Processes and procedures are fundamentals for any organization and its success. Processes provide a standard and systematic pattern for growth of an organization and it needs to be well defined and implemented. But processes can undergo changes and re-implementations so as to keep up with the advancements and technical improvements of the world. Hence business process change is an unavoidable aspect of corporate organizations; and an individual’s success and survival depends on how well he can get acquainted with it.
A business process is defined as a set of sequential steps that define and aid in achieving organizational policies and business goals. Well defined business process helps in achieving minimal defects and maximum specification adherence. Thus, a planned and established business process is required so as to maintain high standards of quality and customer satisfaction.
Why is process change required?
Many times, it is so possible that the business process and the procedures tend to outgrow with time. Under these conditions, it is necessary to reform the processes and implement the change accordingly.
Levels of Process Change
Process change can be implemented in three different levels based on different needs and situations.
1. Process Re-engineering – This kind of process change involves in redesigning the fundamental processes of an organization that are critical and basic to the organization. This kind of change is brought in when there is major threat or opportunity for change prompted by the external environment of an organization.
2. Process Re-design – Process re-design, unlike the re-engineering process, is a medium sized operation which is normally done as a need for process improvement or change. This low scale change operation happens at frequent intervals in an organization and is resulted by means of a job description change or automation of a portion or the entire process.
3. Process Improvement – This tactical technique of process change is best suited for small and stable processes. Improvement to the existing process can be done to improve the quality and efficiency of the end product. This kind of process change is normally implemented by means of a Six Sigma approach.
Factor affecting Business Process Change
Choice of an effective level of process change is important for the business. The maturity of a business process and its capability also affects the level of change that can be done to it. A business possessing of mature process capabilities is likely to undergo frequent process changes to improve the process. Process Improvement is more likely performed by managers and senior leaders on a frequent basis. This is in contrary to a low process maturity organization where the effort that needs to be provided for a change is a process redesign.
How to approach Process Changes
It is necessary to address or approach process change with the right thoughts so as to get acquainted easily. There are four basic ways in which process change can be approached namely re-engineering, simplification, value-added analysis, and gaps & disconnects.
1. Re-engineering – When a re-engineering approach needs to be taken in response to a business process change, it requires a complete fundamental rethinking of the existing process. Such an effort will help improve efficiency and achieve the desired improvements. Though this kind of approach is used for large scale changes, the re-engineering of thoughts towards a process is one approach for getting accommodated to the business process change.
2. Simplification – Any process or sub-process is assumed to possess redundant or duplicate elements and removal of these can help improve the process qualitatively. This kind of an approach will help achieve the needed process improvement through the change.
3. Value-Added Analysis – This approach believes that whenever a process change is required, a look from the customer’s point of view will help in achieving desired results. Take the customer’s perspective and understand the factors that might add value to the existing product.
4. Gaps & Disconnects – Problems resulting from process issues arise mostly due to communication gaps between the functional, technical and business departments. A proper check on these gaps and disconnects will help bring back co-ordination improving efficiency of the process.