Are you on track to improve your business?

In my previous article ‘5 steps to create a beneficial process maturity strategy for your organisation’[1], I focused on creating a strategy for your organisation. In this specific article, I want to provide you with three benefits as to why you want a mature process environment.

There is a growing requirement for organisations of all sizes and across all sectors, to become compliant with compulsory regulations, as well as striving to be the most innovative. At the same time, they need to ensure that operations not only remain sustainable, but also ensure that the cost of regulatory or innovative implementation doesn’t impair profitability.

My question to you is: Are you creating additional work as a result of the implementation of the regulations or innovative solutions or are you considering alternative options like robotics, automation and operational efficiencies prior to implementation.

To ensure that you maintain the value add in your organisation whilst driving the implementation of requirements to meet your organisation strategy, here are three benefits to creating a mature process environment to aid you in achieving your organisation strategy in the most effective manner:

1.    Effective robotics implementation:

There is a saying that ´you cannot automate a bad process´ and I completely agree. The same is true of robotics. In instances where robotics is replacing human efforts with highly operational processes, the only way the robot will perform the correct task, select the correct decisions at the correct time or point in the process, is when the humans developing the robots understand the process in its entirety. 

This means that during the robotics undertaking and development, sound and robust processes need to be documented. Without clearly documented process in place, understanding decision trees will be impossible, the result being that robots will follow incorrect processes, which will need to be corrected by humans resulting in additional and unnecessary cost expenditure.

Ensure these processes for robotics development include timing and costs attached, this assists in identifying cost and time savings to assist in understanding the benefits of cost and time saving that robotics can bring into the organisation.

2.    Ease of identification of Operational Efficiencies:

It’s not necessary for every operational process to immediately move into robotics or automation. Many processes simply require waste removal, meaning, removing the non-value add steps. For example, waiting between steps in a process becomes an added waste and can be stripped out.  

Unreliable processes create operational inefficiencies. During this portion of process mapping – the question that has to be answered is, do you have to do it this way. When you start asking why and whether or not it has to be done, significant waste rises to the surface and provides an opportunity to create a slicker, more efficient process. This in turn saves time and cost by substituting waste for further work or reduced effort.

3.    Identification of Risk (including regulatory) and (in)adequate controls

I’ve come to understand and enjoy the application of risk identification and control using processes. Process mapping and identification must uncover risks as part of the mapping or re-engineering. I would go as far as to say that it should be a mandatory skill for process mappers; analysts and engineers to be able to identify both inherent and residual risks and equally match it to an adequate control, or at least assist in identifying that there is no adequate control in place. A process mature environment can assist in identifying adequate and /or inadequate controls and in so doing mitigate any possible operational losses, fraud as well as potential regulatory fines to an organisation.

There are many reasons to improve process maturity environment as well as a multitude of ways to do it. In driving a purpose for a process mature environment, the COO, and CRO need to work closely together. These roles can no longer work in isolation, – especially where key, high risk operational processes and / or regulatory processes have been identified.

To move ahead in an ever-changing, fast-paced regulatory world we find ourselves in, it is imperative to understand organisations operations and processes. Without which, many efforts towards improvement become a struggle and difficult to implement at the same pace as change requires it to.

Written for LinkedIn: