Improving efficiency and increasing profits are goals in every business. One way to accomplish your goals is to use business process modeling to map out your most important business processes as they are now – and as you want them to be in the future.
Our clients often ask us the best way to approach business process modeling. Our response? Build them into your IT department. Here’s why we recommend getting IT involved in BP modeling, as well as some tips on how to do it.
Why IT Should Be Involved in Business Process Modeling
The idea of business process modeling came from the world of engineering and was first introduced by a man named Frank Gilbreth in 1921. He proposed that the best way to work efficiently was to create a visual representation of a process and then work to refine it.
The original method included drawing a workflow to represent each step of a process. The workflow could then be revised until all inefficiencies had been removed.
Today, many – perhaps all – of your most important business processes involve computers. Trying to create an accurate business process model without the help of your IT department would be like trying to play a symphony without an orchestra.
IT professionals are in the best possible position to help you create accurate business process models. They have a complete understanding of the technology your enterprises uses.
Partnering IT with Subject Matter Experts
The most important step to take when building business process modeling into your IT department is to understand that, while IT professionals understand technology, they are probably not experts on all of the processes that you want to model.
For that reason, you should have your IT team work directly with management and employees who use your most important business processes regularly. These people will be in the best position to provide insights as IT creates process models, ensuring that all steps are accurately represented in the model.
This first step of modeling must represent the process as it is currently handled. Then, it will be up to your team to analyze it and come up with ways to streamline the process in the future.
Encourage Creative Thinking
Once your team has created accurate models of your business processes, the next step will involve asking them to create a map of what the process should look like in the future. At this stage, it’s extremely important to encourage creative thinking. If you impose too many limitations on the IT department, you may not end up with the best solutions.
In other words, don’t worry too much at this stage about budgeting or implementation. Instead, ask your team to get creative and see how far they can push the envelope to increase efficiency and minimize waste. There’ll be time later to worry about the nuts and bolts of your processes.
Decisions and Implementation
Your IT team has come up with some creative solutions to improve your efficiency. Now what?
It’s time to bring your subject matter experts back in and hash out the specifics of what’s realistic and affordable. You may not be able to do everything that your IT team suggests, but you may also be surprised if you give your team the opportunity to suggest solutions without restrictions.
Decide on a plan moving forward, and then you can leave your IT department in charge of the final step: implementation and testing. Your IT team would normally be involved with anything regarding software deployment, so they can work to set up your new processes and test them as they launch.
We hope you can see why it’s essential to get IT involved in business process modeling. It offers enterprises the opportunity to streamline the modeling process and ensure maximum efficiency in the long run.
To learn how Alphanumeric can help your IT department with business process modeling, please click here.