What is business process transformation?

Business process transformation is a long-term change management process that is driven by the external pressure to adapt to new conditions and requirements and meet business goals. It involves radical changes to business processes and must be aligned with company strategy. This external pressure for transformation and permanent change is as high as ever before, accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and the demand for digitalization. New models for hybrid working and supply chains have never been more important than now.

What is the business process transformation process?

Business process transformation programs involve the complete TRANSFORM-OPTIMIZE-CONTROL cycle from defining the strategy and rethinking ways of working to supporting execution and monitoring the results.

  1. Transformation
    Companies often struggle to adapt their business model in response to industry disruption (“Doing the right things”). The world is changing faster than ever before and in today’s dynamic digital landscape, past success is not a successful predictor of future results. To survive, companies need to continuously align their business model to new challenges. But how can companies connect the strategic business model with the operating model?

  2. Optimization
    Businesses struggle to drive efficiencies in processes and find new ways of working (“Doing the things right”). Many transformation and change initiatives are failing because the human factor is underestimated while change management and adoption constitute 80% of the project success or failure. Employees don’t understand the “Way of working” or their specific role since there is no role-specific enablement (with work instructions, guidelines and policies) that supports collaborative cooperation across the organization.

  3. Control
    Businesses struggle to efficiently measure, monitor and manage the business processes and (strategic and compliance) requirements. Decision-makers don’t have an overview of actual performance (do processes run as planned?) or status of compliance and risk mitigation measures. This means they can’t react immediately or capture and analyze data that would inform further optimization.

What is driving the demand for business process transformation?

Global spend on digital maturity initiatives and transformation programs will reach two trillion dollars by 2022. But 80% of the digital revenues are earned up by the best-performing 10% of companies. Being in the midfield is no longer a good option in the future. Also, many transformation initiatives are failing because of the inability to set up a continuous optimization cycle, and because employees don’t understand the “Way of working”. McKinsey mentioned that 70% of the past investments were wasted on failed programs and among those that didn’t fail outright, only 16% saw improvements in their performance.

To be successful, companies need to be mission-driven and translate strategy into an operating model to achieve high operational excellence with an adapted business model in a short time. But what many companies are finding is that transforming is more than just defining a new strategy. It requires an operating vision--i.e. how you want to run your business—while keeping pace with the speed of the market and the innovation of competitors. The result is an ability to fulfill customers’ increasing expectations, comply with changing regulations and easily secure high-quality, transparent operations.

Why does business process transformation fail?

In theory, business process transformation is a way of creating a strategic advantage that sets up a company for long-term success and short-term dividends. But in practice, it is often easier said than done. Business process transformation and change initiatives often fail because:

  1. The strategic business model is not aligned with the operational processes and the overall understanding of end-to-end processes has been lost.

  2. No employee engagement, no cross-functional collaboration, inadequate management support and the lack of accountability leads to results that fall well short of stated goals.

  3. Actual performance and compliance status of processes isn’t measured continuously - Failing to adhere to statutory compliance will lead to imposition of heavy fines and indirect losses to your organizations.

A winning approach to business process transformation

  • To be successful, you need to secure your transformation initiative from strategy to operations by creating a business design strategy and connecting it with the operating model.

  • You need to manage your enterprise with full visibility and align your organization from end-to-end to provide up-to-date work instructions, policies and guidelines to all employees.

  • And you need to efficiently measure, monitor and manage your business and combine business transformation with resilient compliance management and efficient risk management.

In the end your customers deserve the best products and services that are based on customer-centric processes and differentiate from the competition. Make impactful, future-proof business decision using deep insights in transparent operations and solve bottlenecks. Involve all employees, foster collaboration, and drive change management to achieve indispensable commitment. Deliver the highest quality, minimize risk and ensure sustainable compliance and resilience.

                Other key terms:

Business Process Management (BPM)
Business Process Management (BPM) is a method to capture, model and analyze business processes. The different business objects, including data, systems, roles, etc., are set in relation to each other, resulting in process maps. Business processes can then be analyzed and measured to identify improvement potential. Aligned with business strategy, BPM can optimize overall business performance.
Business Process Analysis
Business Process Analysis (BPA) is a subdiscipline of business process management (BPM) and helps organizations to analyze their processes and identify opportunities for process improvement. One main goal of BPA is to create a single source and a common, standardized view of truth of all processes.
Event-Driven Process Chain
Event-Driven Process Chain (EPC) is a modeling notation used to model business processes in a diagram. It uses different objects like events and functions--as well as connections—to create end-to-end process chains. It is used as an alternative to BPMN. 
Process Design
Process Design transforms an organization’s vision, goals, and available resources into a discernible, measurable means of achieving the organization’s vision.
Business Process Model and Notation
Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is a modeling notation that is used to create end-to-end process models in a graphical way. It combines different symbols to document working procedures. It is used as an alternative to EPC. 

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