5 reasons why process modeling is the operational backbone of your journey to process analytics initiatives

A successful business transfor­ma­tion requires a strong understanding of pain points, in-depth process analysis, industry benchmarking, process reimagina­tion and smooth collaboration of all involved parties. However, in a transformation´s continuous improvement cycles, the missing element is often the link between the processes and the experience layer. This disconnect may cause an experience gap for organizations. 

What to do about it? In our blog series 10 steps for successful journey to process analytics we guide you through all necessary steps needed to close that gap. This is the fifth blog of the series, focused on process modeling.  

When starting such an initiative, the organization’s operational setup is crucial – specifically, identifying and defining processes that support each journey and their own process models.  

But, what is a process model, and how does process modeling work? A business process model is a graphical representation of a business process or a workflow. Process modeling enables businesses to visualize those processes to better understand their internal business procedures. Processes can then be more easily managed and made more efficient, enabling continuous improvement.  

What are the benefits of successful process modeling? 

1. Full transparency and understanding of processes

Process modeling provides a clear overview of a business process, identifying the start and end point and all the steps in between, from resources to costs. Achieving company-wide transparency of every single step needed to complete any process leads to reduced operational ambiguity and provides explanations and guidance for a common understanding. Full transparency and understanding of processes are the prerequisites to any business transformation project. It helps better coordinate processes along systems, people, and data across the organization and to understand who does what, when and how within a process. The lack of visibility and understanding of company-wide and locally defined processes and best practices can generate high costs for companies and negatively affect the experience of customers, employees, or supplies alike. 

2. Collaboration 

Dr. Gero Decker and Rouven Morato mention collaboration as one of the five Top 2022 Business Process Management Trends, saying that process collaboration “will be a defining success factor for your organization’s process initiatives”. Collaboration benefits companies by providing alignment with key stakeholders, informing and training employees on process execution, and providing a single source of truth for process knowledge. A unified repository of process models supports easy access to all process content for employees globally, where they can collaboratively perform process (re)design. 

For journey to process analytics initiatives, collaboration is key between process owners and journey owners. Being able to map which processes support which experience journeys in one single platform and innovation framework allows you to easily identify their dependencies and adapt accordingly when issues occur. 

3. Ensure process standardization 

Process standardization is the act of establishing best practices of how to carry out a process and ensuring that the entire organization follows them. By ensuring process standardization, companies benefit from easier onboarding for new employees, higher productivity and output by having more efficient processes, and easier process improvement – hence positively improving the experience of customers, employees, and further stakeholders with your company. With the growth of process data availability, either from process mining event logs (structured data) or unstructured data (e.g., process data from PPT files), data-driven modelling and process standardization are becoming more crucial for process professionals.  

4. Improve efficiency  

After identifying existing business problems and standardizing your processes, organizations can identify and eliminate inefficiencies that decrease costs, negatively affect the experience and increase the efficiency of business processes through optimization, which is crucial to process excellence. Customer excellence and process excellence are the foundation for successful and agile companies. As SAP Co-General Manager Rouven Morato mentions, “strong processes are not rigid, they are clear, optimized for speed and well understood across your whole business”.  

5. Design and test “to-be” processes 

Organizations can first design their to-be processes in a collaborative effort, capturing what the processes should look like. Think about this situation: a retailer receives negative customer satisfaction scores and identifies they are linked to the return process. They discover that the root cause of unhappy customers is a poorly designed process: the process is too cumbersome and complex. 

The company can then analyze potential to-be scenarios by leveraging simulations and calculate the impact of any changes in a safe environment in a quantitative way, such as costs or time consumption. Another option is to rely on the wisdom of the crowd and employees to review possible outcomes. Either way, this helps them gain a faster organizational buy-in and de-risk their transformation or innovation projects.  

Wrap-up 

A process-driven business transformation supports organizations across all industries and dimensions to compare their “as is” and “to-be” versions of their business processes. SAP Signavio provides a comprehensive portfolio to drive your business transformation. It supports end-to-end transformation and process improvement initiatives while ensuring a seamless handover from process insights and guided recommendations to value-adding improvement actions. 

We´ll cover the topic of experience-driven in our next blog post. Stay tuned!   

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