Companies large and small are embarking on a journey of digital transformation – reinventing their operations to leverage the power of technology to provide modern customer experiences, leverage data for decision making and enable greater agility when responding to changes in the market. While digital transformation is a great buzz phrase, business process management (BPM) is still the core foundation that enables companies to operate efficiently and deliver consistent results to customers. As companies digitally transform, technology enables changes to happen faster, but it is the underlying processes that ensure systems, processes, etc. work well and activities can happen safely.
The starting place for automation
Many digital transformation initiatives focus heavily on implementing new technology to automate manual activities and provide new customer interactions. While those are excellent automation goals, smart automation that yields measurable results must start with understanding business processes, user behaviors and the flow of data throughout your company. Automating a bad process will make your situation worse, not better. Business process management techniques and tools can help you model how your processes work, so you can simplify them and adapt them for automation – leading to a more effective an efficient end result.
Enabling change to happen safely
Introducing change into your business environment can be tricky. If you don’t have consistent ways of working already in place, then making changes can quickly become down right scary. BPM techniques can be great tools to help you align the activities of individual team members to prepare them for the changes your digital transformation initiatives will introduce. Process models, performance measurement and training can all help bring you team into alignment, so change can be introduced safely in your environment. It is much easier to steer a ship when all the people and systems are working in concert.
Achieving consistent performance and optimizing efficiency
Optimization can’t happen until you achieve consistent execution of your business processes (manual or automated). BPM tools, such as process measurements, control charts and variability analysis, can help you identify where your processes are being executed inconsistently and the possible underlying causes. Once you are able to address the causes and achieve at least a basic level of consistent execution, you will be better able to start fine-tuning your processes for efficiency, speed, quality and effectiveness.
Ensuring governance and compliance
In addition to operational effectiveness, digital transformation is enabling company leaders to govern and external regulators to better monitor compliance of your business activities. In a business environment where everything moves fast and changes even faster, governance and compliance are critically important. Policy-driven business processes, monitoring automation and real-time decision making, are essential parts of a modern governance and compliance strategy and build upon your BPM foundation.
In the age of digital transformation, business process management is more important than ever. It provides your company leaders the ability to set a direction for the organization and know that the activities of individual employees and the automated capabilities technology enables are all moving in the same direction. When changes must be initiated, they can be orchestrated safely with a high rate of success because there are fewer moving parts to monitor. Efficient performance starts with solid business processes and are refined through your continuous improvement efforts, yielding the optimized results a modern digital business demand.