The Power of Process Engineering for big Companies
In corporate speak, there are several different approaches to managing an organization. There’s the classical approach, the systems approach, the situational approach, and the process approach. The last one — process approach — is our preferred approach here at Syberry, and it’s widely regarded as the most effective and efficient method to streamline business operations and enhance customer value at every turn.
So, what is the process approach? Praxiom explains it as a management strategy by which leaders “manage and control the processes that make up their organizations, the interactions between these processes, and the inputs and outputs that tie these processes together. It also means that they manage these process interactions as a system.”
In other words, the process approach recognizes that every workflow, every activity, is interconnected in one system that, when operating on all cylinders, keeps the business moving forward and the customers happy. In a big company, when process engineering is done correctly, any department or employee involved in a particular process can proactively and independently solve problems, coordinate work, and move initiatives forward without the need to get upper management involved. The process approach to management allows companies to find a fast track to resolving issues, completing tasks, and making progress toward the end result.
Of course, all that is easier said than done. So let’s take a closer look.
Principles of Process Approach
When implementing the process approach to management in a company, it is important to take into account the following principles.
- The principle of interconnection of processes. Any organization, especially a larger one, is based on a network of internal processes, and all processes within a company are interconnected.
- The principle of relevance of processes. Each process should have a goal, and the results of each process should be relevant or in demand by internal and/or external users.
- The principle of documenting of processes. Activities that fall under a process should be documented. This allows the company to standardize processes, both so that anyone can complete them (new team members, etc.) and in order to acquire a basis and a set of data for any future optimization and improvement
- The principle of control of processes. Every process has a beginning and an end, which establish its boundaries. For each process, metrics and characteristics could be set within these predefined boundaries that characterize the process and can be used to evaluate progress and results.
- The principle of responsibility for a process. Any given process might involve multiple specialists and employees; however, there should be one person responsible for the overall performance of a given process.
Key Elements of a Process Approach
Any process consists of several key elements without which it cannot be implemented within an organization. Such key elements include the following:
- Process input. Input includes elements that undergo changes in the course of activities within the scope of a process. Such elements might include materials, equipment, documentation, datasets, staff, finances, and more.
- Process output. Output includes results expected at the end of a process. Results could be in a form of a material product as well as various services or data.
- Resources. Resources are elements necessary for the process implementation. Resources could come in a form of equipment, documentation, finances, staff, infrastructure, environment, and more.
- Process owner. The process owner is a role of a specialist who has a required amount of resources under their control and at their disposal and who is responsible for the end result.
- Suppliers and consumers. Suppliers provide the process input, and consumers are individuals seeking the process output (either can be internal or external). Every process needs both. If a process does not have suppliers, it will not be realized. If a process does not have consumers, the process will not be relevant.
- Process performance. Process performance allows businesses to obtain data on the effectiveness of a process and for making managerial decisions. Indicators of process performance are a set of quantitative and qualitative parameters that characterize a process and its result.
Advantages of a Process Approach
Let us take a look at some of the main advantages that clients achieve when employing the process approach.
- Coordination or activities of various departments involved in a process
- Result-oriented performance
- Increase of productivity and effectiveness of work of the organization
- Transparency of actions that lead to achieving results
- Elicitation of opportunities for results-oriented improvement of processes
- Increase of predictability of results
- Elimination of hindrances in the work between departments within the company
- Decrease of unnecessary vertical interactions
- Elimination of irrelevant processes
- Decrease of time expenditures and financial expenses
Establishing the Process Approach Within Your Organization
If you’re intimidated by the idea of implanting a managing this approach in a large company using manual or disparate tracking and organization systems, you’re absolutely right. The benefits of this approach are undeniable, and yet implementing it without outside help is nearly impossible (or, at the very least, incredibly costly and time-consuming). That’s why we highly recommend working with third-party experts — a corporate management version of process engineers — to create and implement the software systems that can automate, manage, and integrate every key business process into one powerful network that keeps your company going and growing.