After a recent Business Process Management (BPM) software training course, it became clear that when a group of people with different backgrounds and varying experiences are presented with a set of business requirements; the process models created by each person will vary significantly, but somehow still manage to achieve the business requirements at hand. So, this begged the question… Is there such a thing as the perfect BPM model for a given process, and if so, have I ever built the perfect process before?
As I reflect on previous Kaizen events that I’ve participated in, the wide range organizations for which I’ve evaluated business processes, and for those organizations that I’ve worked with to reconstruct the way team(s) work; it’s with a heaping dose of humility that I say no. The 100% optimal process was not built, not once. This was not for a lack of ability, intelligence, or effort on my team’s part; nor was it a result of budget restrictions (even though that impacts everything), threshold for change, or sponsorship from the organization we were working with. The objective in each and every process improvement effort were to either; reduce expenses, improve response times, and/or enhance customer experiences. Through defined measurables those things were achieved. As a matter of fact, in many cases the results often exceeded expectations. So why did it bother me? Why weren’t we able to concoct the “Perfect Process”? Could we or should we have been better?
After some thought, I came to the realization that there is no one “Perfect Process”. We work in a world that is comprised of an enormous wealth of knowledge that we can apply to ways of doing things better. We rely not only on our experiences, but the experiences of those we are partnered with, and together, build a better way forward.
The truth is, that a process that is redefined today, will need to be redefined again in the future. We should all strive to create the best possible way to perform something, however, we should do so with managed expectations. If you have been tasked with improving a process for your team or organization, be sure to set goals, define measurables, track progress to validate the improvements and most importantly include as many of the people closest to the process as possible. They will be your biggest assets.
If the task is too daunting, and your organization is too busy to incorporate BPM efforts, reach out to an organization has the experts needed to facilitate a path forward. Whether its applying a new technology, leveraging existing platforms more efficiently, or even changing company culture, there are a multitude of organizations that you can lean on that are comprised of BMP experts that will support you and your organization through your process optimization. If you think you’re ready to talk about optimizing your business processes, we would enjoy the opportunity to talk with you about your process excellence journey.