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Will undertaking business process transformation make a difference?
When querying why business processes are performed in a certain way, we often hear the response “we’ve always done it this way”. Nothing is more crippling to an organisation than these words, blocking the possibilities for change or continuous improvement. What is the solution and how can organisations make the shift from what they have always done to new ways of working?
Organisations often attempt business process improvements through investing in new technology. As Michael Hammer and James Champy, authors of the 1990 bestselling book ‘Reengineering the Corporation’ said, “without taking a process perspective of business], business improvement efforts amount to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic”.
Twenty-five years on, organisations should be thinking beyond merely swapping technology and continuing with the old ways of working. Business process transformation is required, together with the adoption of new technology, and should include comprehensive analysis and redesign of business processes by rationalising non-value added tasks, together with systemising and automating tasks (where practicable).
Transformation provides the opportunity to create efficiency and capacity for everyone to focus on service delivery and operational excellence. It will result in a modernised practice and is the essence of shifting organisational behaviour to adopt new ways of working, optimising performance and ultimately maximising return on investment.
There is no doubt that undertaking business process transformation will lead to competitive advantage. However, true success depends on three vital ingredients: a sound strategy aligned with business objectives; the support from concept to delivery by the organisation’s leaders; and the competence of individuals to shift to the new ways of working.
Soula Minglis, Manager - Business Consultant