Business process transformation (BPT) is an umbrella term that describes the act of radically changing the series of actions required to meet a specific business goal.
Business process transformation involves an examination of the steps required to achieve a specific goal in an effort to remove duplicate or unnecessary steps and automate as many actions as possible. Compliance regulations, as well as changes in the economy, often drive business process transformation.
Steps in Business Process Transformation
Business process transformation follows similar steps to business process management, but attempts to make bigger and more drastic changes.
Identify the goals of the transformation. Are you primarily trying to upgrade systems? Incorporate new technology? Adapt processes to a new organizational structure? What has caused the need?
Establish baseline metrics. Collect the data needed to show that your business process transformation will be successful. Think through cost, time, number of errors, and other metrics you can measure.
Bring in all stakeholders. Ask all those involved in the process for their feedback on what worked well in the prior process and what they expect out of the new one.
Map out the best scenario. Using a diagramming tool, create the ideal workflow path including human and system tasks that need to take place.
Implement in a testing environment. Use a BPM tool to create a mock process and see how it runs between people and data.
Set live and monitor. Include small teams at first to the new process and closely monitor the progress and any changes that need to happen for the process to succeed.
Challenges in Business Process Transformation
As with any huge paradigm shift, business process transformation creates a number of challenges that must be resolved in order to succeed.
One is weak sponsorship engagement. Throughout the entire lifecycle, from inception to development and deployment, you’ll need strong sponsorship from a person who will not only champion your requirements, but also be patient enough to wait for the results to manifest. Without strong sponsorship, it can be more than a challenge to complete the transformation process.
Change management practices are another challenge for business process transformation. As inefficient as your old process might have been, you will always have people who prefer “the way we used to do it”. As a part of implementing a business process transformation, you need to use good change management principles to bring everyone along.
Integration challenges can be significant. If you don’t choose the right BPM platform, you maybe very limited in what you can integrate with other software. You may realize from the beginning how challenging it will be to link to different platforms.
Finally, missing key objectives is a big challenge. Many business process transformation efforts end up only digitizing a process and have no noticeable effect on the efficiency of the process. Don’t settle for a dressed up version of your old process. Make sure your successes are clearly defined.