At a basic level, every organization is made up of a series of processes. These processes are the ‘how’ behind what that organization does. As an organization increases in size and complexity, so too do the processes involved in the way that enterprise works. As a result, keeping track of each becomes more difficult over time. The solution? A process repository, a central point where you can store all the processes enabling your business to run smoothly and efficiently.
In most cases, it won’t be enough to say, “Hey, come and look at our new process repository, it’s where we keep all our business processes!” Each area of the business will need a compelling use case of their own, so staff members see the improvements to their working life that a central process repository provides.
It may help to consider use cases using an “I want, so that…” model. For example, a finance officer may say, “I want to know which process to use based on the dollar amount of the invoices I receive, so that I don’t have to waste time asking my supervisor.” Each business area will have a use case that can be expressed in the same terms, which means every business area can be convinced of the usefulness of a central repository.
Implementing new processes or is as much a change management process as it is a technical one. The same applies if you are consolidating or collecting your business processes into a process repository. Therefore, you need to ensure that all staff within your organization are able to recognize the elements within any given process, even if the process doesn’t apply to their work area. The simple approach is to use a globally-recognized system for describing business processes, like .
This is an extension of the common language already established. Once people within an organization are able to explain the way they do their work in a commonly understood form, it is a more natural progression to collaboratively consider ways to improve. A process culture—where staff are able to think about their work from a process-first perspective— then develops organically.
This is likely to spark improvements in unexpected areas, for example when staff from different areas of the business can provide suggestions to improve processes in separate departments. A central process repository then allows the fruits of this sort of collaboration to be recorded and disseminated across the whole organization.
This is a relatively straightforward requirement, but one that may be overlooked. Essentially, all staff must have the tools and the access required to make use of the repository—if some areas have access but not others, the value of a central, ‘single source of truth’ diminishes rapidly.
You now have a stable process repository in place, where all staff can access a mutually-understood set of business processes. This may seem like an endpoint, but as with all business transformation efforts, the actual benefit is in the capacity for ongoing process improvements.
Measuring the usefulness of your process repository by surveying staff and quantifying the time and resources saved through process consolidation is vital. Building on these efforts by encouraging further discussion and collaboration among staff, with a view to continuing process improvement efforts, is also key to realizing the true, ongoing value of your process repository.
Dr. Mathias Kirchmer is a globally-recognized thought leader and innovator, combining broad business experience with extensive academic research (including publishing 11 books and over 150 articles) to deliver pioneering management approaches in the field of and digitalization. With this background, he is well-placed to offer expert insights on how to get the most value out of your process repository.
To learn more, you can sign up for Dr. Kirchmer’s exclusive Signavio webinar, . The webinar will offer a range of recommendations for getting started with an outcome-driven process repository of your own. If you can’t attend the webinar live on 20 September, you can simply download a copy to view later. Best of all, it’s free!
If you’re ready to take your business processes to the next (enterprise) level with a value-driven process repository, why not register for a to see how Signavio can help? If you’re interested in catching up with a few more thought leaders first, you can also check out the rest of the .