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  • Writer's pictureMicha Veen

Innovative process design focuses on re-using existing process elements...

Has your organisation a multitude of forms for every department, systems that provide similar outcomes across sales, marketing, finance, operations? Are you have to re-work data and information to suit different stakeholders or teams?

I have seen these practices in many global, regional and even local businesses. These are some of the "normal" acceptable business practices for many corporate citizens. On many occasions senior executives attract established consultancies, outsourcing or business process experts to deliver "new" non-integrated, standardised and highly automated processes that ultimately lead to process duplication, rework or employees creating work arounds to meet their needs, leading to further reduced productivity and business effectiveness.

What is often missing from the approach is:

1. Do all process elements deliver value to the final expected business outcome?

If the various process elements are not adding value to the outcome of the process or business goals, a review should be conducted to either remove them or automate this. I have seen the following examples:

  • Creating a single standardised procure-to-pay process with full 3-way-matching (purchase order, good receipt, invoice receipt), while purchase activities are not pre-determined and would better suut 2-way-matching, purchase cards, etc.

  • Introducing additional suspense accounts and reconciliations to re-allocate costs, instead of looking at "firts-time-right" principles

  • Delivering top-down operational and financial budgets in isolation without full interaction with sales, marketing and/ or operations to understand market trends, cost-bade changes, etc. Resulting in the organisation not delivering it's "targets".

  • Grouping SKU's through the manufacturing process to a single pallet, before splitting them up again into customer orders for distributing to your customers.

2. Is there a way to deliver a clear governance, risk and compliance model to support the respective business process

It's imperative to deliver business processes that are supported by clear governance, risk and compliance models. This ensures that business risks will be minimised and controlled.

3. Are you able to integrate process elements in existing operational processes?

It's human nature to "take process shortcuts". Many global organisations have set-up overly complex and redundant processes that are not integrated with existing operational processes or require additional activities or tasks that complicate their operational tasks. Ultimately, innovative business process implementation is accepting that operational standardisation is not the answer, but organisations should recognise to focus on harmonisation and simplification. Ultimately, focuss should be placed on delivering processes that add value to the operational outcome, generate revenue or cost reductions to the bottom line.

Additional any business process design should be fully integrated into existing operational processes to reduce rework, additional activities or simply not meeting expected governance, risk and compliance requirements.

Delivering innovative process design and execution require a specific skill-set of your "business process expert". Only when process elements are integrated in existing operational processes, organisations allow better adoption, process execution and further effectiveness of their business goals.

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