As dawn breaks over the second quarter of the year, you might be asking yourself, “How can I make my processes even more eggcellent in Q2?” or “What ideas can I poach online so I’m not scrambling to reach my KPIs?” Maybe you’re wondering, “Omelettin’ standards slip?” Fear not! The relatively quiet days around the holidays are a great time to get your team together and go on a treasure hunt, looking for the little Easter eggs hidden within your process landscape. All yolks aside—OK, we’ll give the puns a rest now—there are probably lots of treats, or as we like to call them, process optimization opportunities, to be found if you take a look under the hood.
How to hunt for process optimization opportunities
A good search starts with a good plan. To identify which processes you think could be improved, talk with your team and if possible, take a look at your data. This helps you really find out where variances in your processes are hiding.
In-depth process analysis can be easily achieved with process mining technology. When you carry out a target-state/current-state comparison—that is, take data from a process in its actual state and directly compare it with the modeled process—you will be able to quickly identify the problem areas. Then, you can work out where you can make improvements, or tweak the steps in a process to make it run more smoothly.
However, there is more to process conformity than carrying out process steps properly. It is also important to ask:
- Were approval limits taken into consideration?
- Were all required stakeholder approvals collected from various departments?
- Is the time frame realistic or are efforts poorly distributed?
That's where a process mining tool like SAP Signavio Process Intelligence can come in handy. Here's Signavio Product Manager Sven Wagner-Boysen to explain further:
Common approaches to process optimization
Once you have identified your process variants it’s time to start optimizing. Process optimization involves understanding what could be going wrong in a particular process, then correcting problems. So what might these problems look like?
Lack of end-to-end transparency
For a process to function well, it needs a clear trajectory and a definite start and end point. Ask yourself, what input and output parameters are being used? What is the average time‐to‐completion for a single instance of this process? How are handovers being made and could anything be automated? If you can’t answer these questions easily, you may have an issue with transparency.
Is it clear who is responsible for this process? The process owner typically acts as the driving force behind process optimization projects, and knows how it functions from end-to-end. Make sure that when optimizing a process, you involve process stakeholders and leverage their expertise.
You now know your current state process situation and you know what you want to improve. You’ve hopefully achieved stakeholder alignment and hashed out plans for how to get things running more efficiently and effectively. Now you need a means to act on your insights: A Business Process Management (BPM) system that allows you to collaborate, harness the wisdom in your team, and automate where necessary, allowing for rapid execution.
With just a few well-thought-out tweaks, you can streamline and optimize your processes quickly and easily, meaning you’ll be sunny-side-up in no time! (OK, maybe we lied about stopping the egg-based puns…)
Process optimization with Signavio
Don’t forget, the fun doesn’t end after the Easter break! You can hunt for process optimization opportunities all year round by taking control of continuous improvement, and making it a cyclical optimization task. Get cracking straight away with a free 30-day trial of the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite.