Digital transformation refers to the transformation of an organisation’s mindset and culture to go digital. It drives changes in 3 main areas: customer experiences, operational processes, and business models.
And what motivates a company to embrace digital transformation? To leverage technology to create new values in business models, core operations, and customer experiences—essentially morphing into a digital business. This is the edge your company needs to go up against other competitors.
Most might think that a huge chunk of digital transformation would involve system migration to a high-powered, digital enterprise platform. But keep in mind that the fundamental layer is your business processes. Running legacy business processes on a high-performance digital platform is like installing a 60s engine into the latest Ferrari model. You want to conquer the fast lane with the Ferrari but the engine will just slow you down!
That’s why you need to govern and manage your business processes to ignite your digital transformation journey.
Business process governance refers to the organisational framework to establish and maintain end-to-end process performance within your company. It manages the alignment of different activities to suit current business requirements.
The end result of utilising both business process governance and business process management (BPM) is manifested through a suite of newly-improved and optimised business solutions that run seamlessly to deliver better outcomes.
The role of business process governance throughout your digital migration
Let’s examine how business process governance plays out in every phase of your digital migration programme.
There’s no doubt that your digital enterprise platform allows you to execute real-time transactional processing, perform analytics, and speed up end-to-end processes. But without conducting an objective assessment of the business processes, this could backfire.
Let’s take a look at a company that decided to digitalise their HR transactions. It’s unfortunate that for leave applications, they had overlooked a step where managerial approvals in the form of their signatures were still required before proceeding to subsequent steps. Imagine having to chase your manager who is rarely seen in the office to sign a print-out of your leave application that you’ve entered online! Yes, it’s THAT counter-intuitive, which can mutate into a source of frustration amongst employees.
All this hassle can be avoided through the proper assessment of your business processes. You can start by identifying and prioritising high- and medium-criticality processes. From there, you can inspect the steps of every process and determine if they can be removed or simplified.
We would argue that this is one of the most crucial steps to be carried out as part of your pre-migration processes.
Of course, the assessment stage is only the first step in the overall scheme of business process governance.
You can adopt the BPM lifecycle approach that consists of five stages—design, model, execute, monitor, and optimise. It lays down for you the practical steps to systematically improve business processes, carried out iteratively.
Each business process will undergo the following:
This stage requires you to analyse and understand how the process works. This includes inspecting the process flow, the people involved, the desired end result, the duration, and whether there are interdependencies with other processes or systems.
Then, build a visual representation of the process. You need to have a firm grasp of how things are now (as-is) and how you want them to be in the future (to-be) with changes. Essentially, this is the phase where you introduce improvements.
Drawing on the previous leave applications example, you can judge that it’s sufficient to have managers provide digital signatures to approve the leave request submitted by employees to save time (and avoid headaches!). Proceed by remodelling the process to incorporate the change.
The revised model is then put to the test. As the adage goes, ‘the proof is in the pudding’. Execute the business process, see it in action, and determine whether or not it meets your expectations.
Continuous monitoring of the business process is essential so you can collect data for KPI-building, assess its overall performance, and identify any bottlenecks when run with other processes on the new digital platform.
This is the step where you’ll put in efforts to improve and optimise the process based on the limitations you found from the previous stage.
Note that this isn’t a one-time exercise. It is repeatable so that you can mould your business processes to be more agile and flexible, in keeping with the ever-changing internal and external conditions.
You can then build and tie KPIs to each process so there’s tangibility in the measurements and improvements. That’s how you govern your business processes.
Fuse in this scheme of things
It’s illogical to perform all the BPM lifecycle and governance activities manually. You’ll need a Business Process Governance platform to facilitate the design and modelling stages, help you pinpoint the bottlenecks, and synchronise and automate the execution of the full suite of solutions.
This is where Fuse comes in. It is a data-driven, process platform that can customise and automate discrete business-oriented solutions. Most importantly, it can seamlessly integrate with major digital enterprise platforms, posing no risk to your digital migration endeavour.
Fuse has pre-configured business rules, workflows, role-based data security, and API frameworks to get you started quickly. It employs a low-code framework, so your business users can create data models and business processes without the need to have deep technical skills.
Benefits of embedding business process governance in digital transformation
By adopting the BPM lifecycle approach and deploying a business process governance solution to support it, you will rapidly maximise the benefits of your digital transformation initiatives.
Ad hoc business processes stifle innovation, can cause friction with other processes, and increase risks and failures. Once the business processes are orchestrated and automated via a business process governance platform, you’ll have a suite of optimised, high-performing business solutions that work in harmony.
This way, you’ll reduce the time and resources spent to manually inspect each process and fix failures, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.
As the business processes undergo the BPM lifecycle of continuous improvements, they’ll be more agile to respond to dynamic market conditions, hence working to your advantage.
Compliance and safety
Business process governance gives you visibility and control of the processes as opposed to those executed manually and locally. It also facilitates the practice of documenting and implementing internal policies and controls. This fosters a safer and more organised work environment.
With end-to-end visibility, people can easily retrieve information along the value chain. This allows information sharing and seamless collaboration that accelerates problem-solving and drive improvements.
Transformation into an intelligent enterprise
You’re on the right track to becoming a best-run enterprise that applies modern technologies and best practices within agile, unified business processes.
Author: Shigim Yusof