Design by doing. A new era in business performance management?
How can we begin to understand how effectively processes are taking place in the business?
This blog discusses a process design methodology which addresses the design by first capturing and analysing how people do the process. It does this by enabling the process to be visualised digitally through an analysing tool and then reviewing the most effective pathways. This approach is called design by doing.
This is in contrast to the traditional method of process design, which is to carry out an analysis, design and documentation of the expected process. This approach takes a predefined approach where people walk a designed path.
The ‘doing’ approach reaches its design through an iterative optimisation process, like an ongoing work in progress. As one level is reached, the next task to be tackled reveals itself, whether that is putting in some business rules or if an activity needs to be supported with decision support in flight analytics.
What we are also doing with this approach is capturing not only a rich audit trail of how and why decisions were made but also we digitally capture the wisdom and experience of the best people in the organisation.
This becomes a valuable asset to the business for managing risk in both a tactical and wider business sustainability context as well as providing insights into the ways revenue and costs are generated.
For this type of approach to be possible, our design and analysis tool must provide for both structured and unstructured work to take place. Typically workflows involve decision points as illustrated below.
In a structured workflow such as this, there are only two options– either on/off, yes/no, approve/decline and so on. This is a binary decision and is very limiting when dealing with real world processes. For this model, we need to design and predict every exception.
In contrast, XMPro manages unstructured workflows in two key areas:
1) It removes the hard wired process flows, the arrows allow multiple possible decisions.
2) Instead of prescribing the flow, it provides decision support to knowledge workers.
See the figure below.
This approach changes how technology can be leveraged when designing your business processes.
You can analyse the real paths that people follow to get work done. You will find that there will be high numbers of variant paths (we found 80 different variants for a funeral arrangements process, for example) and find process patterns that yield higher revenue, lower cost and best risk management practises.
This is fundamental to design by doing approach. It leads to quicker, more effective process outcomes. It becomes a digital asset for the best knowledge workers of the business. We also have a rich repository of process analysis for which we are able to measure, and track KPIs that would not have been possible in a manual world.
Is this the beginning of a new era in business performance management?
You can read more about Professional Advantage and XMPro here.