Becoming a Process Oriented Organization
In this blog post I will share my personal view on the relevance of becoming a Process Oriented Organization, and how companies can get advantage of Business Process Intelligence (BPI).
Having the opportunity to interact with many of our SAP customers, I´ve learned about the relevance of becoming a Process Oriented Organization, and how organisations -our customers- can get advantage of business process intelligence for digital transformation.
Let´s start by searching for a definition of ‘What is a Process?’.
T. H. Davenport (1993) visualizes process as a “structure for action”. This is: “specific ordering of work activities across time and place, with a beginning, an end, and clearly defined inputs and outputs” .
But what means adopting a process view of the business?
Process view of the business represents a revolutionary change in perspective. Why this turning the organization on its head?. This is so because a process orientation to business means focus on HOW work is done within an organization, in contrast to a product emphasis on WHAT.
According to Davenport (1993), a process orientation to business involves elements of structure, focus, measurement, ownership, and customers. In definitional terms, a process is simply a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specified output for a particular customer or market.
In the 80s, there was a general sense of great opportunity in the air. The opportunity was to apply information technology to the redesign of business processes.
Today we live in the Knowledge Age (Birkinshaw 2014). Discontinuous change is globally evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, and an exploration of the leadership challenges associated with the highly chaotic environment.
I posit that the increased instability, disorder, and non- linear circumstances of pandemic and technology, environmental or geopolitical factors, among others, requires a particular type of advanced leadership and intelligence to response and act quickly and accurately to these disruptions. Thus, the opportunity is to apply business process intelligence (BPI) to rethink business processes, which allows to transform and create resilient organisations.
How to leverage the opportunity to rethink business processes, transform and create resilient organisations by applying business process intelligence (BPI)?
First, BPI provides tools for analysing our processes in further ways and collect data, to understand how the real process looks-like, its conformity to the reference model described in its Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN diagrams), failures and much more. Monitoring and process mining are not enough, as we need to improve our processes. Business process intelligence provides recommendations by suggesting specific actions. Furthermore, the ability to turn process insights into actions towards continuous improvement represents the opportunity to transform companies into process-oriented organisations.
Besides this, business process intelligence made possible the collaboration between stakeholders overwhelmed in the rapidly shifting environment. BPI models frequently made decisions of an organization through Decision Model and Notation (DMN diagrams).
By linking DMN and BPMN diagrams, processes can be viewed separately from decisions, with the advantage that the process is streamlined and the decision is traceable. See:
In other words, it provides a unifying framework for thinking about processes — or sequences of tasks and activities — that provides an integrated, dynamic picture of organisations and managerial behaviour (Garvin 1998).
As you can see, counting on business process intelligence, organisations can adopt the continuous improvement mindset that is required to survive as business in today´s uncertainty, chaos and change.
Furthermore, business process intelligence (BPI) solutions from SAP provide end-to-end capabilities for strategic process transformation and the reinvention of customer experiences.
In summary, BPI lays the foundation for a Process Oriented Organization, thus, for the Intelligent Enterprise of the future.
Please check Q&A and post questions in the community for the business process intelligence topic here:
You can explore and learn more about business process intelligence solutions here:
Birkinshaw, J (2014) The Changing Sources of Competitive Advantage, online video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVP0tb6FzCs [Accessed 5 September 2019]
Davenport, T. H. (1993) Process Innovation. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Garvin, D. (1998) ‘The Processes of Organization and Management https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-processes-of-organization-and-management/ [Accessed 5 November 2021]