In his many years working as a consultant, Pervez Ibahim, Senior SAP Consultant Owner, SAPHandyManServices at WestwardGlobal, has experienced how organisations often suffer from the lack of a central repository of their business process knowledge. Here he contemplates the ‘forgotten folder’ phenomena, every organisation’s nightmare.

As a project manager / project lead, have you ever felt shattered and lost when your team had to rebuild that business-critical or strategic enterprise folder all over again? Globally, large and small organisations often face the challenges of special projects springing up regularly, such as:

  • Harmonisation of various legacy systems
  • The merger of companies / plants
  • Legacy system consolidations
  • Starting new ventures
  • New acquisitions
  • Business process optimisation (BPO)

These projects duplicate each other's processes, and the discovery of duplication is difficult as organisations lack a central repository containing organisational business processes. Here is an example of the organisation consolidation project:

  • A team of consultants from the system’s integrators creates several Visio diagrams; their use is temporary.
  • Once the system is live, or the upgrade is complete, the contents are typically sitting in a forgotten network folder.
  • Most often the network folder is never re-accessed and eventually becomes outdated, and a year or so later, when it is time for an upgrade, the contents, if found, are regarded with suspicion.

The next system integrator (SI), often a different company, does the same, recreating materials that have little or no value. Meanwhile, other projects are underway, which all aim to understand and improve business processes. For example:

  • Compliance project;
  • Quality inspection rules;
  • Risk management;
  • Shared services;
  • Outsourcing;
  • Lean Six Sigma;
  • Merger and acquisition;
  • Others.

Sharing common process details - a single source of truth

In a typical business, most projects share common process details. Just imagine how much duplicate effort and waste would disappear if all of the above projects were able to share the single source of truth - a repository of process knowledge - that was commonly understood, trusted, and up-to-date.

It would not only speed up progress for each project, but it would also enable project participants to share information with confidence, such as:

  • Regulatory compliance;
  • Compliance with quality standards (ISO);
  • Employee training and task performance and support;
  • Standard operating procedures (SOP);
  • Performance management, where the scorecards and metrics tied to relevant process activity;
  • Customer journeys;
  • Alignment of frameworks (Score, and more).

Moving process management efforts from multiple silos to shared enterprise assets creates the opportunity for substantial efficiency gains and the ability to start leveraging that asset, with confidence, to support the business process improvement and management initiatives.

Current BPM trends

You will find that BPM is the hot topic for enterprises and IT companies; this is one area that requires your full attention if our automation efforts from ‘field-to-fork’ and ‘disease-to-drug’ are to be fruitful.

About the author

This blog is brought to you by the members of the BCS Internet specialist group and allows you to harness their skills, expertise and knowledge. The internet is ubiquitous and has a major impact on our daily lives, at work, at home on the move. The associated risks and security concerns are real, but the magic and advantages of the internet are significant.