How to get your company in shape for journey to process analytics

In one of our last blog posts, we went through the main steps for successful journey to process analytics, bringing together the worlds of process analysis, design and customer experience. 

We outlined the first step: acknowledging the existing gap between operations and experience. Relying on information from your operational systems to make decisions helps you focus on achieving cost-driven efficiency and automation but can lead to an experience gap!  

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Example: Considering process and experience data along the customer journey

After this, the focus of your company should be on deciding priorities and organizing your teams around a journey to process analytics initiative.   

In this blog post we will go through the different organizational aspects which need to be in place to ensure this. Let´s take a look in detail at all of them! 

 

The organizational setup  

Many roles and functions are involved when defining business processes. Journey to process analytics might require you to engage with additional stakeholders in your organization, and you will also be confronted with further requirements. These are questions you should start asking yourself:   

Where to start? What is the right approach?

  • Some organizations segment their organization depending on their operational setup: finance processes, support processes, marketing processes, etc. In this case, process teams are in the lead and involve the experience specialists accordingly. Others see everything through the lens of their stakeholders and have a setup by journeys (such as customer journeys). In this case, experience specialists must identify which processes support which specific journey and create connections to the teams on the process side.
  • We have recently seen companies switch from a strong process-first to more of an experience-first focus and having a mixed approach. What is essential is that no matter the approach, your organization finds ways to connect these two worlds. 

Do I have the right skillset in my organization?

  • First of all, you will need process owners to define how processes should run for specific areas in the organization and business process modeling (BPM) specialists skilled in creating the representation of those processes.  Experience specialists and journey owners are also needed to define stakeholder journeys, including all existing touchpoints.  
  • Data specialists will prepare the process and experience data you aim to analyze, and business and operations experts add the business context to it. You may also engage with data scientists for use cases needing more advanced analytical skills. 

Do I need to have clear ownership defined?

  • Our recommendation is: yes. This creates ownership of objectives and goals, and improvement plans. Ownership of experience journeys and business processes should ideally live within the same team. In reality, this is generally not the case, so ownership should rely on teams closely working together. 

How do I manage this initiative?

  • Some organizations manage the topic centrally with a Center of Excellence or a similar function, while some others prefer doing this relatively decentralized with different teams managing each business domain. Organizations can choose to centralize or decentralize depending on their existing organizational structure and based on the pervasiveness of the initiative. 

  

The business and technology layer  

On the business side, having a business transformation, such as an ERP transformation planned or in progress (such as a transformation to SAP S/4HANA), a mature process excellence program or having a strategic customer initiative in place are already good starting points.  

But let´s keep in mind that there are more aspects to consider on the technology layer:  

  • A toolset for process management and process mining that supports you in designing and analyzing your processes. 
  • An existing journey modeling practice and toolset to define and design experience journeys and their necessary touchpoints. 
  • A customer experience platform to collect experience data, such as Qualtrics. 
  • Available process and experience data to conduct your analyses and be able to spot correlations, trends or other data insights worth investigating. 
  • Finally, a standardized and harmonized software and data strategy will help you minimize redundant or conflicting tech stack and make data-informed decisions with clean, integrated data from different sources. 
  • All these aspects allow your organization to reach the necessary maturity towards journey to process analytics initiatives. 

  

Goals and objective setting  

Now comes the hard part. If you want a program like this involving two different parts in the organization (process and experience), you need goals and objectives setting done on the same table.  

  • Having a stakeholder centricity (customer, employee or partner centricity) and a process mindset should be culturally ingrained in your business.  
  • The mindset in your organization should start shifting to have this dual mindset simultaneously: customer-oriented and efficient operations at corporate strategic level, without one of the two being more prominent. 
  • The connection between the teams and a clear collaboration framework are crucial for the goals and objective setting. These need to be balanced, and the outcome should be a mix. Improving rebuy rates or the customers´ sentiment and increasing of the average deal should co-live with your internal operational objectives: become faster, leaner, more efficient, or have fewer delays.  
  • Get everyone to understand the goals and stand behind them. This brings agility to the project and facilitates discussions on what needs to be done to get there together.  

The necessary buy-in and sponsorship 

This can be a long and complex task. The initiative may demand big changes in the organization and lead to a high impact. No matter if objectives are defined from upper management (top-down) or from the business functions (bottom-up), strong, aligned objectives ask for buy-in from different stakeholders:   

  • C-level executives: The CEO and other C-level executives in finance, operations, digital, marketing or HR can conjugate both worlds of process and experience for each of their functions. 
  • Business leaders: Functions such as procurement, finance, or delivery… are the real owners of executing their specific processes, sponsoring initiatives and improvement projects. 
  • Process leaders: Leaders championing the world of process in the organization, analyzing as-is and helping define the to-be processes for the different functions. 
  • Experience leaders: Keeping the experience journeys at the forefront and having stakeholder focus is paramount and experience leaders will be leading these efforts. 
  • IT leaders: Given the data-driven nature of the initiative, IT leaders will be on top of the data and technology needed to get projects to success. 

The more executive and operational alignment, the easier it will be to run your journey to process analytics projects to success. 

In summary, in this blog post, we have seen the different organizational aspects that you need to have in place to ensure a successful journey to process analytics project:  

  • Having the right organizational setup and skills 
  • Implementing the necessary business and technology layer 
  • Setting clear objectives and an agreed collaboration framework 
  • Getting sponsorship and commitment from leadership and business functions

Our next blog post will cover objective setting for journey to process analytics. Stay tuned!  

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  • Join the Early Adopter Care program (EAC) and become one of our first customers to enjoy the full journey to process analytics capabilities.   
  • Learn more about journey to process analytics by watching the recordings of our recent webinar series.  
  • Check the SAP Signavio topic page.