In an increasingly digital world, many organisations face the complex task of identifying and articulating their business processes.
The intricate dance between human and system processes often proves challenging, clouding operational efficiencies and hindering agile IT services.
The ultimate goal is a baseline of easily accessible, understandable, and transparent processes — a comprehensive and dynamic process library that fuels IT service improvements and overall business agility.
Having worked on thousands of IT projects over the years, we have seen first-hand the struggle customers face in articulating their end-to-end business processes. Lack of process clarity often results in misaligned technology implementations and hampers continuous service improvement.
Common Challenges in Process Management
All too often, IT departments grapple with numerous process-related issues:
- The need for understanding of how a process works.
- Locating where written processes exist.
- Processes only live in people’s heads rather than in a central, accessible location.
- Processes lack standardisation.
- Processes need to be updated.
- Complex processes that are difficult to understand.
- Process steps that do not explain why they exist.
These pain points highlight the need for precise, up-to-date, accessible process maps.
The Importance of Process Maps
Process maps are invaluable assets that offer a detailed view of activities and the interactions between people, systems, and process workflows. They are crucial for the design phase of new technology implementation and for continuous improvement, standards and compliance, organisation design, and change and transformation initiatives.
System Implementation and Automation
A comprehensive understanding of all activities making up a process is vital for successful technology investment. Having detailed process maps can ensure system users and the business agree on a way forward before companies like ours engage in the implementation process. They also make it easier to identify repetitive IT tasks that could form part of a business case for purchasing new technology.
With detailed process maps that act as a baseline, you will find that driving continual service improvement becomes a manageable task.
Standards and Compliance
Process maps are essential in obtaining compliance certifications like ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials. They can also save a significant amount of time during regular IT audits.
Organisation and Design
By providing process transparency, detailed process maps help make your business more agile and competitive. Process clarity is critical when organisations adapt rapidly, as we saw during the Covid-19 pandemic when many had to pivot to remote working.
Change and Transformation
Understanding your process baselines is vital for identifying the precise gap between your current state and your desired future state. Process baselining is a critical step in any digital transformation project.
While it’s true that refining your process management structure may not happen overnight, the benefits are undeniable. By understanding your current processes in sufficient detail, many IT and business issues will become far easier to address, enabling the delivery of fast and efficient IT services. Remember, in business agility, a thorough grasp of your processes isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity.
Understanding and mapping business processes is an essential yet often overlooked aspect of successful IT operations and business agility. While the journey towards effective process management may be challenging, the resulting benefits are far-reaching. By understanding current processes clearly, businesses can address IT and business issues more effectively, enabling faster, more efficient IT service delivery. As we move forward in an increasingly digital landscape, comprehensive process maps are not just a beneficial tool but an operational necessity.