiting for something (in the process) that would never happen ?
The Business Process must also be reliable as it should take in account all the business concerns (like managing fraud, or any other specific case like this).
Compliance can be motivated by government legislation, industry standards & regulations or just from the company’s own policies. But most of the time conformity is driven by governments laws, and Ignoring compliance can sometimes put your organization at risk. Saying differently, there’s no other choice than following the rules. The risk is not only focused on the laws, there’s also a company reputation dimension. Complying with regulation, legislation and policies can be a tough task and costs a lot to the company.
In terms of standards we can list the most famous:
- ISO 9001
- ISO 13485
- FDA QSR
Addressing business pains
In fact before thinking on which process is responsible for what, the business analyst must know what are the global business pains. Most of the time the motivation is driven by one or more business pains the enterprise must address to become a leader in its market or just to survive.
These business pains can be sorted in different categories depending on the gravity of the consequences if the company does not change anything.
- Not enough resources to manage efficiently the business
- Cost / Process is too expensive to perform
- Customer churn
- Not enough customer
- Lack of revenue
- Good revenues but bad profits
- Employee turnover
- Support not efficient
- Customer satisfaction is low
- Bad business partners or issues with suppliers
- Prices too low/high
- Product management (obsolete, not appropriate, etc.)
Of course and again each business’ pain depends on the company activity and market, but also its size. Basically the biggest companies are more struggling – in terms of process management – with internal and organizational processes. Smaller companies in comparison are clearly more focused on external processes (getting more customers, profits, traction, etc.).