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Process Owners: The New Age Heroes

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

In Hollywood, it’s common for fictitious superheroes to come to rescue when there has been some catastrophe. Think of the Avengers, Super Man, Spider Man, Batman. They all have special powers to be able to tackle a villain. So in a world where business processes are changing faster than you can say “Digital Disruption” who will be the savior?

Here’s a thought: How about making Process Owners the super heroes of a rapidly changing business world?

With digital platforms and digital ecosystems fast evolving and disrupting supply chains and opening new channels to reach and serve customers, the Process Owner now has a significant role to play at the executive level to design and chart the organization’s direction. The game is not just about process improvement, but also process relevance and alignment to the market.

As a super hero, Process Owners would need to take up the difficult challenge of revamping processes/workflows to facilitate digital adoption and raise the level of process maturity.  So what super powers would he need?

Super power #1:  Can see through things (helped by the Cloud)

Analyzing processes in silos won’t help because most processes cut across departmental silos. Cloud enables end-to-end visibility. Social BPM, Mobility etc. can be executed only if the processes/data are available on cloud. That’s why many organizations – and our process super hero - are shifting towards making their processes more visible by moving content onto the cloud.

Super power #2: Can see things as they really are (using Process Capture and Discovery tools)

In many cases the way processes are laid out in the organization are very different from the way things are carried out at ground level. Our super hero need tools that capture the as-is state of the business processes as they actually exist rather than the processes as we imagine them to be. Process Discovery tools can come handy in this area. They enable our process super heroes to fill in the gap between process design and process execution.

Super power #3: Can see the things that really matter (using Analytics)

There are millions of sources of valuable information in our organizations, but our super hero process owner needs to exercise restraint and monitor the usage of the data available. Data from points of sale, points of service help in measuring TAT, service levels, quality and other key process parameters, but at the same time can lead to incorrect conclusions and unwanted process corrections. Understanding the behavioral patterns and process blockages is important when arriving at a conclusion and possible process change. Dissipating and publishing this data at appropriate levels is also critical to ensure the right decisions are made.

Super power #4: Can see the future (using Design Thinking)

Creating the to-be processes/solutions for the customers need to be driven by a set methodology. An example of an established methodology is Design Thinking. Product life cycles are getting shorter and by applying design thinking, the prototype offerings can be quickly tested to validate if customer problems are resolved. Consumer feedback, user driven product design and testing, market study through social trends provide valuable inputs to anticipate future changes and plan rather than react.

Process owners now need to focus on ensuring process maturity in the evolved digital land scape while balancing between efficiency, transactional cost, agility and most importantly catering to customer experience at the time and place of his choice.  Sure, it is a challenge, but what super hero doesn’t thrive on a few obstacles?

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