10 steps to business process transformation

Spurred by the recession, CIOs have sharpened their focus on processes, as companies strive for greater efficiency, better operations, a more compelling customer experience, and transformed business models.

CIOs must now standardize processes around the globe, create shared services, deploy business process management (BPM) suites to fill the gaps left by enterprise suites, and integrate collaboration and social with processes.

Forrester believes that CIOs play a pivotal and strategic role in helping the enterprise understand why and how to become process-driven, and to make the shift from isolated projects to a sustainable BPM program.

Transformation Requires A Process-Driven Business
Today, few companies have a truly large-scale commitment to business process transformation.

Instead, most companies that have adopted business process improvement have done so only on a limited basis.

Their efforts are typically more project-focused rather than program-driven, perhaps with an isolated Six Sigma effort in one department or the installation of a BPM suite in another department.

More enterprises are now ready to pursue business process transformation, but they are still at an early stage, don't yet have sufficient resources, and have low maturity and understanding of business process transformation initiatives.

Getting to the process-driven business will not be easy.

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This aspiration is actually a tall order and will require an unprecedented level of collaboration between senior business executives, business process change agents, CIOs, CMOs, as well as the leaders reporting to them.

But the choice to do nothing is a stark choice indeed: Rest assured that some competitors will choose transformation and could embrace new business models that completely remake your industry.

Embrace Big Process To Reach Your Transformation Vision
Without a strategic focus on business process transformation, Forrester believes that your enterprise will be increasingly marginalized in the marketplace, while relying on:

 - Siloed, inward-facing departments
 - Continuous improvement teams focused primarily on cost reduction
 - Enterprise suites that only automate systems of record while ignoring systems of engagement that delight customers

To move from this unenviable position today to a process-driven organization by 2020, Forrester recommends ten steps for CIOs:

1. Use the strategic planning process as a vehicle for promoting business process transformation. Although most IT strategic planning is still done separately from business strategy planning efforts, seek to align the two as much as possible.

Use tools like target operating models and business capability mapping to facilitate the strategic planning process while linking the business architecture more closely with BPM technology.

2. Make the case for business transformation with execs using terms like business capabilities and outcomes. C-suite execs quickly tune process talk out, along with excessive discussion of Lean, Six Sigma, process maps, process modeling, and so forth.