A process-driven approach. Really?

By Philippe Carpentier

The first time I suggested to a client that a process-driven approach could help solve her organization’s problem with forms, I thought I detected a slight hesitation on her part and knew right away that explanations were in order.

When confronted with a problem, clients express their concerns in various ways. Sometimes they’ll talk to us about vision or objectives to achieve. Other times, they’ll explain why they must act and put forward business solutions or an action plan to derive benefits that are not always well defined.

Regardless of the angle they choose, it is up to the consultant to help clients assess all sides of an issue before drawing up an action plan. To clarify objectives, the following five key questions must be answered – what we simply call the Brio context analysis – to accurately define the nature of the transformation sought by clients:

1. Where are we going?
2. Why are we aiming for these results?
3. Why now?
4. What are the expected benefits?
5. How will we go about it?

That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? And yet, many projects get to the implementation phase even though no one really understands what results they are trying to achieve or what they expect to accomplish.

“How will we go about it” translates into business solutions that organizations will want to adopt to support their project.

Whether it’s implementing a more efficient structure, sharing responsibilities differently, redefining roles, redesigning, adjusting or optimizing business processes, improving work systems or tools, updating employee knowledge or skills, or finally deeply changing the attitudes and behavior across the organization through Structure, Process, Tools, Skills, and Culture, affectionately known as SPTSC – one or several of these components will invariably be included in the action plan to carry out the project.

And what about the “process-driven approach”? This is quite simply a process to help identify all relevant business solutions methodically – so as not to forget anything – through an innovative and integrated approach.

And so, how do we proceed? First and foremost, we outline the targeted work process along with a comprehensive list of related tasks. And since each task is performed by someone, we can then define the various roles. To carry out a task, we usually need two main inputs: One piece of data and one skill to transform the input (data) into an output. Data is usually generated by systems, reports, or forms. By using the process-driven approach, we can identify all of the solutions through SPTSC to carry out the project.

And so, to change a form as my client wished to do, the process-driven approach enables her to identify all of the process-related tasks that are carried out based on data collected from the forms. This is a sure way of not forgetting anything and of creating the right forms.

Since managing these changes methodically can make all the difference, we will devote our next blog post to various approaches used for the design, optimization, and adjustment of business processes.

By Philippe Carpentier



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